Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More on the subject of public restrooms

While we are on the subject, I probably have a whole list of ways that public restrooms could be improved, and I'm not going to Google this before I start ranting this time. Maybe it has already been said, but so what?
As the parent of a toddler I really pay attention to public restrooms these days. I remember one in a Walmart in Keene, NH that had 2 toilets in the family restroom. One was kid-sized and the other was adult-sized. There was also a diaper deck in there. I don't get up to Keene very often, but I thought that was great. Way to go Walmart! I wish more public restrooms had that. I don't remember much about the sink though or the hand dryer/paper towel situation.
Seriously an ideal public restroom would have more than one handicap stall or a family restroom in addition to the handicap stall. I hate using the handicap stall and coming out to find some poor old lady waiting impatiently to use it to change her Depends. I always feel so guilty, and yet often that is where the diaper deck is. If you don't have a family restroom, then putting the diaper deck in the handicap stall is good. I like the extra space in there. I wish there was a trash can within easy reach of the diaper deck more often too. The other good thing about having the handicap stall is that a kid can hang onto the railing next to the toilet for support.
Home Dept rocks. They have a separate family bathroom which I really wouldn't expect in a store like that.
Another tip that establishments should follow is not to put the diaper deck "in traffic". So often the diaper deck is near the entrance or near the sinks and if someone is using it then other people can't get past the mother and baby to get in/out or to get to the stalls.
Easier to reach soap would be a bonus for most places. I generally find that the more handicapped accessible the bathroom is, the more kid-friendly the bathroom is because kids need a lot of the same features that someone in a wheelchair needs- lower and easier to get to, and more space.
The most ideal restrooms would be like the Keene, NH one- 2 toilets, a diaper deck, and a sink that the kid could get to. I would like paper towels instead of the air hand dryers because they work better and little kids are sometimes scared of loud noises. Plus the kid can do it themselves. Hand the kid a paper towel, let him/her dry hands and put towel in wastebasket. The hot air dryers usually need some kind of parental assistance.
I'm sure I'm going to have to come back and edit this post later on, but at least it's started.

No comments:

Post a Comment