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Sign banning boys over 6 from ladies' room sparks debate

When is it OK to let a boy tag along inside the ladies' room and when is he too old for that practice?
/ Source: TODAY

Restroom stops often present a dilemma for moms out and about with their young sons: When is it OK to let a boy tag along inside the ladies’ room and when is he too old for that practice?

A sign posted outside a restroom at a mall in Oklahoma declaring that boys older than 6 should use the men’s room is sparking a debate among families.

Hundreds of people have left messages in response to a photo of the sign, posted this week on the Facebook page of the Oklahoma City Moms Blog.

Many women noted it's a safety issue: They would simply not be comfortable sending a boy into the men’s restroom by himself at 6 or even older and would just ignore the sign.

“Way too young to go alone anywhere, we have to protect our children at any age,” one woman wrote.

Others said a boy should be perfectly safe to go into the men’s room alone as long as a parent waited right outside the door.

Some commenters complained that boys who come into the ladies’ restroom sometimes aren’t adequately supervised.

“I have seen some pretty big (boys) over 6 years old in ladies room and they let their eyes roam and one actually crawled under the door to the (stall) on his back and eyes wide open ready to peek,” one woman wrote.

Many people said the debate is a perfect example of why each public place needs a family restroom.

The TODAY anchors also weighed in, with Matt Lauer noting his son began going to the public restroom alone at 6 or 7, though his wife would always stand by the door.

Natalie Morales said that if she’s out on her own, she takes her 6-year-old son Luke into the ladies’ room with her.

“I would never send my 6-year-old into the bathroom by himself with no adult or at least my older son with him,” she said.

Editor's note: This story was corrected to state the location where this sign was first posted. It was in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.