Are Baby Changing Stations Required by Code? 10 Tips for Compliance
Baby changing stations offer parents and caregivers a quick, easy, and safe way to take care of a child’s need while on the go. Available in both horizontal and vertical models with a variety of finishes, all baby changing stations are governed by guidelines that make them easy to use for everyone. In the United States, baby changing stations mounted in public places are governed by two acts: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).
Here's what you need to know:
Aside from ADA and CPSIA mandates, baby changing stations are also policed by local building codes. This gives both owners and consumers an added layer of protection and gives local authorities the right to inspect changing stations for compliance.
All baby changing stations come with specific mounting instructions designed to ensure your unit is installed according to compliance standards. The ADA has specific rules for the placement of changing stations. By following these 10 tips, you can be sure that your baby changing table is installed according to ADA guidelines and rules required by code:
- Measure Your Space: Always take proper measurements of the intended space. This includes noting where sinks, stalls, hand dryers, and stationary trash receptacles are located.
- Install at the Perfect Height: for horizontal changing stations, the ADA requires that the unit protrude no more than 4” from the wall and be no higher than 27 inches from the floor. This is required so patrons using wheelchairs can easily access the unit as well as open and close the changing station.
- Location is Everything: Per the ADA, all baby changing stations must be installed in a location that has ample ground space so that patrons who use wheelchairs can easily access the unit
- Mount the Station in an Open Space: ADA rules state that changing stations cannot be installed inside an individual bathroom stall. Instead, they must be placed in an area that is accessible to all patrons.
- Maintain a Clear Route: When in the open position, baby changing stations should not obstruct the path leading to the unit. For this reason, changing stations shouldn’t be installed in hallways, vestibules, or any type of pathway.
- For Single-Stall Restrooms: Baby changing stations can be mounted in single-stall unisex or family-style restrooms if the unit is a proper distance away from other fixtures when open. (Ex: sinks, hand dryers, counters, etc.
- Braille: To accommodate visually impaired persons, all baby changing stations must have braille usage instructions integrated into the polyethylene material of the unit. For stainless steel models, braille decals should be attached to the unit and must be purchased separately.
- Brush up on Local, State, and Federal Guidelines: No matter where your business is located, all municipalities have specific zoning requirements that must be followed in addition to ADA and other government guidelines and laws.
- Ongoing Maintenance: Regularly inspect each baby changing station in your facility. Doing this is a great way to make sure your changing stations function as intended and remain in compliance.
- Consult a Professional: If you have questions about ADA specifications for changing stations, need replacement parts, or just need help choosing the right model, don’t be afraid to seek professional advice.
When on the go, one thing parents appreciate is a public restroom that also has baby changing stations. Wall-mounted changing tables give parents a safe and sanitary place to change your child. Aside from being convenient, baby changing stations are also governed by several organizations and government agencies.
If you’re a business owner, you not only want to provide a safe place for patrons to change their children, you also want to make sure you remain in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. With the best selection of ADA-compliant baby changing stations, the experts at Allied are available to answer your installation questions as well as assist in selecting a unit and purchase replacement parts. Give the professionals at Allied a call at 1-800-535-4393.