Protect Yourself Rules - Grades K-3
Protecting His Private Parts
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Fans of the popularGrey’s Anatomywill remember when one of the lead characters did the unthinkable: He fractured his penis during sex. Apparently within hours of its airing, the phrases “penile fracture” and “broken penis” were the top search terms on Google.
Arousal causes rapidly pumping blood to get trapped in the penis. The surrounding stretchy sheath expands and thins as the penis thickens and lengthens. If it stretches beyond a certain point, the layers can rip releasing a small surge of blood. Doctors call this a fracture despite the lack of bones in the penis. Young men are more at risk because of the “athleticism of their activities” and certain positions are more perilous than others.
Rewind to the toddler years — it’s not only the big kids at risk for injuries. A study cited by doctors in the UK several years ago noted an increasing number of male toddlers treated for penile crush injuries. They attribute this to a growing trend of heavy wooden and ornamental toilet seats. According to the report, in totally separate incidences four boys between ages 2 and 4 had recently been toilet trained. They were practicing their newfound skill on their own and lifted the toilet seats, which fell back down and crushed their penises. Each child was hospitalized, although none of them suffered urethral injuries or bleeding, and all symptoms dissipated with pain medications. They were each only hospitalized overnight.
Dr. Barry Kogan, Chief of the Division of Urology at Albany Medical College and co-editor of the Handbook of Pediatric Urology, has treated the occasional toddler with toilet seat injuries. Although it rarely causes long-term problems, “often the parents feel guilty and are as traumatized as the kids. Although some have long-term anxiety about getting near toilets, most do fine after the initial scare.”
The doctors who published the study in the British Journal of Urology made the following recommendations after studying the cases. They suggest parents adjust the toilet seat so that it falls very slowly with reduced momentum, which will reduce the risk or severity of injury. If the toilet seat is particularly heavy, it should not be used in houses with male children. Everyone should be counseled to leave the toilet seat up after use and parents should teach their kids to hold the seat up with one hand while they are urinating and supervise them until it is clear they can accomplish this.
Use the following tips to keep the boys in the house injury free:
- When visiting friends and relatives, check out the toilet seats before your toddler goes to the bathroom.
- Accompany him if necessary, even if he is eager to assert his independence because an injury can cause a great setback in toilet training.
- Inform your big guy that treatment for a penile fracture is usually accomplished with emergency surgery and most men can resume a normal sex life.
- And that perilous position you are dying to know? When the woman is on top, bending too far can create excessive torque on the penis.
Video: How to train your kids to protect private parts
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