3 Crucial Toilet Training Lessons That Could Save Your Boys a World of Pain

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toilet seatParents, there's a little-known threat to your children we need to discuss. It's almost too horrible to mention, but -- did you know toilet seats are attacking little boys' penises at an increasing rate? Maybe I could have phrased that better. A new study shows that injuries caused by toilet seats falling down on boys' penises are on the rise. This happens to adult men, too, but mostly it's happening to little guys who have just learned how to pee standing up. And it's sending some of them to the emergency room.

As the mother of a little guy, OUCH. This concerns me. Maybe seat safety should become part of toilet training for boys?

Between 2002 and 2010 there were 13,175 genital injuries that sent people to the emergency room. Of those, 68 percent involved someone's penis getting crushed between the toilet seat and bowl. And of those, 97 percent were for little boys under the age of seven. So -- now you get the picture. It's rare, but you wouldn't want it to happen to your son, would you?

So I've been thinking about how parents can teach their boys to prevent these accidents. Here's a few ideas.

1. When boys are big enough to use the regular toilet, make them aware (without scaring them) that this is something that could happen to them if they're not careful.

2. Get them into the habit of holding the seat up with one hand. (Will that work? Or will that distraction keep them from holding onto the fire hose with their other hand and create more of a mess to clean up? I guess we'll just have to try it out and see.)

3. Teach your son to gently lower the seat back down only after he's completely finished every last drop and put his penis back away in a safe place. Rushing through it all can cause painful accidents, too.

Kids (of both genders) can be hasty and impatient with their bathroom habits as it is -- this seems like a good excuse to teach them to slow down in general. Is it optimistic of me to think teaching boys to be aware of falling toilet seats could actually lead to cleaner bathrooms? Probably. But it's worth a try.

Has your son ever been crushed by a falling toilet seat?


Image via macaron*macaron/Flickr


potty training


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nonmember avatar bridgitt

We have a soft close toilet seat. Can't slam it. Won't accidentally crush my little man when he's peeing. Highly recommend.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I remember my son yelling one day and when I asked what happened he told me the toilet tried to eat his penis. After that he always held it up with one hand if he was standing but he usually sits anyway.

nonmember avatar MammaMel

DO NOT let them set it ON the bowl...my son used to do that! He now uses a step stool to pee so he is above the bowl (also have a slow closing seat)

nonmember avatar Momo

I am a teacher in a toddler room. We work on potty training before preschool. I have to say, that's one of the worst habits the boys have. I'm always telling them to be careful.

eeyore13 eeyore13

We avoided all of those problems by teaching them to sit to pee. It wasn't until they had to go to a public restroom with daddy that they learned to stand. There was a lot less mess that way, too.

Glenna Saavedra

Why cant boys or men sit on the bowl to pee if they feel like it???


Ariel Evans

couple more things: 

1. Teach them to sit to pee---my son did it for awhile and we just decided once he was fully and absolutely potty trained we'd teach him to stand.
2. slow closing seat--we have one that has a toddler sized hole and an adult sized hole...they are both slow closing.
3. Don't teach them to lift the seat, just teach them to clean it once they are done---this is what my 4-year-old does. The point is that it's clean---not that the seat has to be lifted.  

Pamela Faye Reid

It happened to my little brother so when I had my boys I knew to teach them to be wary. They each came up with their own solution. One sits one holds the seat up with one hand. The littlest isn't potty training yet, so we'll see.

daevans daevans

We have a cushioned toilet seats, but he knows to hold up the seat. If it did fall on him, it wouldn't hurt as bad. The youngest one sits, and he's 18 months

moody... moodypbreg

I have 6 boys and I learned with my first that it was just safer, quicker, and easier to teach them to pee over the seat and clean up any mess they make. When they are first training I train them sitting down til they express an interest to stand. Besides the dangers of a falling seats when we are out using public restrooms they often have to come into the woman's room with me and it might seem silly but the idea of touching the seat in public restrooms just kinda grossed me out. I also noticed when peeing over the seat they had less mess, if they got distracted and peed to close to the edge they had to wipe a seat, with the seat up if they got to close to the edge I was cleaning the floor and side of the toilet again. Also peeing over the seat eliminate arguing with them to remember to put the seat down so I don't fall in the toilet at 2am when I'm not actually awake.

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