Keeping Your Family Safe in Public Restrooms (2022)

Try googling “bathroom wars” or “Target + gender identity” or “Title IX + restrooms” and you’ll find millions of online results. It seems like everyone has something to say about these issues. Some of the search results are downright scary, detailing violations of privacy and safety in public facilities due to so called “bathroom” laws.

How would you respond if you or a family member encountered someone of the oppose sex in a public restroom? How do you keep your family safe in a potentially dangerous environment?

Here are some ideas and guidelines for keeping you and your family safe. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but we hope it provides assistance in understanding gender confusion and prompts planning ahead for you and your family’s privacy and safety.

First, Educate Yourself

Relax; you don’t have to become an expert on “gender identity” or “transgenderism.” In fact, even medical and psychological experts don’t fully understand these issues and there is no real consensus on the underlying factors of gender confusion or how to treat gender-confused individuals. In addition, the language keeps changing on these issues, some of the ideas behind this movement directly contradict each other, and different factions within the movement often clash with each other. Trying to keep up with all the changes and nuances is impossible

But, as transgenderism becomesbigger in the culture, we suggest you understand some of the basic ideas behind the movement. We encourage you to make a start by reading the rest of this online article series:

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  • Public Restrooms ― Privacy and Safety
  • What is “Gender Identity”?
  • Who is included in the “Transgender” Umbrella?
  • Do Gender Identity Laws Affect Me and My Family?
  • How Did We Get To this Gender-Confused Place?

Beyond that, we have created a number of resources that explain God’s creation of humanity in His image asmale and female. It’s also helpful to know how the concepts of “gender identity” and “transgenderism”contradict biblical teachingand biological reality.

To learn even more about how transgender ideology affects all aspects of the culture, we have a listing of our many articles and blogs on this issue at“Understanding Transgenderism.”

And for those who really want to dive deeply into this issue, Focus on the Family staff member Glenn Stanton, along with our friends at Family First―New Zealand, has created a downloadable resource,“Boys, Girls, Other: Making Sense of the Confusing New World of Gender Identity.”

While we want to understand and engage the culture on this issue, we also want to remember that this is deeplypersonalfor many individuals and families.“Responding to “SOGI” Laws—Tone and Truth”has suggestions for discussing “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” laws with grace and truth, while “Resources for Transgenderism and Gender Identity Disorder” has information for individuals and families looking for healing and wholeness.

PLAN AHEAD AND ACT — WITHOUT AGGRESSION

Planning ahead applies to everything from sending your children to school to having your kids participate in sports to joining a gym or spa. Ask polite, but direct questions:

  • What does your school teach about “gender” and “gender identity”? What is your school athletic department’s policy about restrooms and locker rooms? Can a boy who thinks he’s a girl play on a girls’ team – and vice versa?
  • Do you have separate showers, changing facilities, and restrooms for men and women? If so, how do you plan to keep them separate?
  • What’s your policy regarding individuals who identify as the opposite sex? Who express themselves as the opposite sex? Who believe they are a different “gender” from male and female?
  • Do you have single-user or family changing facilities and restrooms that we could use, if needed?

Planning ahead includes thinking through how you would respond if someone of the opposite sex enters a locker room, dressing room or restroom. We suggest: Quickly finish your business, get dressed, and leave the room without confronting the individual.

For some adults, it may be a natural instinct to confront the individual if they encounter this kind of situation. Our protective mechanisms kick in, especially when children or other family members are involved. However, if you respond with anger or aggression,youmay be the one in trouble with the law ― not the person who entered the facility designed for members of the opposite sex.

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Of course, there are things you can do in response:Complain to the management,tell your story, sign a petition,write a letter, orpost a video explaining why you oppose these policiesthat open bathrooms to all.

It’s important for people to understand how “gender identity” laws are affecting others. But remember, the manager may be under guidance from headquarters that is different from your thinking.Strongly and kindly state your opposition, but don’t get involved in an argument or altercation or argument.

If you encounter a dangerous or illegal situation: Take your children, leave immediately, and phone the authorities. Planning ahead for such situations will help you to act calmly and decisively.

Stay with Your Children

Use common sense, keeping safety in mind, but as much as possible, we suggest escorting your children to public facilities ― even if they’re a little older and roll their eyes or protest and exclaim,“Whatever.”Very young children, keep with you, of course. For older kids, you might station yourself outside the door to keep an eye on who is going in and out.

Of course you can’t be with your children every moment. But you can still plan ahead and be proactive. For example, if family members or friends are taking your children to an event, let your family members or friends know that you want someone to stay with the kids while they use restrooms, locker rooms or changing rooms. You might calmly explain about the new world of “gender neutral” bathrooms and howsomepredatorshavetaken advantageof this situation.

For pre-teens and teens, encourage them to use restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities with a friend. This’ll probably be easier with girls, as they tend to go in groups, anyway.

Educate Your Children About God’s Design For Sex And Sexuality

One of the most important jobs for any parent is to educate and equip children on important topics ― including sex and sexuality. This education should start early and be age appropriate, biblically sound, and in the form of an ongoing dialogue with children.

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Focus on the Family’s counseling staff receives many calls about this ― and parents are often reluctant to begin this process with their children. We encourage you to educate and equip your child, and we can help you in that process. Some of the basics that children should learn from a young age:

  • God made humans in His imagemale and female.
  • Individuals are born either male or female.
  • Boys and girls are differentboth are important and valuable.
  • Because we are made in God’s image, we are valuable and worth protecting.
  • Your body is good and was designed by God for a purpose.
  • Mommy and Daddy will help protect you.
  • You can learn things to protect and take care of yourself.

Thankfully, we’ve got some great resources to assist you in this area, including:

Focus on the Family’s“How Can We Help?”andParenting: Sexualitysections of our website have dozens of questions and answers and articles about talking with children about sex and sexuality.

Equip Your Children to Deal With Unsettling Situations

Teach your children that certain parts of the body are private, and we keep those parts covered and protected. Both“The Talk”and“God Made All of Me,”listed above, have great information on communicating these truths. They also teach a simple three-step response for children when someone (other than mom or dad, a doctor or trusted family members) tries to see or touch those parts inappropriately. Check out those resources for more guidance, but the basic response to teach and for your child to practice is:

  • Say, “No.”
  • Walk away.
  • Tell Mommy and Daddy (or a teacher or other trusted adult).

Learn More About These Issues and Get Involved

Most of the cities, counties and states that have passed special protections based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” did so under the radar ― without a lot of publicity, debate or input from individuals. They often did so without any real justification, too. Council members would ask, “How many complaints have we had on these issues?” Often, there was a resounding silence. In addition, many have not thought through the full effects of adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to nondiscrimination laws.

At the federal level, the reinterpretation of “sex” to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” has taken place at the administrative level, through various federal agencies. Being male or female has been redefined without the input from the courts, Congress, or the public.

Here are a few simple suggestions for learning more and getting involved in these issues:

  • Subscribeto The Daily Citizen’s weekly enewsletter. We will help keep you updated on transgenderism – and other political and social issues – that continue to affect you, your family, schools, the church and our culture.
  • Get connectedwith other like-minded citizens. One good way to do this is by finding out about and participating with your stateFamily Policy Council. These groups advocate at the state and local level on issues related to marriage, family, education, life and religious freedom.

NOTE: Referral to websites not produced by Focus on the Family is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites’ content.Some links deal with sensitive and difficult issues and may contain content for mature readers

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FAQs

How do you ensure your family is safe? ›

12 Tips for Keeping Your Family and Home Safe
  1. Use a Home Security System. ...
  2. Have a Fire Safety Plan. ...
  3. Eliminate Hazards. ...
  4. Secure Your Documents. ...
  5. Safeguard Personal Information Online. ...
  6. Use Password Best Practices. ...
  7. Monitor Your Credit. ...
  8. Protect Your Identity.
Jun 2, 2020

How can you be safe in the bathroom? ›

To keep your kids protected, follow these seven bathroom safety tips.
  1. Never Leave Your Little One Alone in the Bath. ...
  2. Keep the Floor Fully Dry. ...
  3. Put Cushioned Covers Over Water Faucets. ...
  4. Always Close the Toilet Lid. ...
  5. Keep Hazardous Objects Out of Reach. ...
  6. Don't Leave Hot Tools Unattended. ...
  7. Use an Anti-Scald Valve.
Dec 21, 2017

How can you keep a child safe while bathing? ›

Use a non-slip bathmat in the bath if your bath doesn't have a non-slip surface. Keep bathroom and laundry doors shut when you're not using them. This will stop young children getting to taps or water sources on their own. Keep plugs out of reach so that children can't fill baths or sinks.

