A chain of commercial swimming pool centres in Sydney has introduced a new rule banning young kids from accompanying their parents into different-sex change rooms. Kindergarten-aged children are now required to shower and change by themselves in the gender-appropriate room. Do you think this is an acceptable regulation or has society gone completely bonkers?
Pool kid picture from Shutterstock
Last month, Aquabliss School of Swim erected signs telling parents that kindergarten-age children are old enough to shower and change on their own. The company made the decision after receiving two complaints from customers who were made uncomfortable by the situation. Not surprisingly, the new rule has caused a storm of controversy with parents taking to social media en masse to voice their displeasure.
The company is now seeking advice on the matter from the government body Swim Australia. (There are currently conflicting reports as to whether the signs have been taken down, with some parents claiming they were simply moved inside the change rooms.)
In any event, the company seems to be sticking by its decision, with a spokesperson telling the Daily Telegraph that they will do what “the industry feels is best.”
We’re not sure why Aquabliss School felt compelled to take such drastic action after receiving only two complaints. The company has separate swimming centres in Lane Cove, Roseville, Pymble, Normanhurst, Thornleigh, Seven Hills and Wenona, so the number of complaints is pretty minuscule in relation to its size.
Like most parents, I often take my daughters swimming solo so my partner can have a break (or, as is more often the case, clean up the house). While my local pool does have a parents’ change room, it’s usually occupied at the exact moment my kids are in desperate need of the loo.
Personally, I think forcing any parent to send their children into a public toilet unattended is just plain wrong. Apart from the obvious “stranger-danger” factor, the presence of slippery, cement floors could also lead to serious accidents; especially if your kids are half-monkey like mine.
Plus, it’s sure to add a lot more pee into the water which isn’t something any of us want.
Do you think young kids should be allowed to accompany their parents into the ‘wrong’ change room? Or should they stick to the change rooms reserved for their own gender? Has anyone ever blasted you for taking your son into the female change rooms, or your daughter into the male change rooms? Have your say in the comments section below!