thread: Boys in girls' changerooms - how old is "too old"?

  1. #37
    Registered User

    Jul 2007
    melb
    8,498

    I have no issues using disabled toilets as I can't get into a normal toilet cubicle on my own with a pram and 2 kids, and sometimes there is no parents room to use.

    There really needs to be more parents rooms diabled toilets and family change rooms at places where people may need to take kids to loo or change them.


  2. #38
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    Sep 2007
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    TBH... I never realised change rooms didn't have seperate stalls in them I've not been to a pool that only had communal change rooms. When I read the OP I thought it was a choice where to change.

    I guess if you aren't comfortable with it, go home & change, or leave swimmers under clothes. I see so many people at the beaches getting changed under towels in car parks I don't even notice anymore.

    And I personally don't see walking a 10 year old to the toilets & waiting for them in a busy shopping centre as helicopter parenting... Its just not something alot of people feel comfortable with.

  3. #39
    Registered User

    Jan 2009
    5,235

    And I personally don't see walking a 10 year old to the toilets & waiting for them in a busy shopping centre as helicopter parenting... Its just not something alot of people feel comfortable with.
    Nor do I, what was that case a few years ago where a child was (murdered I think) in a shopping centre toilet. That's just sensible parenting in my opinion.

  4. #40
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    Nor do I, what was that case a few years ago where a child was (murdered I think) in a shopping centre toilet. That's just sensible parenting in my opinion.
    Yep, I think she was 9 from memory...

  5. #41
    Moderator

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.
    6,449

    I think she was taken to the toilet by the killer, as opposed to him finding her in the toilet. Considering the sheer number of shopping centre toilets, families and toilet trips each year, 1 death a few years ago is not going to fuss me.

  6. #42
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    each to their own

  7. #43
    Registered User

    Jan 2009
    5,235

    I suppose that parent may well have felt like that prior to that day too - the likelihood of it happening is tiny, I agree. I guess it comes down to what you feel is right for your child and what they feel comfortable with. If a parent feels uncomfortable sending a 10 year old into the toilets alone, then there should be options available for them to choose.

  8. #44
    Registered User

    Nov 2008
    on the verge of greatness!
    1,301

    as a life long swimmer, i've never had trouble with changing or children at the pool. Yeah AusGirl they do, but there are a couple of loos to use if you wish (which if i have AF i do) and some peopel shower in their togs, some half togs, some full nuddy. and it's out and changed. I shower in my togs and I get changed in the main area as in the NT it's too hot to get into a little cubicle... makes the shower pointless really! its about knowng how to dress, i take my togs down to my waist, towel dry and whip the bra on quickly and then with the towel around my waist dry the bottom half and pull my undies on. By then you are not wearing anything you dont in the pool (ie a bikini) so i just get dressed normally then.

    with my kids, DS goes to the change room at the pools with DH. But otherwise the kids come with me. I probably won't send DD to the mens with her father just cos that is not something she really needs to see and is 'growing up with', whereas boys need to use toilets as men and it's just a normal part of life. I won't send them alone. If no other alternative, they can come with me or we'll go disabled or parents room. If it's me whose got to go and not them, and no options, then I just hold it til i get home. If DH is out alone with DD and there's a need, they'll use the disabled loo or parents room.

    I dont ever remember it being an issue as a child (mum has 2 girls and a boy) when out with either parent tho.

    what age would i be comfortable sending my son to the male loo on his own?? hhmm it will depend on his maturity level, situation etc and if i can call out to him easily from outside!

    i don't beleive parents' rooms are only 'baby' rooms. Most i've been to will have their own loo anyway. so we'll all just trundle off there where we can.

  9. #45
    Registered User

    Sep 2008
    Melbourne
    3,300

    Pool we went to yesterday had two family change and one disabled/family change, plus then mens and womens - so has a variety of options. In the UK growing up our local pool had a communal area in both mens and womens and also individual cubicles in both areas - so if you wanted privacy you would go in the individual cubicles and generally was only parents with children who went in the communal area. People here are much more open in the changing rooms than in the UK I think - certainly at the pools near me (I remember going swimming with DD when she was maybe 7 months and a naked lady in the shower offering to hold her for me, I was fine so I declined but I think DD might have tried to latch on if I had let the naked lady hold her :-))

    I have been to pools in Europe where is all communal getting changed, men and women in all together, and also ones where is just cubicles some large and some small without separate areas.

