If he’s age 7 or older and plays a vigorously athletic sport, he probably needs an athletic supporter, according to pediatrician quoted in Long Island Newsday.
Athletic supporters (“jockstraps”) protect the testicles from injury. Usually, athletes wear a solid plastic “cup” inside the jockstrap; the cup covers the testicles and penis and deflects or absorbs the impact of a hit.
The greater your son’s risk of getting hit or kicked in the genital area, the more he needs protection. So boys who play football, baseball, hockey, lacrosse and karate should probably wear a cup and athletic supporter. Protection is not as necessary for basketball, though some boys might prefer to wear a jockstrap or compression shorts during play for comfort.
Compression shorts, by the way, are far more common today than traditional jockstraps. Some compression shorts contain a built-in cup. Others have a pocket or space where you can insert or remove a cup.
Compression shorts and jockstraps are sold according to waist size. Some come in sizes small, medium, large, X-large and XX-large (remember, that refers to “small” or “X-large” waist sizes). Others are sized like pants — 28, for instance, means a 28 inch waist.
At first, your son might need to be reminded to wear protection during practices and games. You may also need to remind him that compression shorts, jock straps and cups need to be washed on a regular basis.