As I was contemplating a subject for this week’s post, I asked myself: What does every single person need to know, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, or health status? That answer came easily to me — it was a subject near and dear to my heart: How do you find a bathroom when you need it the most?
As the mother of a kid with Crohn’s disease, I’ve been conducting personal research on this subject for more than18 years. Getting to the front of the line or being persuasive about using public bathrooms is a skill honed over time (we once talked our way into a bathroom on a southern California military base). And there are personality traits one must develop to be successful.
Traveling or merely going out in public can be quite stressful for people with various bowel or urinary conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease or overactive bladder. Aside from those issues, how many of us had a child or an elderly parent say, “I have to go now,” or have the urgency come over ourselves as we’re walking in Times Square or frolicking on South Beach?
In Where To Stop and Where To Go, Arthur Frommer (the guru of travel guide books) describes a “sense of dismay over the failure of many U.S. cities to do enough to enable their residents or visitors to conveniently perform their basic human functions — it’s as if the need to go to the bathroom doesn’t exist.”
In September 2005, the Restroom Access Act was adopted; however, it’s still not the law in every state. It mandates that a retail establishment make their facilities available to customers who suffer from eligible medical conditions that would require an urgent need for the bathroom. Restroom access at non-food establishments is typically covered by state building codes which require that all buildings have restrooms and all occupants have access.
So how do you find a bathroom fast? Get organized before you even leave home — and use these pointers to map out a personalized potty plan: