You are out with your family. There’s you, your children, maybe your partner. Your shopping.
Without any worries or cares you go and spend your well-earned money in major high street stores. While everything seems to be going ok for now, out of the blue your child needs to go to the toilet or has an accident. Seems like an easy situation? Just take the child to the toilet right? It’s so simple.
But what if it is not that easy?
Now imagine that your child is disabled. Many families don’t have to imagine this. It is just their life. Your child, you have desperately protected from bugs, germs, anything that may hurt them. But they need to go to the toilet, A basic human need, right?
Back to shopping in said huge multi million pound UK retailer, before there is an embarrassing accident for both you and your child, you go in search for a toilet. Most shops have a toilet. Its basic human need.
You find a toilet.
But remember, it’s not that simple. Your child has a disability which means that they can’t use a regular toilet. Whether it is due to the fact they are still in nappies and too big to use a ‘baby’ changing table or they are in a wheel chair and even a conventional disabled toilet doesn’t fulfil their needs.
Before we continue with imagining lets talk about some facts on public toilet as you will most probably be changing your child on a cold, wet and germ infested public toilet floor after all.
- A typical toilet has an average 1,201 germ count
- Common germs found in public toilets include, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus E coli and Shigella bacteria and Hepatitis A virus.
- Germs from a flushing toilet can move up to 6ft. Everytime a toilet gets flushed, germs become airborne meaning there is greater risk of infection.
Now you know this would you be willing to change your child on a public toilet floor?
If the answer is no (which I hope it is ) Then you need to get behind the Changing Places campaign.
A Changing Place is a specialist space so people with extra needs can have a comfortable place to be changed or use the toilet. Many families are forced (a lot of stores don’t provide adequate facilities) to use dirty germ infested toilet floors to change their loved ones!
In reality no one would agree there is much dignity in this. The best way I have found to describe how horrid it is for major companies not to provide Changing Places for their costumers is this;
Ask yourself this – Would you be willing to walk in to your local public toilet and happily lay on the floor beneath a dirty toilet used by hundreds of people a day? Not knowing what germs and bacteria could potential be on that floor?
NO! So why should thousands of people everyday be forced to do this.
Changing Places provide adult sized height adjustable changing benches, hoists, enough space for a person with a disability and 2 careers, a screen or curtain to allow privacy, a non slip floor, large waste bin for disposable nappies and paper roll for hygiene on the bench. Changing Places should be provided in addition to disabled accessible toilets.
To learn more bout Changing Places check out their website.
If you know of any where that you think would benefit from a Changing Places then contact them and pitch the idea. They might not have one because they don’t know about them!
Please share this to spread the word!