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An Issue Unaddressed

February 12, 2018

Walk into any girls restroom at East Middle School, and you will find the usual: sinks, soap dispensers, toilet paper, toilets, and hand dryers. But one thing is missing. A feminine products machine.

 

The average time for a female to start her period is between ages 10-15; the average age is 12 years old. By the time a female is twelve years old she is either in sixth or seventh grade.  Throughout middle school being on your period can be a rough experience, especially when your school bathrooms do not only not have a free feminine products machine but do not have one at all.

 

This issue is a rather large one,what happens when a female student runs out of the products she needs for the school day? Or when her family cannot afford what she needs? It’s true, feminine hygiene products are available in the office for asking, but many middle school girls are too embarrassed to ask for one.

 

Keeping the same sanitary product for more than four hours can lead to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), an infection caused by a staph bacteria known as Staphylococcus aureus. TSS is rare but very severe. According to the Washington Post, one per 100,000 women get TSS from not changing their product.

 

According to a Reuters article by Barbara Goldberg, girls and women spend $70 a year on sanitary products, not including the money spent replacing clothing when an accident happens. In fact, a 2013 survey from FreeTheTampons.org,¨86 percent of U.S women say they have unexpectedly started their period and did not have the products they needed.

 

East Middle School should invest in free sanitary product machines to ensure students’ health and undivided attention in class. I believe that if these products were offered in our girls restrooms, we would see an improvement in attendance and a reduction in the stress.

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