Changing places – Guest blog with Jen & Handsome Riley

Are you a parent?! Can you Imagine changing your baby/toddler on a public toilet floor that hosts hundreds of germs! Is your answer ‘hell no, that’s why there is baby changing areas available’.

What about a Disabled child or adult why is it classed as acceptable to use a dirty toilet floor or not be able to use a toliet at all?!

If you’ve read my blogs before you’ll know I’ve talk about the changing places campaign to bring awareness to the lack of places for Disabled children and adult to be changed or go to the toilet, but this blog isn’t about me I want to share a story of a beautiful little boy called Riley and his mummy Jen my friend and the challenges faces have a Disabled child being denied the basic human right to have a safe, clean place to go to the loo;

This is Jen and Riley’s story 

Hi my name is Jen, I’m a 34yr old Mum/Carer to my gorgeous little 3yr old boy Riley, I also have my big boy Archie who’s 6.IMG_1276

Riley unfortunately has an undiagnosed neurological condition, he faces many medical issues everyday He has severe epilepsy and global development delay, Riley is non verbal and is fed via PEG due to an unsafe swallow, Riley has very low muscle tone and is unable to hold objects or weight bear, even with everything he faces day-to-day this has never stopped him from giving us one of he’s big beautiful smiles.

Although Riley is only 3yrs old he is very tall for his age which means I’ve unfortunately experienced many challenges trying to change him whilst out and about, especially since he’s now grown to big to use the baby changing tables that are available.

Before having Riley I assumed that all disabled toilets catered for everything that all disabled people would need – how wrong was I!!!! Yes it’s fantastic to have a higher toilet with rail guards and some extra space in the room but what about people who can’t use a toilet?! What about people that need to be hoisted?!

To plan a day out as a family really takes some careful planning and organising, my family live 2.5hrs up the motorway this was an issue to begin with, until I found out some of the service stations on the route which have a changing places facility (or similar!) they are an absolute god send for our journey now.

why should I have to change my little boy on a dirty toilet floor, it’s completely disgraceful that these facilities aren’t available EVERYWHERE shopping centres, pubs, restaurants, supermarkets etc.

If changing places toilets were more widely available it really would make a huge difference to our lives, especially when it comes to making memories as a family – there’s so many theme parks, castles, national parks etc that we simply can not visit unless we are prepared to lie our baby boy on a toilet floor to change him. Why should Riley have to miss out on so many amazing places.

Jen & Riley x


What is a Changing Places toilet? 

Each registered Changes Places toilet includes:

  • Tracking hoist system or mobile hoist
  • Height adjustable adult size changing bench
  • Centrally placed toilet with plenty of room either side
  • Screen or curtain for privacy
  • Adequate space for a disabled person and at least two careers
  • Non Slip floor
  • Large waste bin for disposable pads
  • Wide tear off paper roll to cover the changing bench

To support and raise awareness of the need for Changing Places toilets, Muscular Dystrophy UK established the #FitToBurst campaign, over 250,000 Disabled people in the UK need a changing places or space to change toilet, that 1 in every 260 adult or child.

Keep up to date on Twitter @cp_consortium with access to a map of where all registered changing places toilets

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Go have a read of some real life stories including my own at http://www.changing-places.org/real_life_stories.aspx

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As a changing places user myself I wrote about my experience. Tell me what does it mean to you to have more Changing Places toilet??

Kerry x

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