Shopping centre toilets have become a total nightmare for parents of autistic children.

The noise from hang dryers frequently upsets people with autism, forcing some frustrated mothers to get their children to urinate in empty bottles, reports Daily Telegraph.

With an estimated one in 70 Australians on the autism spectrum, parents are calling for centres to install “sensory toilets”, a quiet space similar to a disabled toilet.

Children with autism are highly sensitive to sounds and can be easily overwhelmed by their surroundings.

One mum said her son can’t use public bathrooms due to the “terrifying” noises.

“Shopping centres are a headache for me and any other public toilet that has hand dryers, especially those Dyson ones that are really noisy and really high speed,” she said.

Professor Adam Guastella, supervisor of the Autism Clinic for Translational Research, said the problem is common for children who on the spectrum.

“Kids with autism have strong sensitivities to different types of sounds and those that are loud can be very painful for kids, sometimes even physically painful,” he said.

Dyson has responded with the following:

Engineering hand dryers that are quiet is very important to Dyson. To create the best possible experience for users, we have been working hard towards our aim of making hand dryers as quiet as possible, without comprising drying speed. At the end of 2016, we launched the Dyson Airblade V quiet which is 35% quieter than its predecessor, then in 2018 we introduced Dyson Airblade Wash+Dry, the latest version of our tap hand dryer which is up to 39% than its predecessor and we’re encouraging washroom owners to install our latest machines.

Sound is of course a key aspect that Dyson looks to continually test and improve alongside drying speed, hygiene and ensuring environmental sustainability, all elements of which are essential to bathroom hand washing routines. Making the hand washing experience an enjoyable and efficient one for both users and building managers is extremely important to Dyson.”

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  • Those dryers are LOUD. My youngest used to despise them. She’s gotten better over time, but only with less noisy ones.


  • Brilliant idea my child hates hand dryers and would scream when in toilets when they were used……


  • It’s not just autistic children who have issues with the hand dryers. My daughter really hates the loud noise too. She has always been noise sensitive. (Even as a newborn when the nurse accidentally kicked the metal bin near her cot and she almost jumped out of her skin…at least we knew her hearing was fine!). It’s great to hear Dyson are making dryers that are much more quieter.


  • My kids don’t have autism, but all three of them HATE hand dryers – especially Dysons ones. I prefer paper towel myself, but they all always tell me not to use the hand dryers when we go to public toilets as the noise volume disturbs them that much.
    I honestly don’t know how Dyson get away with the decibel level of their hadn’t dryers – they’re just horrible and I wouldnt use them even if my kids didn’t want me to!


  • I get it that autistic kids need this – however shopping centres can’t cater for every type of disability/health condition of the people that use them. If the autistic person is using the disabled toilets then they can not use the air dryers if they are too noisy.


  • Why do some shopping centres have music in the toilets which is often quite loud? We had to ask a supermarket we frequently go to turn their music down. Not only does the child have a reaction the loud noises, too much can lead to an epileptic seizure. She is about to have sensory tests. Also the music was so loud that we couldn’t hear the others we were with talking at all even though we were standing side by side.


  • I’ve always preferred the paper towels to dry my hands in public toilets. Bring back the paper towels!


  • Great idda


  • Great idea


  • I have a toddler and a baby who both hate sudden loud noises. We just use parents rooms or disabled toilets so they don’t have to deal with it.


  • I don’t like those hand dryers.


  • Would it be possible for the families of these children to use the disabled toilets? It’s a different issue I know but I’ve had to use the disabled toilets a lot since having my baby as i can’t fit my pram through the door of the parents room in my local shopping centre!

    • This is a good suggestion, and I think would help alot


  • It is a fair call, there has been evidence to show that the life cycle of the paper towel vs the hand drier that the paper towel co,es out more efficient.

    • I would believe it and just wish that toilet facilities were well stocked with paper towels.


  • I must admit I don’t like how noisy some of those hand dryers are nowadays


  • The dryers in toilets are loud and horrible. Prefer paper towels.


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