Slow-Close Lids: Family Potty Seats with a Penis-Saving Feature

Blogs are abuzz with a recent BBC report, Toddlers’ toilet seat crush peril. Safety experts have become hip to real incidents of potty training tragedy where heavy toilet lids slam down on boys’ wee little ones. Thanks to Thinga-reader Andrew Fields for sharing this news.

Sound far-fetched? Read this first-hand account of a penile crush injury:

“I am the mother of a 3-and-half-year-old boy and just want to share what happened to my son so no other little boy has to go through the same thing. My son was going to the bathroom last week and was playing with the lid [...] I was with my daughter [...] when suddenly I heard a scream like I have never heard before in my life.

I immediately ran to him and picked him up. As he screamed, I prayed for the nurse in me to kick in because I had to look even though I didn’t want to. Well the tip of his penis was immediately all shades of black and purple. We went to the [emergency room] and quite honestly the first couple of hours we weren’t sure how it was going to end up. It was too swollen for him to urinate and his bladder was full.

They were afraid to pass a catheter because of the trauma. Well, PS we ended up being quite lucky as the swelling came down and he could pee again. The funny thing is he was a little disappointed when I told him it wouldn’t stay purple, “Ah but purple is my favorite color.”

Needless to say, there is something called a slow-close toilet seat that you can purchase to prevent this from happening. I just don’t want it to happen to another little boy!” -BabyCenter web forum message.

Oof, sounds like an argument against circumcision. I’ll take a protective layer of skin for my son, thankyouverymuch.

Logistically, it seems like a kid doesn’t have to be “playing with the lid” for tragedy to strike… imagine he’s just closing the lid with his pants down and his hand slips.

But here at Thingamababy we do more than just shock you with penis pulverizing nightmares. We seek solutions. The rules for family toilet seats have been rewritten. A lot of previous recommendations have gone out the window. A critical feature to consider is a slow-close lid.

That’s obviously a video of an adult toilet seat. Here are three toddler-friendly seats:

Photo of a Kohler Transitions Quiet-Close toilet seat.

Kohler Transitions Quiet-Close Toilet Seat — It’s plastic and designed for elongated toilets. The Amazon sale page references a “quiet-close” lid, but Kohler has a video demonstrating the slow-close. It’s clear manufacturers are focused on noise, not about preserving our ability to be grandparents one day. They would never ignore a scare-tactic selling point if they were aware of it.

Photo of an Xpress Trainer round toilet seat.

Xpress Trainer — This is the first seat I purchased. It’s made from strong and sturdy plastic. I foolishly replaced it with a penis-crushing model because I wanted a locking clip that keeps the toddler seat attached to the lid when not in use (creating less annoyance for adult guests). But since I became a penis preservation advocate, I have not located a slow-close seat that has a locking clip. Until that day, Xpress Trainer is a fine seat.

Photo of a Flip-N-Flush potty seat.

Flip-N-Flush [manufacturer's site] — This inexpensive addition to your existing toilet seat doesn’t prevent crush injuries, but you could buy a colored Flip-N-Flush and train your kid to keep the white toilet lid up at all times. Or you could tape the lid to the toilet tank. Or you could use self-adhessive Velcro to secure the lid to the toilet tank.  Or you could install an adult slow-close lid for use with the Flip-N-Flush.

Perhaps most importantly, Flip-N-Flush is the only potentially penis-friendly seat that includes a splash guard.

I’d like to think this is Part 1 of a two part look at better potty seats. Manufacturers need to make family seats that have the three crucial features: #1 slow-close lids, #2 splash guards and #3 locking clips that keep the toddler seat attached to the lid when not in use. I’ll write Part 2 just as soon as manufacturers catch up.

If you know of a better potty seat, please, post a comment! Also, share you experiences with any of these seats, or your own horrific purple penis incidents.


12 Responses to “Slow-Close Lids: Family Potty Seats with a Penis-Saving Feature”

  1. Divrchk says:

    We have slow close lids on all of our toilets. The brand is Bemis and we bought them at Home Depot and we love them!

    December 15th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

  2. AJ says:

    (For clarification, that’s an adult Bemis seat Divrchk used with a cushie toddler insert. Thanks for the quick follow-up Divrchk.)

    December 15th, 2008 at 12:09 pm

  3. Ticia says:

    My son had the misfortune of having that accident, but we had him eat a bowl of ice cream, while holding the ice cream on his lap, and that kept the swelling down. In a strange way we’re grateful for his accident, because it alerted us to the fact that he had a hernia, and that could have been worse.

    December 16th, 2008 at 6:50 am

  4. SarraJK says:

    We have slow close lids at home, but the problem is that they aren’t on toilets outside the home. And since he’s used to the slow close, he probably expects them to all be that way.

    My three and a half year old son dropped the seat on his penis at school last month, luckily he was fine. I had no idea about the potential for serious injury.

    He definitely learned a lesson though. He’s very careful with all seats now.

    December 16th, 2008 at 7:21 am

  5. burrito-mama says:

    I have always had my son sit to pee. The toilet is cleaner AND there’s no danger of horrific penis incidents.

    December 16th, 2008 at 8:14 am

  6. Phil says:

    Are we the only ones who haven’t taught our 3 year old to stand-and-pee? Our rationale has been “why invite the mess that will follow?” But I guess the lack of penis-smashing is a side bonus.

    Maybe our kid is unique in that he hasn’t tried it on his own. He’s seen me stand-and-pee but I’ve always just said that’s what adults and older kids do… I suppose his standing-and-peeing days are just ’round the bend.

    December 16th, 2008 at 10:18 am

  7. Janelle says:

    Oh my, I will bring this to my husband’s attention. We have a 10 month old son and up to this point I never gave toilet seats much thought. With potty training in our near future, we may need change things out a bit. Thanks.

    December 16th, 2008 at 9:25 pm

  8. Reinventing Dad says:

    My 4 1/2 year old son has never had issues with peeing standing up…and thankfully no penis accidents (now something else to worry about…thanks a lot!) Funny thing is that it’s his sister that SITS on the potty who makes a bigger mess.

    December 16th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

  9. Dinosaur FIsh says:

    check this seat out (I don’t have it but am thinking of buying it):

    Magnolia Progressions Slow Close Combo Adult/Juvenile Toilet Seat

    December 27th, 2008 at 4:10 pm

  10. AJ says:

    Dinosaur, I’m guessing the Magnolia is the Xpress Trainer linked above, or is made by the same manufacturer and sold under a different brand name. They both have a heart-shaped lid and look the same.

    December 27th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

  11. Johbeak says:

    Thanks for the great post–though my reasons for looking for a slow close seat are not for penis-saving purposes specifically (my son sits to pee).

    I have a TOTO brand toilet and it already has a softclose seat that we love. Something to note about the newer toilets, the seats slope inward for comfort, so all the potty training inserts do not work with them and are not secure. My search has landed me to this post with the great list. My options prior to reading this was to stick with the training potty (yuck!) or get a normal, “flat” seat that the training seat will fit on, and lose the softclose for now. Glad to see they make transition softclose seats after all!

    April 17th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

  12. Mary says:

    Our three year old took to potty training wonderfully and has stood to pee since the beginning. And yes today his 20 month old brother thought he was done peeing, shut the lid and climbed up on top of the toilet. There was some screaming and swelling, the tip turned purple. But I don’t think wasting money on a fancy toilet seat is the answer, what will he do at school? Hopefully we’ll learn from the incident, and we’ll keep little brother away!!

    September 22nd, 2009 at 6:33 pm