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Public Toilets

(10 Posts)
flustered Sun 31-Jul-05 22:40:46

This might seem like a strange discussion. My mother taught me never to sit on a public toilet seat, but to always "squat" over it. I have a 2 and a half year old and am about to begin potty training and I am worried whether I should teach her the same ie- hold her over the seat? If I do then what will happen when she is at pre-school and has to go by herself? I don't want her to have a fear of using public toilets because of anxieties around the cleanliness of toilets!

Angeliz Sun 31-Jul-05 22:42:03

i had a protable potty from Mothercare and it's great.
You can take it anywhere and flip it up for her to wee in. She is four and a half now and has no fear of public toilets now, outdoor or in nursery

Good luck!

WigWamBam Sun 31-Jul-05 22:45:27

There are more germs on the door handle of a public toilet than on the seat. Plus, if you hover over the toilet it's difficult to empty yourself fully and can result in UTIs, so I wouldn't recommend it as a method of potty training your dd, quite apart from giving her a complex about using public toilets.

Socci Sun 31-Jul-05 22:49:49

Message withdrawn

hana Mon 01-Aug-05 00:08:02

I always wipe down the seat with a wipe before my daughter goes on a public toilet. She's too short to hover!

Fran1 Mon 01-Aug-05 07:59:26

My dd is 2.5 and i wipe the seat before using it and tell her not to touch the seat ( i hold her). whereas at home she gets on the toilet herself holding the seat for support.

she knows the difference, and when we are in friends houses she asks if she can touch the seat.

My dd didn't have a prob with public loos because she has always used a combination of toilets/potty's.
She actually enjoys going to the toilet when we are out ???

Pinotmum Mon 01-Aug-05 09:00:08

I think as long as they wash their hands after using the toilet it shouldn't matter if they touch the seat.

KiwiKate Mon 01-Aug-05 13:30:22

WWB - I agree. And this can last till late in life too (or develop late in life). My MIL sufferes dreadfully for this reason (hovering and not emptying properly) - has had to have several operations.

Socci - I must disagree. My DS always used public toilets when we were out (he would sit to wee). If he asked for the potty when we were out, we would just tell him that there wasn't one, and he happily used the toilet. He never had an issue and soon was asking to use the "big toilet" at home too (rather than the potty). Now (at 2.3yo) he never uses the potty at all, and loves using the "big toilet" (as he calls it).

BevB Mon 01-Aug-05 20:53:44

on a lighter note relating to this topic I was emailed this last week:

Women and Loos

This might explain a lot............ honestly what we have to go through..................
Only a woman will TRULY relate to the following - My mother was a fanatic about public loos. When I was a little girl, she'd take me into the cubicle, teach me to wad up toilet paper and wipe the seat. Then, she'd carefully lay strips of toilet paper to cover the seat. Finally, she'd instruct, "Never, NEVER sit on a public toilet seat. Then she'd demonstrate "The Stance," which consisted of balancing over the toilet in a sitting position without actually letting any of your flesh make contact with the toilet seat. By this time, I'd have wet down my leg and we'd have to go home to change my clothes.

That was a long time ago. Even now, in my more "mature years," "The Stance" is excruciatingly difficult to maintain, especially when one's bladder is full. When you have to "go" in a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women that makes you think there's a half-price sale of Debenhams' lingerie department on in there. So, you wait and smile politely at all the other ladies, who are also crossing their legs and smiling politely. You get closer and check for feet under the cubicle doors. Every one is occupied. Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the cubicle!

You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter. The dispenser for the new fangled "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mum, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your handbag on the door hook if there was one - but there isn't - so you carefully but quickly hang it around your neck (Mum would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your knickers, and assume "The Stance."

Ahhhh, relief. More relief. But then your thighs begin to shake. You'd love to sit down but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance" as your thighs experience a quake that would register an eight on the Richter scale.

To take your mind off of your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, "Well dear, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!" Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your handbag. That will have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It is still smaller than your thumbnail. Someone pushes open your cubicle door because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your handbag, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and it topple backwards against the cistern. "Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle, and sliding down, directly onto the insidious toilet seat.

You bolt up quickly, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know that your mother would be utterly ashamed of you if she knew, because you're certain that her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get." By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, sending up a stream of water akin to a fountain that suddenly sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged off to China. At that point, you give up. You're soaked by the splashing water. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a sweet wrapper you found in your pocket, then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can't figure out how to operate the taps with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past a line of women, still waiting, cross-legged and, at this point, no longer able to smile politely. One kind soul at the very end of the line points out that you are trailing a piece of toilet paper on your shoe as long as the M1! (Where was it when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe,
plunge it into the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you might need this."

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has since used the Gent's and is reading a copy of War and Peace while waiting for you. Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long, and why is your handbag hanging around your neck?"

This is dedicated to women everywhere who have ever had to deal with a public loo. It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked question about why women go to the loo in pairs. It's so the other woman can hold the door and hand you a supply of tissues under the door.!!

toothyboy Mon 01-Aug-05 21:00:08

That's fantastic Bev! Fortunately I've never had a problem with public toilets - when you've got to go, you've got to go! And I sat on enough dubious loo seats (and toilets without seats!) in various dives in my youth to worry about it now! If it's got drips of any sort, I'll wipe it, but that's it for me!!

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