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Should these children have been allowed to go to the toilets unattended?

(98 Posts)
FourArms Wed 10-Jul-13 20:30:35

I know I know this gets discussed all the time.. but there is a twist on this one!

I was picking up DS from a Beavers trip tonight and arrived a little early. Whilst I was there, I overheard a child ask to go to the toilet. The Beavers leader asked if he wanted anyone to go with him. He said yes. Then another Beaver said they knew were the toilets were, so they were sent in together.

So, two children, aged around 6/7, whose parents weren't there, went to the toilet themselves in an sports centre type environment. We were outside, loos inside a building and not visible from where we were.

Because I was picking up the child sent to accompany the first child, I discreetly observed them to ensure they were OK. Nobody else monitored their return.

Is this OK? I would not like my DS to go to the toilet himself under these circumstances (children opposite sexes so didn't go in to toilets together). When I took him later, he got stuck in there because the door was too heavy, but it's the risk of something much more unlikely happening that concerns me.

AIBU to think they shouldn't have allowed this? Is there a regulation about it? I know it wouldn't have been allowed on the school trips that I've accompanied.

BoysAreLikeDogs Wed 10-Jul-13 21:01:22

It's fine and you are being a bit ott

Are you going to be stomping into beavers next time to complain loudly?

( a drama llama ding dong?)

BarbarianMum Wed 10-Jul-13 21:04:37

<<That being said,I think it would have been good practice for the leaders to split up into 2 sets of 2,and bring the whole group for a toilet break at some stage during the trip (2 leaders supervising girls,2 leaders supervising boys).>>

I would be very surprised if they hadn't done exactly that. And even more surprised if it had made any difference at all. I have never assisted on a trip - Beavers/school/otherwise where at least one child needed the loo immediately at some massively inconvenient time.

Getting stuck in the loo is part of life's rich tapestry, happens at least once to every child doesn't it? Ds1 has already managed it 3 times and he's only 7.5

Sirzy Wed 10-Jul-13 21:06:00

A 7 year old unable to open a toilet door?

BarbarianMum Wed 10-Jul-13 21:07:33

And the 2 adults per child thing is standard practice (outside of nurseries/preschool) in just about any group or organisation that works with children.

5madthings Wed 10-Jul-13 21:08:29

Yabu at that age they are fine to go to the toilet on their own.

BoysAreLikeDogs Wed 10-Jul-13 21:08:46

To be fair yes some doors are heavy, or the kid pushes instead of pulls, not easy if a shortie either.

ShatnersBassoon Wed 10-Jul-13 21:09:50

YABU. Why shouldn't a child of that age be given a tiny amount of responsibility?

FourArms Wed 10-Jul-13 21:14:03

High door handle, slim child & heavy door. There were two boys aged 7 in there, neither could open it.

When I'm out I do let DS 1&2 go to loo together. Strict instructions to stay together. I watch the clock until they return. I would send DH in / open door and shout if they were too long. This wasn't what happened.

If I am looking after someone else's child I accompany them. I only consider risks mine to take with my children, not someone else's.

I know there isn't a paedophile in every loo, but equally I don't want my child scarred for life by meeting one - already have a family member with those scars. sad

towerofjelly Wed 10-Jul-13 21:16:21


exoticfruits Wed 10-Jul-13 21:22:17

I think that a Beaver age child could cope with the door!
As a former Beaver leader I would say that meetings wouldn't be very interesting if you were missing accompanying DCs to the toilet when they are quite old enough to go and there were actually 2 of them.

FourArms Wed 10-Jul-13 21:39:48

OK, if this is so commonplace then I'll need to rethink his activities. sad Accept IABU by the standards of most people. Mine are obviously coloured by family history.

MaureenMLove Wed 10-Jul-13 21:40:59

Then I suggest you volunteer to help at Beavers, to avoid it happening again. If uniformed leaders went to the toilet every time a child wanted to go, they may as well hold the session in the toilets!

curlew Wed 10-Jul-13 21:46:20

Oh, please don't pull him put of Beavers! Accept that you are being a bit......over protective.... And let him carry on having fun with his friends!

