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Ages & Stages

Tampon Safety and Toxic Shock Syndrome

Change tampons at least every three to four hours.

Know the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal bacterial infection seen almost exclusively in girls and young women who wear tampons:

Initial Symptoms

  • Vomiting
  • Fever of 102° or higher
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Aching muscles

Within 24 Hours

  • Sunburn-like rash
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Redness under the eyes, inside the mouth, in the vagina

Days 3 and 4

  • Broken blood vessels may appear on the skin

Other Possible Symptoms

  • Confusion
  • Decreased urination
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Extreme thirst
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Pale complexion
  • Cool, moist skin
  • Rapid breathing
Last Updated
Caring for Your Teenager (Copyright © 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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