Moral Panics

Dressing toddlers
in public


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 Dressing Toddlers - News Reports

One News
July 18 2006

No birthday suits please


Often when caregivers take children to the local pool, the hardest part is getting them out of the water and dressed.

When they are younger, it's often easiest to dry them and dress them by the side of the pool.

But some pools think toddler nudity is a problem, and for their own protection parents are being warned not to expose their youngsters in public.

Amanda Crozier has been told the community pool where she takes her family for fun and entertainment is also a place where perverts may be lurking.

Crozier was changing her 16 month old daughter at the Kaiapoi Aquatic Centre when a lifeguard approached and said she could not change her daughter by the side of the pool.

"She just issued me with this notice saying it is now our policy that everybody must be changed in the changing rooms."

Crozier's other children were also swimming at the time and she was keeping an eye on them at the same time.

The aquatic centre is a council-owned facility and says there is no ban on child nudity. But is says the message to Crozier was meant as a warning about the risks.

"One is to protect the poolside from a hygiene point of view and the other is personal safety for the parents and children so they're not being filmed by anyone around the poolside," says Craig Sarginson from the Waimakariri District Council.

The council wants parents to be aware of the fact that someone could be filming their children with modern technology - such as people using cellphones as cameras.

Amanda and Ophelia, togs or no togs, were welcomed to Christchurch's centennial pool on Tuesday where the "undress" code is not as strict.

Spokeswoman Michaela Ross says while they don't encourage it, it's the parent's choice as to how they get their children changed.

At Auckland's Olympic Pool in Newmarket caregivers are welcome to change their preschoolers poolside.

Manager John Nixon says there's never been a problem and staff.. swimming instructors are always on the lookout for anyone out of place.

Nixon says the pool is constantly under supervision and the likelihood of anything happening is very slight