How do you use a public washroom? ›

A Germophobe's Guide to Public Restrooms
  1. Step 1: Locate a suitable public restroom for use. ...
  2. Step 2: Enter the restroom like a proper person. ...
  3. Step 3: Deal with odors. ...
  4. Step 4: Enter a stall or get close to a urinal. ...
  5. Step 5: Assess the seat (if you're sitting on a toilet) ...
  6. Step 6: Flush. ...
  7. Step 7: Wash your hands.

How can you stay safe in public? ›

Staying Safe in Public
  1. Do stay alert. Keep your mind on your surroundings, who's in front of you and who's behind you. Don't get distracted.
  2. Do walk purposefully, stand tall and make quick eye contact with people around you.
  3. Do trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, leave.

Why should we follow safety rules Short answer? ›

We should follow safety rules to safeguard our own life from accidents or any serious injuries. Explanation: Safety rules are very important to consider when doing anything like crossing a road, while driving, while fixing some electronic equipment.

Why are safety measures important in giving a bath to a patient? ›

Avoiding falls and preventing secondary injuries are an important goal for both Occupational and Physical therapy. The risk of a fall is increased and has the possibility of more severe injuries in the bathroom. Therefore, it is important to take precautions while showering/bathing to ensure safety.

Can you leave a 5 year old alone in the bath? ›

Bathtub Safety

Children younger than 6 years old should NOT be left unattended in the bathtub. They should also not be in the bathroom alone if there is water in the bathtub. Empty the tub after baths. Make sure the tub is empty before you leave the bathroom.

What should you not do in a public restroom? ›

Among all of the unpleasant-seeming places in a public bathroom, any of the handles in the room should be the area of top concern, Russo says. These high-touch surfaces—including the door handles, stall handles, and toilet flush handle—are all places where many people's hands frequently make contact.

What to do after using a public toilet? ›

After use, flush the toilets, when you are ready to leave, just before washing your hands. It is always better to leave the place cleaner than you met it, out of respect for the next person, who would use it after you”.

What are the personal safety? ›

Personal safety means any defensive action that a person or persons may engage in to prevent life threatening injury or death.

How do you live a safe life? ›

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tips for a Safe and Healthy Life.
  2. Eat healthy. • Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains every day. ...
  3. Be active. • Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. ...
  4. Protect yourself. • ...
  5. Manage stress. • ...
  6. Get check-ups. •

What are the most important safety rules? ›

20 most important safety rules in the workplace
  • Follow the dress code. ...
  • Wear safety gear. ...
  • Maintain personal hygiene. ...
  • Take responsibility for your personal safety. ...
  • Maintain a clean workspace. ...
  • Follow work procedures. ...
  • Learn how to act in an emergency. ...
  • Report accidents if they occur.

What are safety rules answer? ›

They are a set of rules made to protect human beings from danger and injuries. Examples are but not limited to: Obeying the traffic lights so people don't get into accidents, wearing helmets and seat belts etc.

What are the safety rules you must always remember? ›

Basic Safety Rules
  • STAY ALERT - and stay alive. ...
  • WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES - work clothes should fit properly. ...
  • USE THE RIGHT TOOLS - if you need a hammer, get a hammer. ...
  • LEARN HOW TO LIFT - Lifting takes more than muscle; it is an art.

What causes bathroom accidents? ›

What Causes Bathroom Accidents. If you have ongoing problems with fecal incontinence, it may be due to a structural or functional problem with the sphincter muscles. Your risk of having bathroom accidents goes up as you age, and also for women after childbirth.

What is a bathroom accident? ›

Involuntarily passing stool is a recognized medical condition formally known as fecal or bowel incontinence. Bathroom accidents can happen when:1. You pass gas. You have an urgent bowel movement. Constipation results in loose stool that leaks around the hard stool.

How will you prevent the embarrassment felt by your patient during bathing? ›

Expose only the areas to be cleansed to preserve modesty. For example, cover top half of body while washing legs. To reduce embarrassment, talk to the person throughout the procedure. Begin by washing and drying the face, then the neck and ears, then the chest and arms.

What is the purpose of bathing? ›

Purpose. One purpose of bathing is for personal hygiene. It is a means of achieving cleanliness by washing away dead skin cells, dirt, and soil and as a preventative measure to reduce the incidence and spread of disease.

