School Nurse Shares a Stark Reminder That Some Kids Can't Afford Pads & Tampons


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Dealing with your period at any age is no picnic, but when you're a teen whose family is struggling financially, it becomes an even more challenging situation. That's the obvious takeaway from a school nurse's heartbreaking post on Reddit that's going viral. "Out of 400 menstruating girls, maybe 20 have a hard time getting access to pads or tampons," she wrote on the social media site last week. "That's still 20 too many."

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The nurse explained that one student in particular feels comfortable going to her for feminine hygiene products. And during one heart-aching moment, the teen told her that she can't ask her father, because she feels too guilty, knowing that he barely has money for gas, let alone tampons. Instead, she said she usually uses toilet paper as a sanitary napkin when she starts her period at home.


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In turn, the nurse spends money out of her own pocket to acquire tampons for this girl and other students. "We have programs for free lunch and we even have a program where we send home food for the weekend," she wrote. "But nothing to supply these girls with tampons."

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Thankfully, the post has already racked up almost 700 comments, and seems to be getting much-needed attention. Scary Mommy points out that there are now laws that require schools to supply feminine hygiene products to students for free. 

According to the Washington Post, some schools in California -- those which have any combo of grades 6–12 and at least 40 percent of the students coming from low-income households -- are required to provide feminine hygiene products in at least half of the bathrooms on campus for free. 

And a recent Illinois law states: "Feminine hygiene products are a health care necessity and not an item that can be foregone or substituted easily. When students have access to quality feminine hygiene products, they are able to continue with their daily lives with minimal interruption."

Fingers crossed this nurse's plea will not only continue to make headlines, but also translate to concrete action, like donations and legal action. No young woman should have to worry about having access to a health-care product that is essential to her well-being.

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