Writing in the December issue of BJU International, a group of doctors in in Great Britain have expressed concern about the growing number of heavy wooden and ornamental toilet seats. They aren’t concerned so much with aesthetics as they are with the fact that four boys under the age of four were recently hospitalized after suffereing crushing injuries to their penises when these unusual hefty toilet seats chose the wrong moment to submit to gravitational forces acting about a fixed axis.
“A recent market research report has suggested that there has been a worldwide increase in the number of wooden and ceramic toilet seats sold,” said one of the physicians, Dr. Joe Philip. “We would not be surprised to hear that other colleagues have noticed an increase in penis crush injuries as a result of this.”
The symptoms and course were about what you would expect:
Three had a build up of fluid in their foreskin, but were still able to pass urine, and the fourth had glanular tenderness.
Luckily there were no urethal injuries or bleeding and the symptoms settled down with pain relief. All the children were able to go home the next day.
The authors offer four recommendations:
1. Parents should consider fitting toilet seats that fall slowly and with reduced momentum, markedly reducing the risk and degree of injury.
2. Heavier toilet seats could be banned in houses with male infants.
3. Households with male infants should consider leaving the toilet seat up after use, even though it contradicts the social norm of putting it down.
4. Parents could educate their toddlers to hold the toilet seat up with one hand when they pass urine and keep an eye on them until they are confident that they are able to do it unsupervised.
Why anyone would feel compelled to embellish something literally fated to be pissed on is a question I will leave to others, but I do have to wonder how many other boys narrowly escaped the fate this unfortunate quartet did not. To my thinking, it requires quite a bit of strategic positioning to catch a phallus attached to someone that small in the path of anything, much less a toilet seat. Such forensics, however, are perhaps best left unexplored, as the visuals are grisly enough.