When it comes to designing a washroom, naturally you want to do everything possible to meet the needs of your patrons. On this blog, we’ve previously discussed gender-neutral washrooms, along with accessible washrooms. However, what about baby changing facilities?
After all, with the average baby needing to be changed anywhere up to 12 times a day, finding a place to do so is going to be a top priority of any parent or guardian with a baby in tow.
In today’s post, we will be sharing the situation on baby changing facilities and whether they are a legal requirement as a leading washroom installer here in the UK.
Does My Building Need Baby-Changing Facilities?
As the law stands, there is no official requirement to add baby changing facilities to your washroom, regardless of whether it’s in a restaurant, retail outlet or any other public space that might be frequented by parents with young children. Though, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t install any facilities, especially since the ability for parents to be able to change their baby helps ensure the health and well-being of the child.
For more information, have a read through our blog on creating a child-friendly washroom.
A lack of baby-changing facilities may also put off parents from visiting your location. For the likes of restaurants or tourist attractions, this could have hugely negative consequences. Worst of all, it could create panic or frustration for visiting parents, which definitely isn’t something to aim for.
So while the law doesn’t strictly state that you need to install baby changing facilities, doing so is going to be in your best interests, especially if it is a public space.
Installing Baby Changing Facilities: What You Need To Know
Any public building that decides to install baby changing facilities, especially if your patrons frequently include families will be doing their bit for society.
Though, it’s good to note that it’s not just mums who need to use the facilities, as dads, grandparents or childminders may be required to use baby changing facilities if they are taking care of the child. So when it comes to the location of the baby changing facilities, be sure not to place them only in women’s toilets. An easy solution is to create a separate facility that’s gender-neutral, with gender-neutral washrooms, in general, becoming more popular as society becomes more open-minded.
Due to the nature of what takes place in a baby changing facility, the unit must be kept clean and well maintained. Unfortunately, baby changing facilities can attract antisocial behaviour, so such activity needs to be monitored if it’s a risk factor for your building.
Be sure to maintain the equipment, removing any hazards such as sharp edges or broken units which could pose harm to the baby or guardian. The equipment should be frequently tested and inspected to make sure it’s up to scratch before a delicate baby is placed upon it.
Baby changing facilities regulations uk
Although there is no specific legal requirement for the provision of baby-changing facilities, the British Toilet Association advises that for every 10,000 people utilising an area, there should be at least one unisex baby-changing space. Alternatively, these units should be provided in both the male and female washrooms. If parents of young children are regular visitors to your business or building, providing changing facilities is also a Health and Safety consideration and if there is nowhere safe for parents to change their child, they might be forced to use unsafe, unhygienic options instead.
There are, however, a number of essential features most businesses and corporations use to set up and manage appropriate baby changing facilities including using clear signage, improving waste disposal, hygiene and safety and sticking to other washroom laws and regulations.
Another key aspect to remember is that nappies cannot be treated as general waste. Under the 1990 Environmental Protection Act sanitary waste must be disposed of through a licensed operator and also require a clearly marked nappy disposal bin, with documentation of your sanitary waste disposal practices for a minimum of two years.
Baby Changing Facilities Installation UK
Do you need further help or advice on all things baby-changing facilities? Here at Inspired Washrooms, we help our clients to plan, design and install their washrooms, and the solutions we create can be completely customised to your patron’s needs.
Why not download our brochure to get some ideas of what we can do for you? Browse our full range of colours and materials to help bring your washroom project to life!
If you’re ready to book in with us, or if you need any further advice on anything we’ve mentioned above, please give us a call on 0115 671 3850 or drop us an email and our friendly team will be in touch.