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When Boys Should Start to Wear a Protective Athletic Cup

Little league baseball players have a lot to remember before their game: jersey, mitt, helmet, water bottle, and their protective athletic cup. No parent wants to see their son injured on the field. But, it is hard to know at what age young boys should start wearing a cup. Most youth baseball leagues recommend that cups be worn at every age group, however, once your son reaches elementary school, the athletic cup often is required equipment. 

In an article by the American Urological Association, Dr. Anthony Atala, a pediatric urologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina advised that a boy should wear an athletic supporter as soon as he is involved in any kind of activity that could lead to groin injury. "It is extremely important for parents to understand how serious these injuries can be and how they can help their child if they suffer testicular trauma. We don't often discuss this, but we should " so that parents can help prevent injury and understand when to seek medical treatment if it does occur," said Dr. Atala. 

Dr. Jay Berger, a pediatrician with ProHEALTH Pediatrics, suggests that boys age five and younger probably don't need athletic supporters because the velocity of their pucks or balls isn't strong enough to cause injury to the testicles. But once a boy hits age seven, or engages in more vigorous competition, he should wear one.  “There are two types -- one providing support for comfort, and one adding a cup for more protection. For basketball or skiing, a cup probably isn't necessary, but for games during which the testicles accidentally could be hit with a ball or kicked by a foot, a cup is a must.” Berger says.




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