NoComet Wed 10-Jul-13 21:47:38

Gym club have all sorts of complicated new rules the girls think they are hilarious. So long as they go in pairs and check in with a leader as they leave and come back, what's the problem.

And what's this about one adult, the worlds gone barking mad.

Turniptwirl Wed 10-Jul-13 21:49:29

I'm sure that the beaver leaders (like us) asked the children if they needed the toilet before they went. This never stops the cries if "I need a wee" popping up at inconvenient times

We also let them go alone in our meeting place would you object to that?

Plus I spent a weekend where we let children age 10+ loose in the countryside with a route map and compass, presumably that was terrible too? The kids were in groups of 3 or more and there were fully crb checked adults at regular points along the route and help available in a land river if required. Not to mention that on the campsite we not only let the girls go to the toilet alone but they basically had the freedom of the whole site! Not beaver age kids but some as young as 10. They absolutely loved it and I think benefited hugely from the independence and freedom they had that they don't have anywhere else.

Things like beavers are all about pushing boundaries within a responsible environment. Kids who are never given the chance to cope with things on their own will never learn how to!

Sirzy Wed 10-Jul-13 21:50:10

And what's this about one adult, the worlds gone barking mad.

Its to protect the adult. Good practise for anyone working with young people is not to leave yourself in a position where you are alone with children, certainly not alone with one child as if they were to make an allegation then it is there word against yours. Sad that it has to be done but there have been cases (normally with older children though) where that has happened.

5madthings Wed 10-Jul-13 21:53:28

What sirzy said the rule is to protect the adult as much as the child.

Pennyacrossthehall Wed 10-Jul-13 22:01:07

You can't be alone with a child so either two adults or two children would've had to go

This is a tragic reflection of the state of the world. And 99% of it is just paranoia.

exoticfruits Wed 10-Jul-13 22:07:16

Exactly Penny but there are strict rules for leaders- you are not allowed to accompany a Beaver to the loo alone- you would be very silly to flout it, it is for the protection of the leader.

exoticfruits Wed 10-Jul-13 22:09:48

I used to give my neighbours child a lift to Beavers- I was told that I had to make it clear that I was giving the lift as a friend and not as a Beaver leader. A Beaver leader can't give a lift to a lone Beaver.

manicinsomniac Wed 10-Jul-13 22:10:37

You can be alone with children where I work and we could take them to the toilet if we wanted to - but there is no need, they are fine.

No child goes alone and I have to be told they are going are my only rules when out and about.

manicinsomniac Wed 10-Jul-13 22:11:40

And it isn't just extracurricular activities you're going to have to stop if you never want your child unsupervised in a toilet - you'd have to home school or refuse all school trips too!

Turniptwirl Wed 10-Jul-13 22:20:17

Oh I agree the rules are a sad reflection of society, but you have to protect yourself. Rules are in place to protect children and adults. We follow them to protect ourselves.

I had a situation where I would potentially have been alone with a girl (initially in a jeep with two other crb checked adults, then first aid with several other crb checked adults in the room and many more plus kids in earshot. Then walking back to the tent with her but surrounded by other people. I stayed outside her tent and sent her inside to rest. Fortunately there was another leader around when we got there who could've come with me if I'd had to go in the tent with the girl but otherwise not sure what I'd have done. Well actually if if was life or death I would've gone in, otherwise made her come out so we were at least in view of others and probably taken her back to first aid.

exoticfruits Wed 10-Jul-13 22:21:17

Exactly manic. As a teacher out at a museum, swimming pool etc of course you send a few children off to the toilet together.
Last time I went to the Natural History Museum there was a notice saying that boys over 6yrs should not be going in the ladies- no doubt necessitated by over protective parents. I am surprised that boys put up with it- mine refused to go in the ladies once they were that age.

exoticfruits Wed 10-Jul-13 22:23:48

The whole system is mad! Earlier in the week the organisation that I was with had a 15yr old girl on work experience- really she shouldn't have been with anyone who didn't have a CRB check!

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