July 02, 2015

Q: What is the protocol for a dad taking his daughter to a public restroom? Does she go into the men's room with him? Sorry if this sounds dumb, but I've only ever seen mothers taking their children into the ladies room with them and I'm wondering if guys ever take their kids into the mens room (and if so what to do about all the exposed man parts), or do they go into the ladies room with their little girls and apologize to the grown women...?

A: I would say the absolute last resort choice would be for the dad to go into the woman’s room! First choice would be to find a family bathroom, which is becoming more common these days. Second choice, up to age 4 or 5 would be for the dad to take her into the men’s room but go straight to a stall. After that, hopefully she would be able to go to a woman’s room by herself but if not, he can wait outside the woman’s room until a motherly-looking woman goes in and he can ask her to look out for his daughter.

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Answered by Dr. Alice D. Domar