Secondary school swimming and periods

(23 Posts)
profpoopsnagle Fri 16-Oct-15 10:35:29

If your secondary school has swimming lessons, what is the protocol?

(DD is year 7 and started 11 months ago. She's now fairly regular and pretty sorted with dealing with periods but doesn't want to use tampons yet.)

Lurkedforever1 Fri 16-Oct-15 11:58:56

No idea! Dd hasn't started yet, and in y7, so we haven't dealt with it. As they all seem to discuss it in great detail, I'm assuming anyone in her class who has started hasn't had swimming on the same day. Or is someone who swims a lot and is happy to use tampax. Would she consider having a practice with tampax for the odd hour at home, as that's about all they'd be needed for during swimming?

OldBeanbagz Fri 16-Oct-15 14:07:15

I wrote notes for DD and she sat out lessons when on her period. She's also not comfortable using tampons although will at a push on holiday.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 16-Oct-15 14:29:20

Our school encourages them to get to grips with tampons for when they swim. They can't make them use them, obviously but they make it clear that they should at least try.

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 16-Oct-15 14:36:14

FiveHoursSleep that's good to know. DD hasn't started her periods yet and has been doing swimming this half-term. Do they only do one half-term of swimming each year? If so, then hopefully we won't need to worry about this until at least Y8.

Defenderwife Fri 16-Oct-15 14:37:42

But why should they 'try'. It's a very very personal choice and one a lot of women don't make. I use tampons but would never make a daughter of mine use them just so she could take part in a silly hour of swimming at school. Unless she is headed for Olympic glory what's the big deal. Plenty of other sports during PE.

ealingwestmum Fri 16-Oct-15 17:32:11

My DD's secondary school does not force girls to swim. It asks that girls who cannot take part due to their menstrual cycle brings a note to that effect.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeighHoghItsBacktoWorkIGo Fri 16-Oct-15 18:24:05

Agree defenderwife. If they are comfortable with tampons that's fine, it's out of order to push though.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 16-Oct-15 19:56:53

TheSecondOfHerName I think it might be a couple of half terms a year. Personally I think it is good to encourage the girls to treat their periods as no big deal, and using tampons and being able to carry on swimming fits in well with this, I think. But each to their own, it's the way we deal with it in this house and I have no problems if other women/girls choose not to use tampons.
DD2 had her period for their Y7 trip too and they have a choice between swimming and running each morning. She was desperate to swim and this motivated her to get to grips with tampons before she went.

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 16-Oct-15 20:14:27

Oh well, that'll be another half term of her leaving her wet swimming kit in her locker or on the bus. We'll just have to cross the tampon bridge when we get to it.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 16-Oct-15 21:36:10

LOL at tampon bridge. It's a good attitude to have smile

Muskey Fri 16-Oct-15 21:46:19

Dd has been having periods for the last 7 months. She is the only one in her class y7 to have started. She isn't coping well with them as they are very heavy and she has quite an irregular cycle. I certainly would not make her use tampons just for a swimming lesson. The school are very good all she needs to do is to tell the teacher that she is having her period. No notes or anything

GrinAndTonic Fri 16-Oct-15 21:58:06

swimming can actually stop the bleeding due to pressure changes from the water. If there was any blood it would be a minimal amount. It's not as if she would be trailing litres of blood like a jaws victim. She has to do what she feels best but not get into the habit of using her period as an excuse to get out of sport (I played competitive water polo in high school with periods so heavy I'd have to change a super tampon hourly so I understand the swimming concern).

woodlands01 Fri 16-Oct-15 22:10:51

I am a teacher and the schools I have worked in would be sympathetic to this situation and allow students to sit out.
I would be uncomfortable forcing a secondary school student to try tampons, I think that is a very personal and they should try when they are ready.
My daughter (14) is a very keen swimmer and will swim with a slimline panty liner in swimsuit during a period, as another poster mentioned, we have not experienced any trails of blood flow! I remember only once she didn't want to do it due to heavy period.

MustBeLoopy390 Fri 16-Oct-15 22:16:44

I started mine at age 9, sat out of both PE and swimming because of bad (and I mean bad) cramping during mild periods. If I had heavies I was off school. It's a personal thing, and IMO 'using periods as an excuse to get out of sports' is as acceptable as NOT letting them affect sports participation it's all down to the individual and how they feel. I certainly wouldn't be happy with a school pushing young girls to 'at least try' tampon use.

AFewGoodWomen Fri 16-Oct-15 22:33:18

No child should be pushed to use a tampon.

They would be missing a couple of swimming lessons s month, not three weeks of triple maths.

Not sure why swimming lessons should take precedence over girls' bodily integrity.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AFewGoodWomen Sat 17-Oct-15 06:07:14

Our school encourages them to get to grips with tampons for when they swim. They can't make them use them, obviously but they make it clear that they should at least try.

I would be very unhappy with the school encouraging this. It's way beyond their remit.

NationMcKinley Sat 17-Oct-15 06:16:28

IME they're not expected to swim while they've got their period.

300 years ago when I was at school it had its own swimming pool which was outside and very poorly not heated. We had lessons ALL year round. One year we actually had to break through the ice to get in (I shit you not). I may have had 2 periods a month that winter wink

nagynolonger Sat 17-Oct-15 07:44:40

The PS staff should have no say in what sanitary protection someone uses. Lots of young girls don't use tampons. They may find using them painful or just not like the idea of using them. It's up to them no one should be 'encouraging'.

If they are keen/club swimmers they will get to grip with tampons. Everyone one else just needs to be able to swim and that ideally should have be taught before they get to secondary school. I don't think any child left my DC primary school a non swimmer. They went on a bus to the nearest town every week from year 1 to 6. I think that's changed and they now only go in years 2 and 3.

When my own DD and DNieces were at school the teachers just allowed girls to sit out of swimming or join another PE group for the week. If girls tried it on to avoid games they had to take a note from parents.

nagynolonger Sat 17-Oct-15 07:49:05

That should be PE Staff.

pourmeanotherglass Sun 18-Oct-15 17:24:37

DD1 is in year 8 and won't wear tampons. She tried, but found them uncomfortable. I write a note in her planner. At her school, there are 2 sets, and one does swimming while the other does dance or netball, so any girls not doing swimming swap sets for the lesson.

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