Never let anyone touch your child, and if at all possible make sure boys opt for a stall rather than a urinal to ensure their privacy when urinating. If a restroom looks unsafe to you, pick another one rather than send your young child in unescorted, even if you think they are old enough to take care of their business from start to finish.
Hopefully tips like this will wipe away any concerns you have when it comes to your child and you being comfortable when he or she needs to use a public bathroom without your direct supervision.
Lewis First, M.D., is chief of Pediatrics at Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. You can also catch "First with Kids" weekly on WOKO 98.9 FM and WCAX-TV Channel 3. Visit the First with Kids archives at www.vermontchildrens.org.