Designing an accessible bathroom for children with disabilities

Designing an accessible bathroom for children with disabilities

When designing an accessible bathroom for a child with a disability, first and foremost we recommend an individual assessment with an occupational therapist as your child may be eligible to receive a disabled facilities grant (DFG) to help towards the cost of the adaptation. The information contained below is not intended as a replacement for a thorough assessment in your home environment, considering your child's individual needs.

Considerations should include:

  • The needs and wishes of the child and parents.

  • The age of the child. The bathroom may need to reflect the emerging independence of the child and the need for privacy.

  • Other bathroom users.

  • Access and space.

  • Structural alterations. Is a grant available to help cover costs?

  • Type of floor, i.e. wooden or concrete.

  • Sanitary fittings. Consider what is currently being used, assistive equipment that is required now or in the future and more specialised fittings.

  • Children who are not able to move around easily may get cold very quickly when undressed. Additional safe heating in the bathroom may be required.

  • The possible therapeutic benefits of bathing in warm water, e.g. children with tight muscles may find it easier than usual to move in warm water.

  • The storage and cleaning of any equipment required.

  • If a bath is to be installed, or is to remain in a new bathroom design, consider the size. Can it accommodate supportive bathing equipment now, and as your child grows?

Information and advice on design issues is available from the Centre for Accessible Environments. This organisation keeps a database of architects, surveyors and similar professionals with experience of designing for disabled people, and has a number of useful publications and design sheets.

Advice last checked: 30 January 2018 Next check due: 30 January 2021

All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
Conflict of interest statement

References

  1. Disabled Living Foundation 2014  Choosing children's daily living equipment
    View reference   Last visited:  13/08/2012 Evidence type: 2
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