Commercial Baby Changing Facilities: Expectation VS Reality

Once upon a time, it was considered completely normal for baby changing facilities to only be  present in female washrooms. Luckily, society has progressed a lot since those days, and men are now generally afforded the option of being able to change their baby’s diaper in peace.

But for businesses and organisations, there are many other considerations that should be taken into account in order to provide the best baby changing facilities possible. Of course, there are even some legal requirements for baby changing facilities to take into account.

Luckily for you, phs are the industry leaders when it comes to commercial baby changing facilities, and we’ve picked up some tips along the way regarding setting up and managing appropriate baby changing facilities.

Let’s take a look at some:

Clear Signage is Crucial

When parents are looking for baby changing facilities, they are often in a state of panic. Their child may have just exploded in their nappy and/or be mid tantrum, and the parent may well have no idea whether you even have such facilities. The first thing they are going to do is scan their surrounds for a sign. Don’t keep them in the dark! 

Simple and clear signage gives a good first impression to visitors in such a situation, and perhaps more importantly, prevents further accidents or mess from occurring.

Either Put One in Both Washrooms, or Use A Dedicated Space

We touched on this briefly above, but having your baby changing facilities confined only to the female washroom is a terrible idea. What is a father supposed to do in this situation? We’ll tell you what he’ll realistically do, and that’s end up changing his baby’s nappy in the bathroom anyway. If he doesn’t have the correct facilities, that is going to be awkward, messy and a hygiene hazard. He’ll probably be pretty annoyed at your business for forcing him into such a situation, and rightly so.

Always put baby changing facilities in both bathrooms. If your washrooms or too small for this to be possible, you can consider setting up a dedicated baby changing room, or using the disabled toilet. If you go the disabled route, be sure to leave enough space around the baby changing surface to accommodate disabled parents!

Step Your Waste Disposal Game Up

We’re not sure if you’re aware of this, but spoiled nappies are not the most pleasant of odours. This smell doesn’t magically disappear when the nappy goes in the bin, either. As a result, we’d recommend using sealed bins with self closing flaps in any areas with baby changing facilities in order to prevent smells from spreading. Another option is to put a waste bin underneath a counter or hard surface with a waste chute, keeping your waste contained and away from the general public. While it won’t solve the problem alone, good ventilation and air circulators can also help to whisk away nasty scents.

Where will the baby be? What about the parent’s bag?

Of course, the parent needs somewhere safe, secure and hygienic to lay their baby down while they get to work. Similarly, they don’t really want to be doing all of this with their bag hanging of their ankle to avoid losing it. Many businesses offer baby changing tables that fold out from the wall or countertop, giving plenty of space for children and other items. These are often custom designed for the purpose and made from antibacterial materials. This is a no brainer if you have the space for such a useful piece of hardware. If you don’t, you need to provide something that can do the same job, often lockers and/or hooks for bags, or a clean and an appropriately heighted table for the act itself.

Consumables and hygiene products

Many baby changing facilities offer disposable paper mats, allowing you to change your baby’s nappy without needing to bring them into contact with the table itself. Other important consumables for the washroom include hand wash or sanitizer, hand towels etc. In more upmarket establishments, you may even want to offer things like scented diaper bags and spare nappies - parents will really appreciate the extra thought.

Keep up with baby changing facilities law

Of course, breaking the law when it comes to hygiene and waste disposal can land you with some pretty nasty fines. So what are the baby changing facilities regulations in the UK? You’ll be surprised that there is no legal requirement for businesses to offer baby changing facilities whatsoever. Despite this, there are some laws that are highly relevant to this topic and worth being aware of.

For example, the 1990 Environmental Protection Act states that nappies cannot be treated as general waste and must be disposed of via a licensed hygienic waste or nappy disposal operator.

Of course, the other major laws to ensure you stay on the right side of, are those related to discrimination. Offering unisex facilities will make this a non issue and if you take one pointer away from this article, make sure it’s that!

At phs, we are the UK’s leading provider of washroom cleaning facilities, baby changing facilities, waste disposal, and more. Our service centres are found in every town and city all around the UK, making us your local commercial cleaning operator, no matter where you are!

Our staff are professional and unintrusive, able to enter your building, make the necessary changes, and leave without disturbing the everyday goings on in your work environment.

To learn more about how we could make your organisation a more friendly, hygienic and welcoming environment for your customers, employees and visitors while saving money in the process, contact us now!

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