No one likes a public toilet do they? I know this because when we find a nice one – one that feels clean, fresh, maybe has some flowers or fancy soap – we come out and say – ‘Ooh, the toilets are *lovely*’.

Somehow, because they aren’t ours, because they are used by strangers, we expect a lesser standard than we would at home.

Now imagine you can’t go to the toilet by yourself.

Imagine you’re my son – 5 years old – who wears nappies and needs changing whilst he’s out and about; maybe at a hospital appointment, having lunch or just visiting a local attraction.

Imagine the realisation by your parents that though it says ‘disabled toilet’ what it actually means is ‘toilet for the cognitively able but with limited mobility’.

For though there are grab rails aplenty… there is no changing facility for a wriggly 5 year old in a nappy.

There is nowhere safe to lie him down.

We have to lie him on the floor.

A floor that has been walked over by those strangers I mentioned earlier.

With shoes you can’t guarantee are clean.

A floor that maybe someone hasn’t been as careful with as they might their floor at home. If you get my meaning.

A floor where, however Alex is positioned, chances are he’s able to grab at the toilet with his hands.

Because he doesn’t really understand where he is, or what the germ implications are. He just likes the sensory experience of touching new things.

It’s an unpleasant experience that mars the day.

When I am changing him I do it as quickly as I can, have no time for fun, or giggles… I want to rush him, and he picks up on that and responds in kind. No one likes being rushed.

There is currently a #barefootchallenge to highlight the problem.

Take a picture of you barefoot in a toilet and tweet it out, share it on Facebook, with the #barefootchallenge.

To find out how a business can provide better changing facilities to meet the needs of kids like Alex visit the Firefly Garden Space to Change Campaign and Changing Places.

A clean space to change our children is a small thing, yet a huge thing. It says: You matter. Please help spread the word.

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