Voices is the Dorset Echo's weekly youth page - written for young people by young people aged 10 to 18 from across the county.

This week Kate Rainford asks why we are not talking about Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare but real condition affecting 40 people in the UK every year and, in the most serious cases, it causes three to four deaths a year.

But what is TSS, and why aren't we talking about it?

TSS is a skin infection caused by the release of poisonous substances from an overgrowth of bacteria called staphylococcus , or 'staph' for short, found in many women's bodies.

One of the leading causes of TSS is when a woman leaves a tampon in for too long.

There have been unfortunate cases in men as well, such as Christopher Whitely, age 7, who after being splashed with hot water, sadly passed away a few days later, as a result of TSS.

Most women will have seen the leaflets about TSS inside tampon boxes, but how many of us have really read one and why is it overlooked?

Whilst TSS was hugely publicized in the 1980s and 1990s, the awareness of it seems to have drastically dropped, leaving many girls to be ignorant of the full dangers.

The older generation don't appear to be talking about these types of problems as much, leaving the younger generation uneducated in particular areas.

All this said, a legal requirement is in place to ensure that each box of tampons has a warning about TSS on the outside, and often a information leaflet on the inside (some brands do make the issue clearer than others).

Yet with the rise of period poverty across the UK, many women struggle to afford necessary sanitary products and they may feel they need to use a single tampon for longer - potentially putting their health at risk.

Girls up and down the country tend to be given a puberty talk around Year 6 (aged 10 or 11), however most of these girls won't have started their periods, and therefore will not be using tampons at this age.

Consequently, I feel as though these lessons should be reiterated at an older age, perhaps Year 10 (aged 14 or 15) so girls already using tampons, or about to, understand the potential dangers.

By Kate Rainford