As a parent, there’s little else that can be more disruptive to a day out with your baby than not being able to find baby changing facilities when an emergency nappy change is required. In fact, mums and dads quickly form a mental map of where they can access baby changing stations… and where they should avoid.
In the worst cases, having to use an unsafe or unhygienic baby changing unit can mean that parents and carers will be reluctant to visit again. And when word spreads, this could be very detrimental to your business.
Is the inclusion of a baby changing station in public washrooms a legal requirement in the UK? No. Do restaurants have to provide baby changing facilities? Again, no. But shops, restaurants and leisure facilities with baby changing rooms are highly likely to receive repeat custom from the family market, so it’s definitely worth the investment.
Where can I find baby changing facilities near me?
Fortunately, gone are the days when baby changing units were only found in ladies’ loos. Now, it’s common to find baby changing facilities in most disabled toilets and some men’s washrooms, especially at establishments targeted at young families, such as play centres and children’s stores. Some parents’ favourite shopping or leisure destinations have dedicated baby changing rooms with nappy changing station, nursing chair, as well as free wipes and nappies.
Proprietors know that if baby and parent are comfortable, they are more likely to spend more time on the premises and more cash on their business. Win-win!
There’s still a long way to go to achieve baby changing tables in every washroom but when you’re caught short with an upset infant, a nappy changing station locator comes in very handy. Not only does it tell you where to find the nearest public baby changing table, it also rates the changing stations for cleanliness.
What makes the best baby changing facilities?
In an ideal world, what should baby changing facilities have available? Every parent’s idea of the best baby changing facilities might be slightly different, but they’ll all probably include:
- Baby changing table
- Nappy disposal bin
- Sink with hot water and soap or hand sanitiser
- Air freshener
- Hand dryer and paper towels as a noisy hand dryer could be the last thing baby needs right now!
- Nursing chair for resting or feeding
- Child safety seat with strap to keep accompanying toddlers under control
- Wipes for baby
- Anti-bacterial wipes for baby change table, especially in these days of COVID-19
- Nappy bag dispenser
- Free nappies or nappy vending machine
- Soothing music
- Waitress service for tea and coffee
OK, so those last two ‘essential items’ might be stretching it a bit, but we can dream! Some of the best baby changing facilities also have child-friendly décor and ceiling art to keep baby distracted while mum, dad or carer attend to their soiled nappy.
How to keep baby changing stations clean and safe
Whatever the ideal requirements for the best baby changing facilities, there’s no denying that safety and hygiene are paramount considerations when it comes to baby changing tables. That means including surfaces that are easy to clean and changing units that are sturdy and well-maintained.
While there are no baby changing facilities laws in the UK, some guidelines should be considered when kitting out a baby changing room and keeping baby changing tables functional. For example, businesses have a Duty of Care to those who use their premises, including baby changing rooms, which means that all equipment should be correctly and considerately fitted to avoid injury. Safety straps should be available on all nappy changing stations to prevent baby wriggling off and hinges should be covered to protect tiny fingers.
The 1990 Environmental Protection Act also comes into play when kitting out baby changing facilities. It states that as controlled waste, nappies cannot be included in general rubbish removal and must be disposed of through a licensed hygienic waste disposal operator. This requires access to suitable nappy bins as well as a regular waste collection service and licensed disposal, all available from phs.
Which baby changing unit should I install?
When kitting out a baby changing room, you’ll need a supplier you can trust. Who better than the leading hygiene services provider in the UK, Spain and Ireland? phs’ Compact Wall Mounted Baby Changing Table is ergonomically designed to save space while still being comfortable for baby. Its antibacterial surface is proven to reduce the spread of pathogenic germs such as E.coli, MRSA and Salmonella, while the smooth surface makes the changing unit easy to wipe down before and after use – for extra reassurance during the pandemic.
Recommended for use with children weighing up to 15kg, it folds away when not in use, which makes it a perfect addition to baby changing facilities in disabled toilets where the space might also be required for a wheelchair. The safety belt has a tamper proof snap fit closure which adheres to BS 6684: 1989 to ensure that baby stays put while mum, dad or carer has their hands full.
If room on the wall is lacking but you have good counter space where you’d like to locate your baby changing station, you could consider the phs Secure Baby Changing Mat System. This nappy change option is compliant to both EN standards EN12220 and BS EN12952 and incorporates an easy-clean waterproof padded mat with safety rail to prevent baby rolling.
All visitors and patrons are entitled to convenient, clean and safe amenities, and that includes baby changing facilities. Make sure you keep all of your guests happy – big and small – by providing baby changing tables that are up to the job so that babies (and their parents and carers) will return to use your business again and again, and recommend it to others too. Your new baby changing facilities could turn out to be the best business advert ever.Discuss our baby changing services