Signage Requirements for Newly Enacted Men’s Room Changing Station Legislation

In today’s ever evolving, modern world, we are all about equality. This has become especially evident over the past few years as men have increasingly expressed frustration with the lack of accessible baby changing facilities available to them. Additionally, society is becoming more aware of the challenges, like the lack of proper changing accommodations, for single fathers and gay couples raising children.

The Challenge of Being Dad

According to the Pew Research Center, fathers are significantly more involved in their child’s care than they were 50 years ago. Dads should never be faced with the conundrum of changing a baby on the men’s room floor or other unsanitary places, and fathers everywhere are taking note and spreading the word.

Donte Palmer, a high school teacher and father of three from Jacksonville, Florida, started the #squatforchange campaign after visiting a local steakhouse that did not offer baby changing stations in its men’s room.  When his one year old son needed a diaper change, he gathered the baby and his 12 year old son and headed for the restroom. Then, in what Palmer calls his “perfect man squat”, with his older son at the ready to hand over wipes and diaper as needed, he got down to business.

Donte Palmer’s “perfect man squat”, illustrating the challenges he faces while changing his son in a public men’s room.

What is the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act?

On October 7, 2016, with bipartisan support from Congress, President Barack Obama signed into law the Bathrooms in Every Situation Act (BABIES Act). This new law requires that both men’s and women’s restrooms located in publicly accessible federal buildings (for example, courthouses and US post offices) offer suitable changing facilities for infants and young toddlers. Specifically, the new law requires changing facilities to be “physically safe, sanitary, and appropriate.”

What Restrooms Are Exempt From the BABIES Act?

The Bathrooms in Every Situation Act excludes the following public spaces from compliance with the new law:

  • Any restroom that displays clear, concise signage indicating where changing facilities are located on the same floor of the building
  • Any restroom that would require new construction to comply with the law and the cost of construction is unfeasible

Do Individual States Require Changing Tables in Men’s Restrooms?

New York is the first state to adopt a law that requires fathers and other male caregivers to have a clean, safe place to care for a young child’s sanitary needs. The law, which went into effect on New Year’s Day 2019, includes restaurants, stores, movie theaters, and state facilities such as public parks, offices, and all Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices.

New regulations require changing facilities to be easily accessible to both females and males on all publicly accessible floors of every building. In addition, all buildings must conspicuously post restroom signs illustrating the location of the closest changing table facilities.

Now that both federal and New York State laws have been enacted requiring proper changing table facilities in both women’s and men’s rooms alike, expect other states across the country to adopt similar legislation, making changing time safer and happier for babies and caregivers everywhere.

With these new changing station regulations, it is essential to keep in mind public areas where ADA compliant signs are required by law. At Customsigns.com, we have the signs your public building needs for clearly identifying restrooms with changing table facilities and restroom signs that are ADA complaint. These signs include:

For more information on ADA requirements and restroom signs for public spaces, follow the links here:

How to Design ADA Compliant Signs

ADA Signage All Buildings Must Have

Where Should ADA Signs be Posted? 

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