04/18/2013 08:26 EDT | Updated 06/18/2013 05:12 EDT

Five Ways to Deal With Your Kids in Public Bathrooms

Boy pulls up pants after using the urinal in tiled restroom.
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Boy pulls up pants after using the urinal in tiled restroom.

"I have to go pee!"

No sooner do those dreaded words leave the lips of your child and you've already broken out into a cold sweat.

The thought of entering a public bathroom with your kid is more than you can bear. A cesspool of germs -- literally -- thoughts of the Bubonic Plague and worse swirl around your mind.

"Are you sure?" you ask, hoping for a reprieve. "Can you wait until we get home?!"

Of course the answer is a big fat "NO!" from your child who is now hopping up and down, trying to hold off an imminent deluge, much to your protestations.

Have no fear the next time this scenario presents itself. There are, thankfully, some very simple tips and strategies that parents can use in order to avoid picking up too many of those dreaded germs, diseases and other choice microorganisms that seem to fester in public bathrooms.

Following are the Top 5 Ways to Deal With Public Bathrooms When Out With the Kids

1) Don't touch anything -- Make sure to use tissue to open doors before and after leaving the bathroom. Don't touch the bathroom locks, doors, taps etc. with your bare hands. Flush the toilet with your foot. I'm serious.

2) Bring hand sanitizer with you -- Apply after washing hands. you may accidentally touch something and no amount of soap and water will make you feel clean. The hand sanitizer is an extra reassurance that you will get our of that place without the a serious illness or disease.

3) Teach your kids not to touch everything and to always wash their hands after every trip to the toilet -- Explain to them how diseases are spread in simple terms. Once they get it, they won't want to touch anything in a public washroom either. Trust me on this.

4) Hover -- A must if you're raising a little girl. For boys, this may prove to be a necessary skill as well. Failing this or weak thigh muscles, put toilet paper on the seats. By all means, try to avoid contact with the toilet seat whenever possible. I know that experts say that you can't catch diseases from toilet seats but why take a chance?

5) Make a deposit before you leave the house -- Urge your child to go to the bathroom at home. To avoid the nightmare that is often a visit to a public bathroom with your kids, let the little ones get in the habit of going to the toilet before going out to decrease the likelihood of them having to use public facilities. Even if they do have to go when you're out, it won't be as bad if they've visited the loo before heading out.

So you see, your trip out with the kids doesn't have to be a stressful and anxiety-producing event. Prepare accordingly by following the tips above and you'll be good to go.

This post also appears at

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