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Old 02-23-2007, 09:55 AM   #1
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What age can kids go to public bathrooms alone?

DS (our oldest) is 5 and I never let him go into public restrooms by himself. He gets embarrassed to go into the woman's room with me and it's a huge pain to take ALL the kids in whenever one person has to go but I feel like I'll never feel comfortable letting him go by himself.

DH let DS go in by himself last week and I kind of freaked out But he's still so little! Also DH's brother was molested in a public restroom as a child which makes me even more wary.

Any thoughts?

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Old 02-23-2007, 09:58 AM   #2
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Re: What age can kids go to public bathrooms alone?

I would probably (reluctantly) let them use a bathroom alone once they were in kindergarten. If I am letting them go to school, I'd them let them use the potty.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:09 AM   #3
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Re: What age can kids go to public bathrooms alone?

I think it depends on the situation. For example, there are public restrooms where I can be in constant voice contact with my ds, so I let my 6yo go, and call in to him constantly. But I wouldn't let him use the men's room at a rest stop on the highway. Anything in between I judge based on the situation. My 5 yo I don't trust at all, to not get sidetracked or wander off, so either I take him or he goes with his brother.

The difficult problem I have is the locker rooms at the pool. My ds's take swimming lessons now at a college and they don't allow boys of any age into the women's locker room. Even if we could bring them in, I don't know if I would want to, as the previous pool I took them to allowed you to take in dc under 5, but there were women walking around without towels on. The men's locker room is used by anyone using the facilities. And there aren't a lot of fathers taking their dc to swimming lessons so there aren't really parents there looking out for the kids. My 6yo was allowed to go to the locker room together with 2 similarly aged friends last session, and they all stayed together. There really wasn't anywhere else to change, and I had a talk with ds about talking to strangers, etc.
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Old 02-23-2007, 10:14 AM   #4
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Re: What age can kids go to public bathrooms alone?

I was standing outside the men's bathroom so I thought it was ok for my DS who is 4 1/2 to go in alone. Plus there was no one else in the bathroom
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:00 AM   #5
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Re: What age can kids go to public bathrooms alone?

A girl got raped in our public library restroom when I was little. It totally freaks me out. No one ever used those bathrooms, but yes, there was a man in the girls bathroom hiding. Freaky. My son is 4 1/2 and I still take him with me. I probably will until he's closer to 6 and then do the calling in thing. But mostly I have my kids go potty before we leave and I really limit how much they drink when we're out. If I'm running lots of errands in a day then a few of those places usually have family restrooms and I make sure to make my kids "try to go" when we're in a place that as family restrooms. My kids rarely ever have to go to the bathroom in public when I do this, so it keeps me happy.
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:03 AM   #6
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Re: What age can kids go to public bathrooms alone?

Probably at least age 10 or later! I am that paranoid!

True story...

My BIL (who is a cop) was changing my nephew's diaper in the men's restroom at Walmart. He noticed a man standing very close watching the diaper being changed. BIL looked at the man and realized that he had arrested the man earlier that week for exposing himself to school children! And now the creep was hanging around the Walmart bathrooms!! BIL started screaming at the man who ran. (this happened in the last year)

Hopefully they will continue to put in more family bathrooms so it is safer. You just never know who could be creeping around!
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:07 AM   #7
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Re: What age can kids go to public bathrooms alone?

The only time I let my 6yo use a public bathroom alone is in our target- the bathrooms by the pharmacy are one person only bathrooms, so I open the door for her, make sure no one is in there, then wait right outside the door for her.
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:09 AM   #8
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Re: What age can kids go to public bathrooms alone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Getz View Post
P

Hopefully they will continue to put in more family bathrooms so it is safer. You just never know who could be creeping around!
Yes, we need more family bathrooms and locker rooms. Why they don't exist even though there's a need is beyond me.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:05 PM   #9
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Re: What age can kids go to public bathrooms alone?

david still comes withme too and i read what the PP said and i think he will 20 til i get him out of my sight
seriously ithink i will be overprotective. if not with daddy or mommy then hold it til we get home. im too protective
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:11 PM   #10
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Re: What age can kids go to public bathrooms alone?

My 9yr old goes in the public bathroom by himself but I stay in constant voice contact with him, even though he is gets soooo embarrassed, lol. If its a sketchy place where I dont feel comfortable, I ask him to wait though.
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