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Safety issues of travelling with a 6 year old

Safety issues of travelling with a 6 year old

Old Jun 12, 17, 10:13 am
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Safety issues of travelling with a 6 year old

We always traveled as a family; this year is an exception that my wife and 6 year old son are taking their summer vacation together while I take care of the home base. They have a 2 hour lay-over in Munich airport, terminal 2. Wife was concerned how to take a quick restroom break when my son is around. How does seasoned travellers handle such a situation?
Additional question- it seems, they have to run from T2 to T2-satellite to catch their next flight. How long does that take and does it involve another round of security checkup?

Last edited by sensia; Jun 12, 17 at 10:27 am
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Old Jun 12, 17, 10:21 am
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Perhaps they have a family bathroom? I have only transited FRA, and wasn't with my child then. Most European international airports have good restrooms.
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Old Jun 12, 17, 1:08 pm
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A 6 year old would be acceptable in most German bathrooms. Germans are not prude at all. E.g. nudism is big in Germany.
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Old Jun 12, 17, 2:53 pm
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Not sure if you're comfortable enough with this, but I would just tell him to stay outside on the nearest bench and not to go with anyone or let anybody touch our bags. He usually takes the responsibility very seriously.

Or you could let him go in the restroom with her, I don't think anybody would bat an eye.
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Old Jun 12, 17, 3:58 pm
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By age 6 my son used the men's room on his own when we traveled.

When I used the ladies, he would sit with the luggage where he could see the door.

It all depends on the kid: mine was mature for age and a seasoned traveler. He also knew to scream bloody murder if anybody touched him - parents do need to teach kids about safety in public places. But the truth is the probability of anybody molesting a kid in an airport is quite small.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 6:24 am
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The wheelchair-accessible bathrooms work, but they are usually just one oversized restroom. That or waiting near the bathroom entrance with instructions not to to leave.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 1:36 pm
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You should feel no hesitation about bringing a six year old boy into the women's room. You should do what makes you most comfortable.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by rjque View Post
You should feel no hesitation about bringing a six year old boy into the women's room. You should do what makes you most comfortable.
I disagree. There is an expectation by users of public restrooms that when they shut the stall door, they will have privacy. The last boy of ~6 or that I saw in ladies room went up and down the row peeking into stalls.

If you take your 6 year old son into the ladies room, you have an obligation to make sure he behaves appropriately, even if you have to have him in the stall with you and that makes you uncomfortable. It's not all about "you" - and in Germany there's a good chance if your kid misbehaves, somebody will tell you off.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 9:25 pm
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
I disagree. There is an expectation by users of public restrooms that when they shut the stall door, they will have privacy. The last boy of ~6 or that I saw in ladies room went up and down the row peeking into stalls.
There are perceived girls of ~6 years of age who do the same, in the women's restroom and/or in the men's restroom. And there are perceived same-sex (at-birth or otherwise) (as at the sign at the restroom entrance) adults who do peek into the stalls at time.

Also, given that men's restrooms tend to have less private urination areas than females' restrooms, what are men traveling by themselves with c 6 year old girls to do? Not all of the kids can wait by themselves alone out of sight of their adult caretaker in an unfamiliar location.

The solution to some of this is to try to use restrooms marked for family use and/or that are meant for wheelchair users too. But even that isn't always a functional solution for the circumstances. And even that isn't considered ideal by some. Short of having another party being sufficiently trusted for taking the responsibility of at least temporarily watching the child, these situations do have their challenges. And yet it goes fine most always, even with these situations of a parent traveling alone with a young child of the opposite sex as the parent on the trip.

If peeking into the stalls is possible when the door is shut, then the restroom users don't have absolute privacy -- and that relative lack of privacy seems to be by design (whether to save money or to limit "mis-use" of the restrooms). There is no absolute privacy against peeking into restroom stalls in a multi-user public restroom area with lots of traffic when the stalls used were designed as such that peeking in is possible -- whether done by boys or girls, whether done in the women's restroom or in the men's restroom.

Men or women wanting privacy from peeking boys or girls or others in airport restrooms should perhaps look at options beside those of using restrooms that were designed so as to allow peeking. The family/wheel-chair-user restrooms are one such possibility at many airports, FRA included. Also, airline/airport lounges for premium airline customers or those with lounge memberships of sort may have a few additional choices for restroom/bathroom use; and airside/transit/airport hotels too. But the bigger issue may be bathroom use on the planes than on the ground.

As someone who frequently took flight trips as a child with just one adult caretaker of the same or opposite perceived sex of myself, I thought things worked out fine and better at airports than even at (non-airport) shopping malls. And things have only gotten easier for adults in this situation as time flies forward.

Originally Posted by rjque View Post
You should feel no hesitation about bringing a six year old boy into the women's room. You should do what makes you most comfortable.
She should indeed do what makes her most comfortable, for the alternative to that probably isn't a good idea.

i would suggest that if a child this young is going to wait outside by themselves (or otherwise may be separated) then having them have the adult's roaming cell phone number or other means to call/contact the adult in real-time may be a good idea. This could mean writing down the phone number on something on the child, having the child have a cell phone during the potential separation times on the ground,, using wireless data for partial live communication channel while one is in the bathroom and the other outside.

