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Cleaning/Pulling Back Foreskin Question?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I held to the belief of not pulling back the foreskin faithfully...when should it start?

I have read that it should be pulled back so they can clean under it in the bathtub and pull it back when urinating. My son does not do either....he is almost five years old.

Should I start teaching him now to pull it back in the tub and while going to the bathroom?

~Charlene~
post #2 of 11
I wouldn't worry just have him do what he does when he pees and how he takes his bath . He will do that in his own time when it feels comfy enough for him.

Some boys it takes til puberty time some earlier! Some not even til they reach 18.
post #3 of 11
You should NEVER pull it back. There is nothing to clean. When your son is retractile, you can then teach him to retract his foreskin and rinse the glans with warm water in the bath or shower.
post #4 of 11
The only one who should be pulling back his foreskin is him! You can instruct him to try it himself, but if it isn't separated yet you could hurt him.
post #5 of 11
He should start retracting and rinsing in the shower when he is a teenager.
post #6 of 11
My 5yo is partially retractable- we do not retract it, he does. When he is in the bath, we tell him to pull it back as far as he comfortably can, and swish it in the water (which he loves doing anyway ), but its more for practice than cleaning, so that he'll have the idea of what to do when he is older. He never pulls it back when urinating.
I second the others- no one should do this but him, and he should only do it if he is comfortable with it. Don't worry if he does not- it'll come with time.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!!

He can retract it on his own...it is almost fully retractable.

So, the concensus is that he does not need to pull it back while urinating and when in the tub he can pull it back and give a swish...

Thanks!

~Charlene~
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!!

He can retract it on his own...it is almost fully retractable.

So, the concensus is that he does not need to pull it back while urinating and when in the tub he can pull it back and give a swish...

Thanks!

~Charlene~
post #9 of 11
Quote:
What Is Foreskin Retraction?

Sometime during the first several years of your son's life, his foreskin, which covers the head of the penis, will separate from the glans. Some foreskins separate soon after birth or even before birth, but this is rare. When it happens is different for every child. It may take a few weeks, months or years.

After the foreskin separates from the glans, it can be pulled back away from the glans toward the abdomen. This is called foreskin retraction.

Most boys will be able to retract their foreskins by the time they are 5 years old, yet others will not be able to until the teenage years. As a boy becomes more aware of his body, he will most likely discover how to retract his own foreskin. But foreskin retraction should never be forced. Until separation occurs, do not try to pull the foreskin back — especially an infant's. Forcing the foreskin to retract before it is ready may severely harm the penis and cause pain, bleeding and tears in the skin.

American Academy of Pediatrics
Quote:
Retraction of the Foreskin

At birth, the foreskin is usually attached to the glans, very much as a fingernail is attached to a finger. By puberty, the penis will usually have completed its development, and the foreskin will have separated from the glans.8 This separation occurs in its own time; there is no set age by which the foreskin and glans must be separated. One wise doctor described the process thus, "The foreskin therefore can be likened to a rosebud which remains closed and muzzled. Like a rosebud, it will only blossom when the time is right. No one opens a rosebud to make it blossom."9

Even if the glans and foreskin separate naturally in infancy, the foreskin Ups can normally dilate only enough to allow the passage of urine. This ideal feature protects the glans from premature exposure to the external environment.

The penis develops naturally throughout childhood. Eventually, the child will, on his own, make the wondrous discovery that his foreskin will retract. There is no reason for parents, physicians, or other caregivers to manipulate a child's penis. The only person to retract a child's foreskin should be the child himself, when he has discovered that his foreskin is ready to retract.

Mothering Magazine: The Case Against Circumcision
Quote:
The tightness of the foreskin is a safety mechanism that protects the glans and urethra from direct exposure to contaminants and germs. The tight foreskin also keeps the boy's glans warm, clean, and moist, and when he is an adult, it will give him pleasure. As long as your son can urinate, he is perfectly normal. There is no age by which a child's foreskin must be retractable. Do not let your doctor or anyone try to retract your child's foreskin. Optimal hygiene of the penis demands that the foreskin of infants and children be left alone.

Mothering Magazine: Protect Your Uncircumcised Son: Expert Medical Advice for Parents
Quote:
Avoidance of premature retraction. Care-givers and healthcare providers must be careful to avoid premature retraction of the foreskin, which is contrary to medical recommendations, painful, traumatic, tears the attachment points (synechiae), may cause infection, is likely to generate medico-legal problems, and may cause paraphimosis, with the tight foreskin acting like a tourniquet. The first person to retract the boy’s foreskin should be the boy himself.3

The Development of Retractile Foreskin in the Child and Adolescent
A guidance for healthcare providers from Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Also available in a PDF leaflet.
See Also: Intact Care Agreement
post #10 of 11
My almost 5 yr old is retractable and has been since around 3 (I think).

I do remind him to pull it back in the tub (when either of us think of it) and he does pull it back when he pees, only b/c, he can shoot farther w/the foreskin out of the way
post #11 of 11
Yep, if he is retractable on his own, having him pull it back in the bathtub and swish it in the water is ok, but be sure not to have bubble bath in the tub and NO SOAP!!! Also, if he is having issues with spraying when he pees, he can pull the foreskin back a little while peeing to prevent that, but otherwise it isnt necessary. I just make my ds (who isnt retractable anyway) sit when he pees cause he drips all over the place anyway, lol.
Also, be sure to tell him to put the foreskin back into place after he swishes. You'd think it would be obvious but kids are funny sometimes
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