Using the bathroom at school


At our meeting with the school a couple days ago to discuss my son's 1st grade allergy safety plan an issue came up which I wasn't sure about. Last year the K room had a bathroom in it. This year, he'd have to walk down the hall to one of the bathrooms which is used by all boys in the school. Should he be taking his medicine pack with him? He does not carry it, the teachers do, and I doubt he'd be able to do much with it if her were to have a reaction in the bathroom. Should he always be accompanied to the bathroom by another child perhaps? I'm just not sure. He is contact sensitive and although his grade is being asked to "voluntarily" not bring nuts for lunch, I'm sure some will and the rest of the bathroom-users have no such restrictions.

A part of me wants to just let go of this - let him go to the bathroom either on his own or with a buddy, make sure he washes hands, which he is good at doing, and not schlep the medicine bag along.

So, anybody have bathroom experiences/advice to share?

On Aug 19, 2004

Well, I think that having someone take him up the hall to the toilet is overkill. Of course it is possible that there could be some peanut residue on the sink or whatever...but have his b-room visits made so "public" in first grade seems like something that I would risk in keeping his school life normal.

And in the context of real life, if he needed his needed his meds in the bathroom that would probably not be the first motion of the kid - teacher that found him in distress - so the delay of "up the hall" is minimal.

Sorry if I seem blunt, but you need to start measuring the risk to his health vs. making him SO DIFFERENT he has problems from that.

Good luck.

[This message has been edited by Chicago (edited August 19, 2004).]

On Aug 19, 2004

If he doesn't usually wear his medicine pack then no, I wouldn't have him carry it to the bathroom.

If other kindergartners go alone then I'd let him go alone also.

So I'm in agreement with Chicago.

My only question is whether kindergartners should be really be going alone through the halls. In our school, kindergartners always went with a partner. They're so young! If they run into a problem in the bathroom, their friend can go find an adult to help. Sometimes, unfortunately, there can be some minor bullying, even in the nicest schools, and it helps if the kindies always have a buddy with them. I think our first graders also went in pairs.

On Aug 19, 2004

I would also let him go without the medicine pack. In our school the grade one's were always paired up with a buddy to go to the bathroom. Aside from the allergy i think it's a good idea for them to have a buddy....they are so little still. My son went to the bathroom without his, he keeps his in his backpack and in the office. I try to balance his life so that he was safe but still "normal" (whatever that is!)

On Aug 19, 2004

Sorry Yonit, just realized your son is starting first grade now, not kindergarten. Personally, I prefer the buddy system, even for first graders, but if they don't do it that way, I wouldn't want to make him the exception.

The only thing I'd add is to be sure that everyone knows if he's "feeling funny" or not well, that he shouldn't go alone to the bathroom.

On Aug 19, 2004

This same issue was in our 504 plan, but I have since revised it. It was notated that he had to have someone that could use his epi with him at all times or a buddy. As we read this, I realized how weird this could be for him. I have since said that until it becomes a health hazard, he will be allowed to walk down the hall to the restroom by himself. The teacher MUST keep track of how long he has been gone.

He does carry his epi-belt with him at all times and everyone in that hall way knows how to use it and knows of my son. I guess you just have to let go of somethings and I think that this one was okay for me. He is also in first grade.


On Aug 19, 2004

Thanks everyone - I think we're all on the same page about this issue. I will suggest the buddy system and perhaps they can do it with the other kids as well if they do not already. Also a good point about the exception being that if he's feeling "funny" or has anything happening that's out of the norm, to definately NOT send him on his own.

On Aug 19, 2004

Yonit, my son does wear his Epi-belt when he is at school, but he has gone to the bathroom for five years now unaccompanied (unless they did the buddy system in JK and SK).

Jesse is extremely private about going to the bathroom in the first place (he will use the stall rather than a urinal).

However, your post is the first time this idea even crossed my mind, not that that means anything.

What I wanted to say is that Jesse has managed to go to the bathroom for five years and never had a reaction from using the toilet (rather than the urinal), the sink, the soap dispenser, etc.

Best wishes! [img][/img]

On Aug 19, 2004


We're always tackling the same issues (DS is entering 1st grade, too!). Same details as well (in K, there was a bathroom in the classroom, not so for 1st grade). We found out that they still employ a buddy system in 1st grade. DS doesn't wear Epi, so we decided that it won't accompany him to the bathroom.

Also, he has his own soap in the classroom, so he will return to the classroom and wash there.

Believe me, given the sorry state of school restrooms these days, the poor kids really minimize using them unless they have to....

On Aug 20, 2004

Ryan's epi is always on him, under his big shirts. He does go to the bathroom whenever he needs too, although he washes his hands with soap and water when he gets back to the classroom. I don't want him touching handles in school bathrooms.

All my kids, not just Ryan, practice "safe" public restroom door handling. Use a paper towel or pull down a shirt sleeve to use the door handle to open it to avoid contact with e-coli for all the people who don't wash their hands. Terribly gross, IMO. However, the school bathroom doors are always propped open with a wedge.

On Aug 20, 2004

There's no sink in our first grade rooms, so he'll have to use the one in the bathroom - it's an industrial dispenser, mounted on the wall . . . I should check what soap it is, but I imagine it's okay. I also have to remember that we've always used public bathrooms - as yucky as some are - and he hasn't had any contact reactions (although an adult is always with him thus far).

Nuttermore . . . we do seem to have a very similar situation. I'd be interested in showing you our plan and seeing your son's (can't recall if you've posted his first grade one here) for comparison. Each year has new issues and challenges.

Thanks all for the feedback.

On Aug 22, 2004


We do not feel it is safe for our daughter to use the kid's bathroom at school. We have written into her 504 plan that she is to use the bathroom in the nurse's office.

This has worked out very well for us. When our daughter goes to the bathroom this gives the nurse a chance to take a peek at our daughter's face(usually the first place a contact reaction starts with her).

Last year, the nurse caught about a dozen contact reactions before they had a chance to develope into something more serious.

Is using the nurse's restroom extreme? I don't know, but our daughter doesn't mind and the nurse likes it because she gets to monitor our daughter through the day without making the "face checking" obvious or an issue.

Stay Safe,

Sue in Sunny Arizona

On Aug 22, 2004

I have to look at ds plan, Im not sure if we put anything in about the bathroom, but I know his aide does walk down with him.

I [b]do[/b] have it in his plan that if he ever needs to go to the nurse for any reason he is to be accompanied by an adult.

So far it has never been an issue that she goes with him, (obviously she doesn't go [b]in[/b] with him, she waits in the hallway), but if it becomes an issue we will rethink it.