Pads to protection: How to teach kids about menstrual hygiene and safe sex

As a parent, you may wonder how to talk to your child about menstrual hygiene and safe sex, but it is important that you do it. We're here to help!
Give your children timely information on menstrual hygiene and safe sex. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Manisha Singh Updated: 17 May 2023, 05:19 pm IST

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Menstrual hygiene and sexual health are like two elephants in the room, lurking in the shadows of silence, waiting to be addressed. As a result, many young people are left in the dark, without the knowledge and understanding they need to make informed decisions about their bodies. As a parent, you have the power to shed light on these taboo topics and open the doors of knowledge for your children.
So, let us share some tips to teach children about menstrual hygiene and safe sex.

Menstrual hygiene and safe sex education for kids

By starting the conversation early, using creative and engaging language, and fostering a safe and approachable environment, you can empower your children to take charge of their health and well-being.

1. Start early

It is important to start talking to children about their bodies and sexual health early on. This can start with simple conversations about body parts and how they work. Use age-appropriate language and answer their questions honestly and openly.

2. Talk about menstruation

Girls usually begin menstruating between the age group of 8 and 13. Parents should talk to their daughters about menstruation and menstrual health before it starts, so they are prepared. When you give your child the period talk, discuss the importance of using sanitary pads, changing them regularly, and disposing of them properly. It is also important to teach them about menstrual hygiene, such as washing their hands before and after changing their pads, and taking a bath regularly during their periods.

Educate children about menstrual health at the right time! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Teach boys about menstruation

Boys also need to learn about menstruation, so they can understand what their female friends and family members are going through. Teach them about the menstrual cycle and what happens during periods. This can help them be more understanding and supportive of girls and women in their lives.

Also read: This is how you should talk to your son about periods, according to a psychologist

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4. Discuss safe sex

As children get older, it is important to talk to them about safe sex. Discuss how to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies. Teach them about different forms of contraception and how to use them. Also, discuss the importance of consent and how to communicate their boundaries.

5. Be open and approachable

Make sure your children know that they can come to you with any questions or concerns they may have. Be approachable and non-judgmental. This can help your children feel comfortable talking to you about sensitive topics like menstrual hygiene and sexual health.

Keep communication channels open for children to talk about sex or periods. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Use resources

There are many resources available to help parents teach their children about menstrual hygiene and sexual health. You can use books, videos, and websites to supplement your conversations. Make sure to review the resources beforehand to ensure they are age-appropriate and accurate.

Also read: Meet Aditi Gupta, who champions menstrual health education through a comic book

Why is sex education important for your child?

In today’s ever-evolving society, where misinformation and societal taboos continue to cast a shadow over crucial topics like menstrual hygiene and sexual health, parents hold the power to create a transformative impact. By embarking on the journey of educating their children about these matters, parents can ignite a spark of knowledge and empowerment that will shape their children’s lives.

Imagine a world where accurate information replaces myths, where open conversations replace hushed whispers, and where understanding prevails over ignorance. It is within your power to provide your children with a safe space, where they can openly discuss their concerns, ask questions, and receive reliable guidance. By nurturing an environment of trust, patience and acceptance, you not only equip your children with the tools to make informed decisions but also instill in them a sense of self-worth and confidence.

Dr Manisha Singh

Dr Manisha Singh, Senior Consultant - Gynecologist and Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, Fortis Hospital Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru ...Read More

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