NCBI ROFL: Study proves elementary school bathrooms unpleasant.

By ncbi rofl | August 16, 2011 7:00 pm

Children’s experiences of school toilets present a risk to their physical and psychological health.

“OBJECTIVE: To ascertain why children and parents frequently describe problems with school toilets. SETTING: Two contrasting cities in Northern England (Newcastle upon Tyne 394 pupils) and Southern Sweden (Goteborg/Mölndal 157 pupils). METHODS: Self-administered questionnaires were given to children aged 9-11 years in England and Sweden. Researchers administered questionnaires to Head teachers and recorded their observations of facilities according to predetermined basic standards. RESULTS: Children from both countries said they found school toilets unpleasant, dirty, smelly, and frightening and that bullying occurred there. Many children avoided using the school toilets (62% of boys and 35% of girls (in the UK site) and 28% boys and girls in Swedish site avoided using the school toilets to defaecate). Results were similar in both centres. CONCLUSION: European standards are needed for school toilets in order to prevent children developing problems such as constipation, urinary tract infections and incontinence.”

Photo: flickr/ Loozrboy

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  • Ivan

    CONCLUSION: European standards are needed for school toilets in order to prevent children developing problems such as constipation, urinary tract infections and incontinence.”
    Oh yes! And the Ministry of Elementary School Toilets to enforce them!

    Do parents have any say in all of it? Does not matter! Mighty EU bureaucracy will take care of everything!

  • Old Rockin’ Dave

    No, let’s have local school board meetings where people can get up and talk about how in their day school toilets were awful and they turned out okay anyway, and how can we spend money improving the toilet situation when there are so many other pressing needs, and let’s cut administrators’/teachers’ salaries to pay for all this. And let’s have balanced discussions on CNN: “And now in support of dirty toilets, John Potts, a spokesman for the Porcelain Coalition, a group which claims dirty toilets are good for children’s health.” And let’s not forget the Pee Party, which will claim that bathroom cleanliness is stressed in Muslim societies, so any attempt to improve the toilets is another socialist step to imposing Sharia law on us.
    Face it, filthy school toilets have been a fact of life for many decades now, and just haven’t been on anyone’s radar, or this would be a non-issue. I put up with it, you did too, but children are fairly powerless. Now that we are grown and could conceivably raise the issue, we have other things to think about. If it takes some standards to improve things, so be it.

  • Jen B

    The filth, I think most of us can teach our kids to work around. The bullying, however… I still recall the few horrible incidents from grade school, and have a few qualms as I send my twins off to kindergarten next week. Thank G-d their day is only 3.5 hours!


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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