A few days ago I saw a sub-7 year old child separated from his mother due to the metro train doors closing in Copenhagen such that the mother ended up on the train with me and the son missed the train because the son unexpectedly got blocked from boarding by someone rushing off the train at the last second. Doing that which is most comfortable for someone else resulted in that issue.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jun 13, 17 at 9:43 pm
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Old Jun 13, 17, 9:39 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
If peeking into the stalls is possible when the door is shut, then the restroom users don't have absolute privacy -- and that relative lack of privacy seems to be by design (whether to save money or to limit "mis-use" of the restrooms). There is no absolute privacy against peeking into restroom stalls in a multi-user public restroom area with lots of traffic when the stalls used were designed as such that peeking in is possible -- whether done by boys or girls, whether done in the women's restroom or in the men's restroom.
You are seriously trying to use the design of bathroom doors as justification for unsupervised brats (of any age, adults included here) peeking under and around bathroom doors? Bathroom door design excuses kids crawling along the floor peeking into stalls? Or standing on toilets looking over the walls? I've witnessed these behaviors and others in airport restrooms over the years and I never once thought it was because of the door design.

That failed justification is not only disgusting, it borders on contempt for anyone who ever needs to use a restroom in a public place.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 9:50 pm
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
You are seriously trying to use the design of bathroom doors as justification for unsupervised brats (of any age, adults included here) peeking under and around bathroom doors? Bathroom door design excuses kids crawling along the floor peeking into stalls? Or standing on toilets looking over the walls? I've witnessed these behaviors and others in airport restrooms over the years and I never once thought it was because of the door design.

That failed justification is not only disgusting, it borders on contempt for anyone who ever needs to use a restroom in a public place.


I have contempt for myself? I consider myself a very frequent user of restrooms at airports too.

I'm just informing people of the reality of the situation. And I said nothing to justify unsupervised brat behavior, whether done by boys, girls, or adults in a same-sex or opposite-sex restroom.

The fact is that absolute privacy in restroom use doesn't exist when using the stalls that were designed so as to allow peeking. And that issue with brat behavior problem exists whether the c. 6 years old child in the wormen's restroom is a boy or girl.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jun 13, 17 at 10:05 pm
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Old Jun 14, 17, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Also, given that men's restrooms tend to have less private urination areas than females' restrooms, what are men traveling by themselves with c 6 year old girls to do? Not all of the kids can wait by themselves alone out of sight of their adult caretaker in an unfamiliar location.
My daughter is 5 years old with two daddies, so I am very familiar with that scenario. She has spent far more time in public men's rooms than women's rooms. She is just now asking to go to the ladies' room by herself, which I allow in certain circumstances (with me just outside the door). But if I have to go, she is going with me into the men's room.
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Old Jun 14, 17, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by rjque View Post
My daughter is 5 years old with two daddies, so I am very familiar with that scenario. She has spent far more time in public men's rooms than women's rooms. She is just now asking to go to the ladies' room by herself, which I allow in certain circumstances (with me just outside the door). But if I have to go, she is going with me into the men's room.
I'd do the same thing if in those circumstances. But I'd also probably find myself using the "family"/"wheelchair" toilets if they were co-located or just about co-located to the same-sex restroom as the adult caretaker(s).

Men's urinal banks tend to have way less privacy than the toilet stalls in men's toilet areas or women's toilet areas. I'm not sure how aware of that reality women are, but I've known women to sometimes use men's restroom toilet stalls because the wait for an available women's toilet stall was way too long to work out as well as using what was likely an otherwise empty men's toilet. I can't recall men complaining about that. Do men complain about your daughter coming into the men's restroom?

I've seen men take their children -- daughters included -- into the men's room at FRA and MUC. Can't say I've heard any complaints about that.
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Old Jun 14, 17, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
I'd do the same thing if in those circumstances. But I'd also probably find myself using the "family"/"wheelchair" toilets if they were co-located or just about co-located to the same-sex restroom as the adult caretaker(s).

Men's urinal banks tend to have way less privacy than the toilet stalls in men's toilet areas or women's toilet areas. I'm not sure how aware of that reality women are, but I've known women to sometimes use men's restroom toilet stalls because the wait for an available women's toilet stall was way too long to work out as well as using what was likely an otherwise empty men's toilet. I can't recall men complaining about that. Do men complain about your daughter coming into the men's restroom?

I've seen men take their children -- daughters included -- into the men's room at FRA and MUC. Can't say I've heard any complaints about that.
Nobody has ever complained about her being in the men's room, and of course I use a unisex bathroom when available (which is rare). When she was in diapers I would occasionally just use the women's room when there was no changing table in the men's room, and women were always very understanding.

People spend way too much time worrying about who is in which restroom. In reality, most people just want to do their business and leave, rather than pay attention to what others are doing in there.
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Old Jun 14, 17, 9:21 am
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Again. In Germany any 6 year old boy can accompany his mom into a female restroom without issues. This is culturally acceptable

End of discussion.
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