What special precautions should be taken when bathing the elderly? ›

In an effort to keep seniors safer when they are bathing and showering within their own homes, experts recommend using these bathroom precautions:
  • Install grab bars. ...
  • Ensure non-slip surfaces. ...
  • Place bathing items within reach. ...
  • Prevent over-exertion. ...
  • Eliminate obstacles.

At what age can a child shower? ›

It could be as late as nine or 10 years old, although some kids are ready by age six or seven. Children with special needs will likely be older when they're ready to transition. Paediatrician Sanjeev Luthra from Brampton, Ont., says a child's readiness largely depends on their exposure to independent hygiene.

What age can a child take a shower alone? ›

Around age 6, your child can shower alone, as long as you are nearby in case he needs help. Until then, make sure you keep an eye on him when he is in the shower.

What age should you stop showering with your child? ›

Experts like Dr. Richard Beyer, a psychologist in California, suggests that we should not shower with our child after they reach school age. That's is around 5 years old, but most kids don't even know how to scrub and soap properly at this age. Many children will need longer to learn.

What are toilet manners? ›

Make sure you do not wet the toilet seat. Do not throw water on the floor as someone might slip and get hurt. Females should always sit on the toilet seat while peeing. Male employees should always stand a little close to the toilet seat to avoid dripping. Never forget to use flush once you are done.

Is it safe to use public restroom toilet paper? ›

“There is no substantial data that indicates disease is transmitted from the seat to your bottom,” Pam said. “If using a seat liner or covering the seat with toilet paper increases your comfort level, go ahead. But understand, while doing so creates a barrier, it's not impenetrable.

What are the most important duties when cleaning a bathroom? ›

Complete these quick tasks every day to keep the space neat and tidy.
  • Declutter Countertops. With your morning beauty routine complete, it's time to start your day. ...
  • Hang Up Towels. ...
  • Disinfect the Toilet. ...
  • Vacuum and Mop the Floor. ...
  • Scrub the Shower and Tub. ...
  • Wash Bathroom Rugs and Shower Mat. ...
  • Clean Trash Can. ...
  • Reseal the Surfaces.
Jun 20, 2022

How often should public restrooms be cleaned? ›

Base your cleaning frequency on how much foot traffic you get. Only clean and disinfect your restroom once a day if you experience low foot traffic. The more people that use your restroom, the more times per day you should be cleaning.

Which is the first step of the public toilet management process? ›

Toolbox for PTM Process Step 1 - Supply and Demand Assessment.

What is the main danger in the bathroom? ›

Naturally, you can't have a water closet without the water. But when it doesn't stay where it should, water quickly becomes the number one danger in your bathroom. More people are injured, even fatally, in bathroom falls than in any other room of the house.

What percent of falls happen in the bathroom? ›

NewsUSA confirmed similar results found by a National Institute on Aging (NIA) study. Also citing slippery surfaces as a culprit, researchers determined that more than a third of seniors over the age of 65 slip and fall each year – 80 percent of those falls occur in the bathroom.

What is the hazards and risk in a bathroom? ›

One of the most common bathroom-related accidents is slip and falls. This is because your bathroom is constantly exposed to suds and water. Prevent anyone from slipping and falling by investing in rubber mats where water is most likely to puddle. Water and electric devices are never a good mix.

How do you shower safely? ›

While the risk of slips and falls in the shower or bath is high, fortunately there are some things you can do to help minimize the dangers.
  1. Apply Non Slip Bath Mats and Stickers. ...
  2. Add Grab Bars. ...
  3. Use a Shower Chair or Stool. ...
  4. Install a Handheld Shower Head. ...
  5. Use Bathing Aids. ...
  6. Utilize a Shower Caddy.
Mar 3, 2021

What are the most common injuries in a bathroom? ›

Falls were the most common primary cause of injury (81.1%), and the most frequent diagnosis was contusions or abrasions (29.3%). The head or neck was the most common primary part of the body injured (31.2%).

Videos

1. Safely using public restrooms | Connect the Dots
(WUSA9)
2. Wolfoo, Don't Take Too Long in a Public Restroom - Learn Rules of Conduct for Kids | Wolfoo Channel
(Wolfoo Channel)
3. Public Restroom Safety Medical Course
(Abagtha Abana)
4. 10 Tips to Keeping Your Resort Room Safe and Sanitary
(Jens Happy Home)
5. Public Bathrooms
(SagaTheYoungin)
6. Cart Safe Promotional Video
(Cart Safe)

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