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To let DS (5) use public loos alone?

120 replies

MamaLazarou · 02/09/2015 17:15

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?

OP posts:

Griphook · 02/09/2015 17:20

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 · 02/09/2015 17:26

It seems a bit young to me

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


KanyeWestPresidentForLife · 02/09/2015 17:28

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


Osolea · 02/09/2015 17:28

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 · 02/09/2015 17:29

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 · 02/09/2015 17:29

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 · 02/09/2015 17:30

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 · 02/09/2015 19:01

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 · 02/09/2015 19:08

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

campervan67 · 02/09/2015 19:14

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 · 02/09/2015 19:16

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


OhWotIsItThisTime · 02/09/2015 19:23

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 · 02/09/2015 19:26

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 · 02/09/2015 19:26

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 · 02/09/2015 19:29


sexybeast · 02/09/2015 19:30

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


SmugairleRoin · 02/09/2015 19:32

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 · 02/09/2015 19:33

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 · 02/09/2015 19:34

No way at that age.


dementedDementor · 02/09/2015 19:34

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 · 02/09/2015 19:37

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 · 02/09/2015 19:55

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 · 02/09/2015 20:02

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 · 02/09/2015 20:07

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.


BuckyLastard · 02/09/2015 20:08

Not a chance. I'd not risk it.

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