Have you, as a parent felt that your child seems to have to visit every public restroom possible?
That they have to ‘go’ every single time you are out, no matter if it is a friend you are visiting or a mall or other public place you’re at?
And do you then also worry what your child may touch or pick up when he or she uses the facilities?
Public rest room hygiene is a very important topic about which you have to teach your child; the earlier the better. This will help form a lifelong habit resulting in better health[child care] and hygiene for your child.
With the swine flu pandemic being a global phenomenon that largely spreads though shared spaces where the same facilities are used by multiple number of people, the value of such good habits can be easily put into perspective.
If you have a toddler past the diaper age who has to ‘go’ at every given opportunity (and sometimes even, very inconveniently when there is no opportunity), perhaps it is a good idea to carry disinfectant wipes wherever you go.
Before making a child sit on the toilet seat, give it a bit of a wipe down with some disinfectant wipes; that way you know the child is not resting on anything unsavory that someone else left behind.
At all times emphasize the importance of touching as few surfaces of the public rest room as possible and also of hand washing. Educate the child about correct hand washing and though hand washing not just a perfunctory rinsing.
After washing of hands, try not to touch any other surface in the area, because then the child may well pick up what they just got rid of with all the hand washing.
As for when is the appropriate time to let your child use the restroom alone, well there is no particular age at which parents can be sure that the child is fully safe from potential predators and most children will likely indicate when they are able to do this job by themselves.
It is not possible to supervise all the time because soon the child will have to start using the gender specific lavatory and one cannot accompany the child there.
However a general eye can be kept as well as tabs on how long the child takes there. It must be made clear that the restroom is for business and not socializing so having finished that, there is no reason to linger.