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Circumcision In Children


  • Circumcision is a procedure to remove the foreskin of your child’s penis (male sex organ). The foreskin is a fold of skin covering the glans (tip of the penis). Circumcision is often done as part of cultural practices or religious beliefs. Circumcision is usually done when your child is a newborn baby, or later in his life. Circumcision may also be needed for medical reasons, such as with phimosis, recurrent balanitis, and recurrent balanoposthitis. Phimosis happens when the foreskin cannot be easily pulled back over the glans. Balanitis is redness and inflammation (swelling) of the glans. Balanoposthitis is redness and swelling of the foreskin and glans.
  • Your child may also need a circumcision if he has urinary tract infections (UTIs) often. Children less than one year of age have a higher risk for UTIs if they are not circumcised. UTIs are caused by bacteria (germs) entering the opening where urine passes. The foreskin may trap the bacteria and not allow it to be washed away. Removing the foreskin may decrease the amount of these bacteria and prevent UTIs. Your child may also have UTIs if he was born with a damaged urinary tract. The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, urinary bladder, and tubes where urine passes. Frequent UTIs can damage your child's urinary tract. Having your child circumcised may prevent permanent damage to his urinary tract.
  • Having your child circumcised as an infant may decrease his risk for penile cancer later in his life. Circumcision may also decrease his risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STD), such as HIV and genital warts. Circumcision may help relieve the redness and swelling of your child's glans and foreskin. Circumcision may decrease his risk for having UTIs, phimosis, and other penile infections. Circumcision may also decrease your child's risk for penile cancer and certain STDs later in his life.



  • Keep a current list of your child's medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list and the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Give vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Ask before you change or stop giving your child his medicines.
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: Ibuprofen or acetaminophen are over-the-counter medicines that may help your child's pain. Ask your child's caregiver to tell you how much medicine to give to your child, and how often.
  • Antibiotic medicine: Antibiotic medicine may be put on your child's circumcision as a cream or gel. It may help prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.

Home care:

Follow your caregiver's instructions on how to care for your child's circumcision. If your child has a bandage on, ask your caregiver when it can be removed. If a plastic ring was used, it may fall off 3 to 10 days after his procedure. Ask your child's caregiver when you can give your child a bath.


  • Your child has pus coming from his wound.
  • Your child begins throwing up.
  • You have any questions or concerns about your child's medicine or care.


  • Your child urinates very little or not at all.
  • Your child's penis is red, painful or swollen.
  • Your child has a seizure (convulsion).
  • Your child has bleeding that will not stop.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.