Public toilets

IT HAS been brought to our attention that there is a lack of public "child-friendly" toilets available to parents, carers or guardians.

It is very difficult when out and about on your own or as a sole caregiver of a child of the opposite sex, and they are at the age when it is no longer deemed appropriate to be toileted, based on gender.

As a mother I remember how the anxiety levels rose as I allowed my son to proceed into a male toilet unaccompanied for the first time and how guilty I felt when letting my son use a disability toilet because I could not face not being able to follow him into the men's toilet.

What we are looking to propose is that disability toilets (as they are large enough to fit prams and extra children) be renamed to "accessible" toilets and have additional signage placed on them to let community members know that children are welcome to also use these facilities.

This would mean that they are available for community members with a disability but would also be available for children to use.

This would provide a safe alternative for the more independent children as well as provide a stress-free option for caregivers. (Most parents would recall having to leave the toilet door ajar when you still have a pram and juggle toilet paper at the same time, prams just do not fit in a regular toilet cubicle).

I believe that disability toilets are a necessity and are a welcomed extension of a user- friendly state.

They provide our community members with a disability with access to what most of us take for granted.

We are not proposing to disadvantage the members of our community who need these facilities, we are just asking to "value add" to the existing infrastructure that is available by extending their use to include children.

- TONI, JESSICA and ERIN, Launceston.