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To let DS (5) use public loos alone?

(121 Posts)
MamaLazarou Wed 02-Sep-15 17:15:18

In the shopping centre this afternoon and I decided to let DS go to the loo on his own, much to the horror of a bystander who told me 'you just never know who's in there'. It hadn't occurred to me to worry about predatory paedophiles hanging around in public loos. AIBU to let DS have this little bit of independence?

Griphook Wed 02-Sep-15 17:20:09

I think yabu, my ds is 5 and wants to go on on his own. Fat chance.

I think it's a really difficult decision to make, and you really don't know who's on there, but it is your choice

rubyslippers Wed 02-Sep-15 17:26:52

It seems a bit young to me

Not even because of stranger danger but because of the lack of hand washing etc

KanyeWestPresidentForLife Wed 02-Sep-15 17:28:03

YABU. Five is far too young and nobody would mind him in the ladies.

Osolea Wed 02-Sep-15 17:28:41

Personally, I wouldn't let a 5yo go into a public toilet alone. Not because it think there's going to be a paedophile lurking in there waiting for some mother to allow their child to go alone, but because there's no need. And because five year olds often don't wash their hands properly without being supervised.

noblegiraffe Wed 02-Sep-15 17:29:08

I don't. I don't particularly want him out of my sight in a public place, but also, if he had some sort of problem, like couldn't unlock the door, I wouldn't be able to walk into the gents to rescue him.

AmberNectarine Wed 02-Sep-15 17:29:30

Aside from potential child snatchers, one thing to watch out for is that they don't lock themselves in a cubicle and be unable to get out - DD (4) did this recently in a clothes shop changing room (I was trying something on, she was supposed to be waiting obediently outside with her brother as no space in the cubicle).

TimeToMuskUp Wed 02-Sep-15 17:30:39

DS1 is 9 (a month away from 10) and uses male bathrooms now unless we're at service stations. I have no idea why my irrationality only extends that far, it just does.

DS2 is nearly 5 and comes to the ladies with me unless DH is around, I refuse to let both DCs go together, mostly because they're prone to idiocy though.

tobysmum77 Wed 02-Sep-15 19:01:28

I don't know, dh sometimes sends dd into the ladies because the gents he says are just disgusting. But there was that horrible case where the little girl was raped in Sainsburys locally to me sad . Its a few years ago now but I still think about her when I go into that shop.

DixieNormas Wed 02-Sep-15 19:08:45

I wouldn't send mine in alone at 5

campervan67 Wed 02-Sep-15 19:14:31

I send mine, age 7 and 5, in together in places like Sainsburys, cafes, soft play etc. In a shopping centre I probably would too, if I was waiting outside. Occasionally the 5yo will go on her own. But then they are girls, the irrational part of me thinks a ladies' loo is somehow 'safer' than the men's confused

TeaAndNoSympathy Wed 02-Sep-15 19:16:15

I wouldn't let a 5 year old do this, no.

OhWotIsItThisTime Wed 02-Sep-15 19:23:44

I don't let ds1, 7, in on his own. Not after that little boy was raped in McDonalds.

Also, men's public toilets are often disgusting. According to dh.

CrohnicallyAspie Wed 02-Sep-15 19:26:50

I wouldn't let DN (6) alone, though she goes in a (unlocked) cubicle by herself now, but she needs an adult to check she's not left a mess (ie drips on the seat), flushed properly and washed her hands properly.

mabythesea Wed 02-Sep-15 19:26:58

My DS is 5 and I do let him in alone in some places that we know well, like softplay or the park, and I wait right outside.

GoooRooo Wed 02-Sep-15 19:29:14

What OhWot said ^^

sexybeast Wed 02-Sep-15 19:30:06

I wouldn't. Why take the risk when you don't have to?

SmugairleRoin Wed 02-Sep-15 19:32:04

I'd be more worried about handwashing, leaving a mess or getting locked in the toilet than a random paedophile. They are more likely to be in danger from someone they know.

museumum Wed 02-Sep-15 19:33:04

I might let a nearly 6 yr old go for a wee in a urinal (if I knew he could reach) but not to poo or use a cubicle - they'll likely be vile, he'll put his hands all over the toilet then not wash his hands properly [boak]

anothermakesthree Wed 02-Sep-15 19:34:27

No way at that age.

dementedDementor Wed 02-Sep-15 19:34:57

One of my friends was sexually assaulted in a public toilet when he was a little boy. sad I don't think I'd take the risk in a busy shopping centre as sadly you really don't know who is in there.

Also, on a practical level I think a lot of five year olds still need a bit of help sometimes.

noiwontstoptalking Wed 02-Sep-15 19:37:06

I have a problem that my DS who is 7 yo looks 10 so we get looks in the ladies.

I do let him go on his own increasingly - it does depend where we are though.

chanie44 Wed 02-Sep-15 19:55:04

Ds is 5 and has started to refuse to use the ladies with me. We normally compromise and use the disabled loo (yes, I know, but we are super quick). If that's not possible, I make ds swing open the door and I'll see how 'safe' they feel before making a decision. At Costco last week, he insisted on going to the gents - the door was open and no one else was in there, so I was able to watch him the whole time. i also talk to him everyone knows I'm outside.

Someone I worked with told me of this dilemma with her son and she asked a 'professional' who told her that busy toilets are safer eg as there are always people going in and out.

XCChamps Wed 02-Sep-15 20:02:12

Not at 5, but as others have said, my primary concern was not being able to go in myself to see what was wrong if he didn't re-emerge after a reasonable time.

CigarsofthePharoahs Wed 02-Sep-15 20:07:32

My nearly 5 year old son doesn't want me going in with him. The only way I allow it is to insist he uses the ladies. I wait outside just in case, but he's not managed to come a cropper yet. I do check to make sure he's washed his hands.

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