Laws and Regulations for Baby Changing Stations
Baby changing stations are regulated by strict federal and state rules-and for good reason! Any product entrusted to support children should be of excellent quality and have multiple safety features.
Here at Allied, we're proud to say that all of our changing stations meet the standards set by the US government as well as highly regarded private safety groups. Here's a helpful look at some of the rules that ensure our products' value and trustworthiness. This post is meant as a high-level overview of the topic. Specific questions should be directed to your legal advisor.
Federal Rules and Laws
All baby changing stations sold in the United States must comply with both the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, manufacturers must provide documents certifying that their products have been tested in the following ways:
- Static weight support - Makers must prove that their baby changing stations support a minimum amount of static weight.
- Hazardous chemicals - Manufacturers must prove by extensive laboratory testing that their products are free of all hazardous chemicals.
- Pinch points - Companies must certify that their stations are free of pinch points that could harm children or those changing them.
In addition, manufacturers must back their stations with a minimum five-year warranty and insure them against replacement within this time period.
All baby changing stations sold or installed in the United States must meet these standards:
- They must be made from high-density polyethylene, a material that prevents the retention of odors and moisture.
They must contain steel reinforcing rods for added strength and stability.
- Gas shocks must be used; these must be completely hidden from both view and easy access. This rule is intended to prevent injuries to hands and fingers.
- Stations must include the hardware needed to install them on all standard wall types.
- Stations must come with self-adhesive signs for installation on restroom doors.
- Stations must come with instructions in both English and Spanish.
- Stations must come in a variety of color choices to match a variety of decor schemes.
- bBaby changing stations must have a safety belt.
Specific Ruler for Oval Stations
Additional rules apply to specific station designs. For oval products, these include the following:
- Must be concave in shape for child protection.
- Must be horizontal in orientation
- Must include dual dispensers for liners and/or pre-moistened wipes.
Oval stations must also protrude no more than 4" from the mounting wall when closed and 20" when open.
Special Rules for Vertical Stations
These include the following:
- Must be operable with one hand
- Must have a dispenser for liners.
- Must protrude no more than 6" from the mounting wall when closed and 33.25" when open.
Specific Rules for Horizontal Stations
These include the following:
- Must be adaptable to 16" stud walls with pre-drilled holes.
- Must include a built-in baby bag hook.
- Must protrude no more than 4" from the mounting wall when closed and 20.125" when open.
The ADA and baby changing stations
The ADA is intended to ensure access to public accommodations by people with physical disabilities. The act regulates baby changing stations in the following ways:
- The handle used to pull the station bed down must be no more than 48 inches from the floor.
- The station bed, when open and laid flat, must not require the person changing the child to lift the baby more than 34" from the floor.
Some states, such as California and New York, apply further rules to the construction and installation of baby changing stations.
As you can see, the manufacture, sales, and installation of baby changing stations is highly regulated. As our customer, this is your assurance that, when you order from Allied, you're getting a top-quality product that you can include with pride and peace of mind in your facility.