It’s that time of year again! Warm, sunny days spent poolside or playing on a sandy beach. It’s what kids of all ages wait for all year long.
But for some kids—young boys, specifically—a trip to their favorite swimming spot may not be what they expect. In fact, all mothers should take head—this story will not only shock you, but it could also save your little angel from a traumatic experience they will not soon forget.
This first-hand account tells the cautionary tale of one mother and her toddler who decided to take an innocent swim wearing a typical boy’s bathing suit—you know the one, with the white mesh netting that sits inside the outer fabric.
Well, as it turns out, this synthetic netting can be a real hazard for small boys and their penises that can easily become tangled in the material.
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Laura Collins, 33, and her five-year-old son, Jack, were vacationing in Lanzarote, Spain. After a day of swimming Collins took Jack to wash off and remove his bathing suit. To her surprise, when she tried to pull the suit off, Jack became frantic. “He let out the most gut-wrenching scream I’ve ever heard; it’s a sound no mother should ever hear,” Collins recounted to the Mirror. (1)
It was then that Collins noticed Jack’s penis was essentially “strangled” in the netting, which apparently had a small tear in it. She desperately tried to untangle the boy’s penis but it was swelling too quickly so she took Jack to the medical centre at the hotel only to find out they could not help.
No child should have to endure such pain
The netting had became caught around the end of his willy and it was strangulating it. “There were two little bubbles, like skin, on either side,” she said. “Like it was going to burst.”
So Collins and her son, who was becoming increasingly hysterical, raced to the nearest hospital. Doctors immediately gave Jack an anesthetic to help relieve his unbearable pain. Moments later, doctors were able to cut the boy free.
Not the first time
Once free, doctors carefully examined Jack’s penis. The appendage had become so swollen they were concerned the boy would suffer permanent damage to not only his urinary tract but as well other internal structures.
Luckily, Jack was eventually able to urinate. Jack would be fine, but the real shock came when the doctors revealed Jack’s catastrophic experience was not the first they had seen. The seemingly innocuous netting in swimming suits can pose a problem, especially if it is damaged in any way.
In fact, another 5-year-old boy, Ronan Sinclair from Fall River, NS also fell victim to a bathing suit debacle. Apparently, the young boy was swimming with his siblings at their grandmother’s pool when the boy’s aunt, Debbie Snow, heard a terrifying sound. “I heard Ronan screaming, ‘Auntie Debbie, my pee pee is stuck,’” the woman told Global News. (2)
Like little Jack, “The small hole of the mesh in the bathing suit had basically snagged his skin, his foreskin, and that snagged skin had swelled. We couldn’t get it off him at that point,” his mother, Michelle Hilchie-Sinclair said.
Little boys need to warry
According to a study conducted from 1991-2010, pediatric genital injuries represent 0.6 percent of all pediatric injuries and 43.4 percent of these injuries were to young boy’s penises. Of these injuries, 5.6 percent were caused by clothing. (3)
Good news for the boys
While Jack and Ronan are fine now, both mothers want to warn others to simply cut the mesh netting out of bathing suits. Collins did contact Tesco, the company that made the swimming trunks Jack wore, and a spokesman for the company said, “Whilst we will be conducting an investigation with the manufacturer we would like to assure our customers that all our swim shorts meet the industry standards required for the mesh lining.”
So parents, it looks like it is up to you to assure your kids are safe. Not all kids are so lucky. Some children can experience delayed complications including, “…infection, curvature, erectile dysfunction, unrecognized urethral injury, and chronic pain,” according to a study published in BioMed Research International. (4)
Although pediatric genital injuries are essentially only a small number of the overall injuries that wind up in the emergency department according to experts, genital injuries are still on the rise. So parents should be cautious—as bizarre as these accidents may seem—the possibility that these types of injuries can happen to your children is very real.