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Crisis in the Bathroom

The British Journal of Urology reports a rash of penis-crush injuries associated with a trend towards installing heavy wooden and ornamental toilet seats. The problem is that when toddlers are unable to lift the toilet seat completely, they let go and are not quick enough to pull a rather important piece of anatomy out of the way. The Journal article discusses four documented cases in which the injuries resulted in a buildup of fluid and tenderness in the injured organ.

The researchers advise that parents should teach young boys to hold the toilet seat up with one hand while urinating. They also suggest that parents consider investing in toilet seats that fall slowly with reduced momentum. Good advice. For sure, two words we never want to see in the same sentence are “crushed” and “penis.” As the authors note, heavy toilet seats not only pose a risk to young boys’ health, but also to their confidence. No doubt. Maybe we should, although it is against social norms, urge people to make sure the toilet seat up after finishing their activities. Girls who have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night may of course complain. But a cold butt trumps a crushed penis.

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