Child safety is everyone’s business.
Public facilities have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their most precious guests. It is an initiative that requires proper action and due diligence of property management.
Accidents are preventable, and it is in the best interest of all businesses to take proper action in ensuring the safety of its guests. It is essential to always keep children safe, enhance guest experience, simplify operations, reduce liability and be compliant to regulations.
One of the most important items for a business owner to consider is a well-equipped and well-maintained public restroom. In addition to the obvious requirements of a public restroom, like providing plenty of soap, toilet paper and other essentials, there are some important items a business with a public restroom should not overlook. One of these items is to provide a safe, clean surface for babies to be changed.
The availability of a baby changing station can be a huge relief for a patron and can contribute to an overall positive experience for the business.
Foundations®, the baby changing station experts, has gathered these tips, best practices and resources to assist you in carrying out this initiative.
What to Expect from a Baby Changing Station
In searching for a baby changing station, quality matters. Keep the following important features in mind when selecting your changing station:
- Look for a product that is inherently bacterial resistant and easy to clean. Foundations changing stations never use added harmful anti-microbial chemicals and have been tested to ASTM G-21 for bacterial resistance.
- Easy to install: Foundations offers the EZ Mount Backer Plate on select models to make installation more efficient.
- Sturdy steel hinges and gas shocks
- Safety straps that are easily sanitized
- Built-in liner dispensers
Compare Foundations changing stations, including stainless steel options and changers for adults with special needs (up to 400 pounds). Foundations also offers a number of accessories and replacement parts, including:
- Sanitary Disposable Liners
- Stainless Steel Liner Dispenser
- Baby Diaper Kits
- Stainless Steel Diaper Vendor
- Toddler Wall Seat
- Shock Replacement Kit
What to Expect when Installing a Baby Changing Station
- Building codes vary among different cities. Be sure to contact an architect or building contractor for assistance. They will be familiar with local ordinances. Learn more about your state’s building code in this resource guide.
- Proper installation is key for compliance with ADA requirements. Review product information carefully with regards to wall placement to confirm ADA compliance. Foundations products are ANSI compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (when they’re properly installed).
- A stud or a load bearing member MUST be located and used for at least one side of the diaper changing station. A diaper changing station is no stronger than the anchors or walls to which they are attached. Therefore, it MUST be secured to support the intended weight.
Changing stations from Foundations meet the ASTM F2285-04(2016) safety specification for changing tables for commercial use. The safety performance requirements are for children who weigh less than 50 pounds.
It is important to regularly inspect your installed changing station to make sure it is in good working order. If any parts are broken or missing, take the changing station out of service immediately.
Changing Station Laws
It is in a business’s best interest to include a baby changing station in their public restroom; however, there currently is not a national law that requires it. But there have been some legislative initiatives that have been gaining momentum among businesses, advocates and parents.
The Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act (also known as the BABIES Act) was signed into law in 2016. By 2018, changing stations must be available in male and female restrooms in federal buildings, such as Social Security offices, courthouses and post offices.
In California, publicly owned buildings and many private businesses must provide baby changing stations in men’s and women’s public restrooms. The law affects restaurants, grocery stores, shopping centers and many other facilities (with some square feet minimums). Learn more.
The state of New York now requires all new and substantially renovated buildings to include baby changing stations in men's and women's public restrooms. Lawmakers added the provision to the state budget. The new rule applies to restrooms on each public floor in state facilities and businesses, including stores, restaurants and movie theaters. Learn more.
In New York City, new and renovated public restrooms will need to feature changing stations that men and women can use. The law takes effect in July 2018. See details.
Child Safety Advocates
Several organizations lead the charge when it comes to protecting children from harm. The following organizations provide a variety of webinars, publications and strategic guidance for agencies on how to prevent injuries in public settings:
Offers news, archived articles, research and newsletters on facility management.
Provides articles, videos, industry research and a directory for professionals responsible for the cleaning and upkeep of diverse facilities, including health care, education, government, and commercial.
Delivers information on quality operation, design, and maintenance of facilities through the lens of facility management experts.
Provides news, career resources and educational articles concerning the management and technology of facilities.
Serves commercial building owners and managers while providing information on building management and operations, development, leasing, building operating costs, energy consumption patterns, local and national building codes, legislation, occupancy statistics, technological developments and other industry trends.
Represents and assists members to generate the highest levels of efficiency, safety, and profitability within the global amusement facility industry.
Curates models of design, build and compliance for industry professionals concerned about safety and building performance.
Develops facility management professionals through educational resources, networking opportunities and training programs.
Helps cleaning industry professionals succeed through educational resources, trade shows, publications, and legislative and regulatory services.
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From malls to 20-story hotels, building executives have much to keep in mind when it comes to providing safe and clean public restroom environments. At Foundations, we will continue to do all that we can to equip businesses with the information they need to satisfy their patrons and guests.