Boys, guard your 'family jewels'
It's hard enough being a teenage boy (not to mention the mom of one!) without having to worry about this: A recent survey of urologists conducted at MSNBC's behest calls attention to the painful phenomenon in which boys hit each other in the groin.
Of 100 urologists polled, 30 percent said they'd treated teen or pre-teen boys for testicular injuries in the past year, some of them severe, including injuries resulting from intentional hits (as opposed to sports injuries and other accidents).
The matter made headlines last month when a 14-year-old Minnesota boy had to have a testicle amputated after he was punched in the groin while changing classes at school.
The practice known as "sack-tapping" -- and a lot of other names that I'm not allowed to repeat here -- has apparently been fueled by YouTube, where tons of kids have documented their exploits.
At the very least, getting hit (or kicked) down there is painful. But it can also do real damage, such as rupturing the testicle, as the Minnesota boy's case illustrates.
I know, boys have been hitting each other between the legs forever. The frustrating thing for parents is trying to figure out what to do about it. You can counsel your own child never to hit another person, especially not in the groin. But short of equipping him with a cup to wear every day, preventive and protective measures are hard to come by.
Other than that, as with so much about raising an adolescent, you just have to cross your fingers and hope everybody grows out of it soon.
Jennifer LaRue Huget
June 7, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: General Health , Teens
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