View Poll Results: When is a child/was your child old enough to use public restrooms by themselves?
4 or younger 6 11.76%
5 12 23.53%
6 5 9.80%
7 3 5.88%
8 or older 25 49.02%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:46 AM   #11
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

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Originally Posted by carriek38 View Post
We have an awesome grocery chain here that has "seat cleaner" sprayers mounted onto the stall wall, perfectly aimed to shoot onto the seat, wipe off w/ TP, & voila! I wish all public restrooms were set up like that.

OTOH, I learned in college (thanks to a great PP presentation) that there's very little you can actually catch from a toilet seat--unless you're rubbing an open sore or mucous membrane ON the seat IMMEDIATELY after somebody else deposited the offending organism on the seat. Not that I get my health info from Web MD, but they explain it pretty well. I'm more freaked by the hovering "sprinklers", as I call them (just b/c of the ick factor...think about it, knowing "I'm sitting in someone else's urine right now"...mmmhmmm...ick ! & there's nothing you can do about it), & the non-handwashers who grab the door handle/push the door open...JM.
rabbit trail...

Have you seen the "sanitary door opener?" They have started putting these in around here recently. There's also the "foot pull opener" but I haven't seen one to see how easy it is to do. Knowing me, I'd fall on my behind trying to work it.

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Old 05-18-2011, 08:58 AM   #12
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

I think it depends on the style of restroom and if your child is old/tall enough to get on and off the seat themselves. I worked at Girl Scout camps for 5 years and I have seen 10 year olds that still feel like they "need" someone to stand right outside the door. But I have also seen independent 4 year olds who need no help at all. It differs from child to child.
The one thing I see wrong with your post is that you are teaching these children to be incredibly wasteful and mindless of the environment by putting layers of TP on the toilet seat. Not only does it do no good to block germs, but it is just plain wrong. Perhaps you could start doing something else? Maybe wipe the seat with one antibacterial wipe if it really bothers you.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:59 AM   #13
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

I voted and then realized I may have misread your poll. I read it as "old enough to go to the restoom unattended" and not into the stall unattended. None of my children ages 3, 5, and 8 go to the restroom unattended in a public place. If Daddy isnt with us, they all go with me into the womens. If the large stall is open, we all go in there together and take turns...mostly to keep from blocking up four stalls and so that they arent hovering in the waiting area for me and YDS. I do not go into the stall with any of them though if I dont have to go. They are all potty independant, including my 3yo. Now if it is a single bathroom with a lock on the door, I will wait outside and send them in together. Our McDonalds play area has one of these as does our Ped's office lobby. I can see the only entrance/exit and I am comfortable with that.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:04 AM   #14
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

DS (4) goes into the stall without me to pee...if he has to sit down we will try to find a handicap stall or family restroom that all three of us (me, ds, and dd) can fit into.

as far as germs go...pee is very sanitary...now touching someone else's keyboard
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:14 AM   #15
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

I usually will check the seat before I let my 5 year old sit, then I go in the stall next to her with my 3 year old who still needs assistance. There is usually never a time when we don't all have to go - so we just go together.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:17 AM   #16
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

My 4 and almost 6 year olds go in the stall alone. I wait in front of the door. My 4 year old son goes in the ladies room with us and will for many years to come. I'm not sure when I'll let them go completely by themselves, I don't think it will be soon.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:43 AM   #17
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

I go with my almost 5 year old still. I wipe the toilet down (it's always wet with either pee or water from the toilet) and hand her TP to wipe with when she is done so she doesn't have to stand up and drip on her undies or the floor. I guess I'm a bathroom helicopter parent! LOL
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:54 AM   #18
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

I think it depends on the age of the child AND the location of the bathroom/number of stalls/cleanliness etc.

For example, my DD is 3 (almost 4). I will let her use the bathroom independently at Burger King (while I supervise my other DD in the playarea) if I first check the bathroom and determine that no one else is in it. I do the same at the public restroom in our local park. I would let her use the single stall bathroom at the mall alone, or the one at the library. I would NOT let her use a public toilet at an arena or concert venue with lots of stalls/other people in it.

I am not concerned about germs on toilet seats TBH. As long as the seat looks clean, we sit and pee. So, I don't need to supervise toilet paper distribution. I am confident that DD can wipe, and wash her hands independently. My only real concern about her using a public restroom alone is the concern related to other people in the restroom.....which I know is highly unlikely to be an issue.....but unfortunately its fresh in my mind as there was a 4 year old not far from here who was molested in an arena bathroom last summer. Child went in, mom was right behind her, but the guy pushed the door closed and locked it....then left with the child through an alternate exit. She was found in the wooded area behind the building (alive) shortly thereafter.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:23 PM   #19
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

My 4 year old goes in the stall by herself but not the bathroom. I don't lay down toilet paper or paper seat covers and see no need to.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:32 PM   #20
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Re: Age and accompanying kids to restrooms

I voted according to going into the stall because that's how I read the OP. So I voted 4 or younger. To go into the stall alone, that would be as soon as the child is actually capable of taking care of business alone. That means getting the pants down and up, wiping, etc.

Now, for actually going into the restroom alone, that would depend on the situation. If it's just a one toilet restroom, no stalls, probably around the same age. Similar if there's only like 2 stalls and just one way in and out. One of those giant like 30 stall places with doorways at both ends, like they have at amusement parks or sports stadiums, probably not until like 8 to 10.
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