Changing tables are an essential piece of baby furniture for any parent. They provide a safe, comfortable place to change and care for your baby, but it’s important to remember safety when using a changing table. To help you ensure the utmost safety for your little one, this blog post will provide a comprehensive guide to changing table safety, from choosing the right table to safe changing habits. Continue reading to know everything there is about keeping your baby safe on the changing table.

Smiling baby looking at the camera

Why changing table safety is important

Your priority is to be sure that your baby is always safe and comfortable. A moment when you need to be extra vigilant is during diaper changes. Many parents opt to use a changing table to keep their baby secure during these moments, but choosing the right changing table and using it accordingly can make a huge difference in keeping your little one safe.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that there are thousands of emergency room visits for injuries that occur during diaper changes each year. These injuries vary from minor bruises to severe head trauma and even fatalities. Several of these accidents occur due to improper use or poor maintenance of the changing table.

That’s why educating yourself on changing table safety before you begin using one for your baby is crucial. Taking extra precautions can help prevent accidents and ensure that diaper changing is a safe and hassle-free experience for you and your baby.

Choosing the right changing table

Selecting the right changing table is one of the most important aspects of ensuring your baby’s safety during diaper changes. When choosing a changing table, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Sturdiness: The changing table should be stable and sturdy, with a weight limit to accommodate your baby and any supplies you use.
  • Height: The changing table should be comfortable for the caregiver without straining or awkward positioning. Many changing tables are adjustable to accommodate different heights.
  • Guardrails: Look for a changing table with guardrails on all sides to prevent your baby from rolling or falling off the table.
  • Surface material: The changing table surface should be easy to wipe clean and free from any potential hazards, such as splinters or rough edges.
  • Storage: Consider the amount of storage you’ll need for diapering supplies, and choose a changing table with enough space to store everything within easy reach.
  • Portability: If you’ll be using the changing table in multiple locations or need to move it frequently, choose a lightweight and portable option that’s easy to transport.

Proper installation of changing tables

Once you have chosen the right changing table, it is essential to install it correctly. Proper installation not only ensures your child’s safety but also helps extend the table’s lifespan. These are some things to consider when installing your changing table:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Every changing table is different, so follow the instructions manual that comes with your particular model.
  • Choose a safe location: When selecting a spot for your changing table, make sure it is on a level surface and away from any hazards like windows, cords, or other objects that could cause injury. Also, ensure that the changing table is not placed near the edge of any surfaces where it could tip over.
  • Use appropriate hardware: Changing tables come with hardware, and using the right screws and anchors is essential when installing them. Using the wrong hardware could lead to a hazardous situation and compromise the stability of the changing table.
  • Check and re-check: Double-check that the table is level and secure after installation. If you notice any instability, looseness, or other potential hazards, make the necessary adjustments before using the table.
  • Secure the table to a wall: Most changing tables come with an anchor or a way to secure them. This is important because it prevents the table from tipping over or becoming unstable when your child is on it.

Properly installing your changing table is important in keeping your child safe during diaper changes. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, choose a safe location, use appropriate hardware, check and re-check for stability, and secure the table to a wall to ensure your child’s safety.

Maintaining and inspecting changing tables

Once you have chosen the right changing table and installed it correctly, the next step is to be sure it stays safe over time. Maintaining and inspecting your changing table regularly can help identify potential hazards and prevent accidents.

To begin with, it is important to clean your changing table after every use. Use warm soapy water to wipe down the surface and disinfect it with a baby-safe disinfectant. Ensure that straps or buckles are also clean and free of dirt or debris.

You should also inspect your changing table regularly for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Look for cracks, loose screws, or any other defects that could compromise the safety of the changing table. If you notice any such issues, immediately stop using the changing table until you can repair or replace it.

Another aspect of maintaining and inspecting your changing table is ensuring it is properly secured to the wall. Over time, screws or brackets can loosen, causing the changing table to become unstable. Make it a habit to check the mounting hardware and ensure the table is firmly secured to the wall.

Lastly, be mindful of the weight limit of your changing table. Do not overload the table with too much weight, such as heavy bags or items that can cause it to tip over. Always watch your baby closely and never leave them unattended on the changing table.

Potential hazards and how to avoid them

Although changing tables can provide a convenient space for changing diapers and clothing, they can also pose potential hazards if improper use. Common risks associated with changing tables include falls, entrapment, and tipping.

To avoid falls:

  • Ensure your changing table and baby changing pad has safety straps and use them when changing your baby.
  • Keep a hand on your baby always, even if the straps are secured, as accidents can happen quickly.
  • If your baby becomes more active or wiggly during changing times, consider using a non-slip mat on the changing table surface for added grip.

Entrapment can occur when babies become wedged between the changing table and other surfaces, such as walls or crib rails. To avoid this, ensure the changing table is positioned away from other objects and placed against a flat wall. Avoid placing diaper pails, hampers, or other things within your baby’s reach. These items can easily be pulled down or topple over, potentially injuring your child.

Tipping is another hazard associated with changing tables. If your changing table is not correctly installed or anchored to the wall, it can tip over if your child leans too far to one side. Always make sure your changing table is anchored to the wall according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and double-check that all screws and bolts are tight and secure.

In addition to these hazards, it’s important to always use caution when handling diapering supplies. Keep sharp objects like scissors or diaper pins out of your child’s reach, and dispose of used diapers properly. Additionally, make sure to sanitize your changing table regularly to prevent the spread of germs and illness.

By understanding potential hazards and taking preventative measures, you can ensure your changing table remains a safe and functional space for you and your baby. Remember to prioritize safety when diapering and never leave your child unattended on a changing table.