Many people, including facility managers and cleaning professionals, may not know that a bill called the BABIES bill was signed into law back in 2016. The BABIES bill refers to the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act and mostly pertains to men’s restrooms. The law requires that baby changing tables, or stations, be installed in all federal buildings open to the public.
What facility managers and cleaning professionals should also know is that laws such as these often find their way into privately owned commercial facilities as well. This means we can expect more building managers to start installing baby changing systems and more cleaning workers to be called upon to clean and maintain them.
The law states that baby changing tables must be “physically safe, sanitary, and appropriate.” Further, they must be found in not only all men’s restrooms, but also all women’s restrooms. Something else we need to know about these tables is that several regulations must be adhered to such as the following:
• they must be at least 27 inches from the bottom
• they must be 4 inches from the wall when closed
• they can be used and accessed by someone in a wheelchair (Americans with Disabilities requirements)
Requirements also exist as to how much weight a table must safely hold. At least one manufacturer produces a system that can hold up to 50 pounds. Other required aspects which are also found with this manufacturers baby changing tables include the following:
• safety straps for baby security
• smooth hidden hinges
• no “pinch points” when opening or closing the station
• built-in plastic liner storage
Some manufacturers have gone a few steps further with their baby changing tables. For instance, the baby changing tables developed by Impact Products come with liners that are 100 percent recyclable and made of three-ply biodegradable paper. This helps protect not only the baby, but also the environment.
We should also mention cleaning because the BABIES Act requires that we keep these tables clean and sanitary. Among the ways cleaning professionals can do this are the following:
• Clean first using an all-purpose or pH neutral cleaner; the cleaner does the heavy lifting and helps remove contaminants from the station surfaces.
• Clean all areas of the table, exterior as well as interior.
• Wipe down security straps.
• Clean the above areas with an appropriately diluted disinfectant.
• Use a microfiber cleaning cloth.
When using disinfectants specifically, it is considered a "best practice" to apply the disinfectant directly to the surfaces to be cleaned using a sprayer. This helps ensure the efficacy of the disinfectant and allows the disinfectant to dwell on the surface for a few minutes before wiping. Further, Impact Products recommends the use of microfiber cleaning cloths. They tend to be more effective at collecting soils and bacteria when compared to standard cleaning cloths.
For more information on baby changing systems, contact Impact Products.