    Public toilets I don't think are in the same category as swimming pools myself but I would judge each situation individually. DD (3) does go into the mens toilets with DH if necessary - often at the MCG, maybe not the most pleasant of places but not somewhere I view as dangerous in anyway.

    I think places like pools are put in a hard situation, there isn't an infinite amount of room to put lots of family change cubicles, I don't believe there is any hard evidence to support the fear of letting children age seven and up go into change rooms alone (and really if it is worry about children misbehaving then as parents we should be able to sort that one), and if they did anything would have to suit both men who are taking their daughters to the pool as well as vice versa. So I think the suggestion of over 6 going in their own sex change rooms is a good one, and as long as they make sure the pools are family friendly places (TBH if you didn't have children there is no way I would go to pool on a Saturday/Sunday morning as is mayhem) I don't believe there is danger lurking in the change rooms.

  10. #46
    Moderator

    Oct 2004
    In my Zombie proof fortress.
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    But when do those options stop? I have seen parents of 18 year olds who still treat them like small children? I do understand where people are coming from and understand why they choose options I don't and vice versa. When do we draw the line?

  11. #47
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006
    11,633

    surely this is only a big deal if we decide it is?
    6 seems mighty young to sexualise - presuming that's the reason they are not allowed in the change rooms. It's not like it's a bar or massage parlour or something, it's just a room where people go to get changed.
    I can understand that kids may become uncomfortable as they get older and their bodies change and so may appreciate some privacy. But in other cultures they don't really have these hang ups. Everyone just does stuff comunally and it aint no thang because that's just what you do. I'm not sure at what age it's considered appropriate for kids to be there, but certainly until they're old enough to do it on their own...?
    in any event, pools and other facilities that are offering family activities probably need to think more about actually catering to their needs. if your pool doesn't, then maybe talk to management?

  12. #48
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne
    7,177

    Manned change rooms One or two female lifeguards in the ladies and one of two guys in the men's. If you're using the communal area I guess you don't mind people seeing. And then there are people to keep an eye on the kids that are 'too old' for one room but too young for the other

  13. #49
    Registered User

    Jan 2009
    5,235

    Manned change rooms One or two female lifeguards in the ladies and one of two guys in the men's. If you're using the communal area I guess you don't mind people seeing. And then there are people to keep an eye on the kids that are 'too old' for one room but too young for the other
    As long as you're happy to pay $20 to get into the pool I am sure this would work lol.

  14. #50
    Registered User

    Sep 2008
    Melbourne
    3,300

    Isn't 6-7 old enough to get changed on their own? My kids aren't that age, but we certainly used to get changed at swimming on our own from this sort of age and younger (hence situations where we got home and mum realized we hadn't put our knickers on!, or left half our clothes at the pool). I am sure in the past there was never any notices, because there was never any need for them because children were getting changed on their own well before it was ever an issue. Don't 6-7 year olds go swimming with school and get changed independently?

  15. #51
    Registered User

    Sep 2008
    Melbourne
    3,300

    Manned change rooms One or two female lifeguards in the ladies and one of two guys in the men's. If you're using the communal area I guess you don't mind people seeing. And then there are people to keep an eye on the kids that are 'too old' for one room but too young for the other
    Changing rooms normally are manned for free by other patrons, in general most people will keep an eye out on children who are on their own.

  16. #52
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    Children with schools have a teacher keeping an eye on them Well we did at school. My 7 year old can't tie her own shoe laces yet, so isn't really that independant yet.

  17. #53
    Registered User

    Oct 2009
    Bonbeach, Melbourne
    7,177

    Changing rooms normally are manned for free by other patrons, in general most people will keep an eye out on children who are on their own.
    I think that is people's main concerns isn't it? Sexual harassment or assault. 6 seems very young to be on their own getting changed with a bunch of strangers.

  18. #54
    Registered User

    May 2008
    where the V8's roar
    1,855

    As DS approaches 6 I know that I am feeling very uncomfortable going into the men's change room on his own. I also am not comfortable with him going to a men's toilet on his own at this age. In terms of swimming with school, they aren't on their own, they are with a bunch of similar age boys and probably a teacher/parent so I don't see that as being the same


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