Monday, August 5, 2013

St. Louis Children's Hospital Tells Parents to Harm Their Sons (UPDATE!)

UPDATE! St. Louis Children's Hospital crafted a response that they copy/pasted in reply to everyone who posted on their Facebook wall:

It appears they have edited the online version of their statement, removing the erroneous retraction advice and replacing it with a short blurb on being "uncircumcised."

Also note that Brother K has organized a rally on October 1st! Please join us in front of The St. Louis Children's Hospital to spread awareness in a sorely needed area. Missouri circumcision rate remains one of the highest in the country and with hospitals and doctors like this, it's no wonder! Rally details here:

Take a look at what a large hospital is mailing to its local residents under the guise of helpful parenting advice:

Thank you to reader Eileen C from St. Louis, MO, who shared this with me!)

In an upbeat, seemingly authoritative newsletter called Kids Today, The St. Louis Children's Hospital solicits neonatal circumcision surgery and then takes it another step farther by pushing some of the most outdated, damaging foreskin care you can find. Most parents who research the circumcision topic have probably heard of the medically inaccurate advice to retract or wash under their young child's foreskin. But this hospital had to go farther, recommending a thorough drying underneath before replacing the foreskin. It's hard to conjure up something not only more damaging, but also more torturous!

To add to the gravity, the beloved AAP which is cited several times in this small article is suddenly ignored at the end. Even the AAP has basic guidelines on caring for foreskins. You can read their statement here:

"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 teen 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 the foreskin fully separates, do not try to pull it back. Forcing the foreskin to retract before it is ready can cause severe pain, bleeding, and tears in the skin."

Parents: this kind of marketing to drum up circumcision business at a big hospital just goes to show that you have to be the one to take charge. Do the research. Be prepared. Don't expect hospitals and doctors to choose the health of your son over their business needs. It's still buyer beware for the consumer, even when it comes to doctors and hospitals.

More about circumcision:

How many babies must die?

Large list of circumcision links divided by topic (pain, statistics, infections, sex, etc)

Circumcision and sexual disease:

What if my son has already been retracted?

What can you do if a doctor or other medical employee harmed your son?

How to care for a boy with a normal (intact) penis:


  1. I sent them an email about this. Hope to hear something positive back.

  2. I believe the doctors KNOW this is wrong and tell parents damaging info to cause problems and more money for the doctors.

  3. Amazing how parents must know more about anatomy than the "doctors"! I believe they KNOW the right info but tell this to CAUSE harm and more money for themselves!