ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – It’s a cultural practice that’s sometimes controversial — but are there truly medical benefits to circumcising your baby?
While doctors say yes, a demonstration against circumcision is being held this Saturday at noon outside of Beaumont Children’s Hospital.
“It’s not normal to be cutting off normal parts of a child’s body. It violates children and their rights,” said Norm Cohen is the director of a group called No Circ Michigan. [MORE HERE]
Beaumont pediatrician Rita Pate says the procedure reduces a man’s risk of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and certain sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
Patel says 80 to 90 percent of male babies delivered at Beaumont circumcised — but it’s ultimately a matter of parental preference.
“It’s really a parent’s decision,” Patel told WWJ Health Reporter Sean Lee. “I encourage them, if they’ve got any questions or concerns, to ask their physicians.
“They should absolutely make sure that their baby gets good pain control If they do opt to do a circumcision,” she said.
Patel says pain management, usually a local anesthetic, has been the norm for about decade. Patel also says the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend routine circumcision, but the group acknowledges the benefits outweigh the risks.
In an American Academy of Pediatrics statement cited by Beaumont, conclusions were drawn about both circumcised and uncircumcised babies. The report states that “there is an increased risk of urinary tract infection in uncircumcised males, especially in babies younger than 1 year of age. However, the risk for urinary tract infections in all boys is less than 1 percent.”
The report also states that “newborn circumcision does provide some protection from cancer of the penis. However, the overall risk of penis cancer is very low in developed countries, such as the United States.” Pediatricians urge parents to take proper care of their children following the procedure, and Beaumont says keeping the area clean and regularly changing dressings will help the child heal within one to two weeks.
Parents also need to take precautions if they opt not to get their child circumcised. Making sure that the child does not struggle urinating is important as the area grows and the foreskin shifts. Beaumont recommends keeping the area clean and taking the child to his or her physician for regular checkups.