Recently, a scary video has been making the rounds on the internet. A mother places her child on a changing table in their home. She turns away for a brief second and the child rolls off the table. Thankfully, the child’s brother runs over and miraculously manages to catch the child before he hits the floor. It’s an amazing video, if you haven’t already seen it be sure to check it out. The infant is very fortunate to have such a quick sibling.
Unfortunately, these situations often end far more tragically. A fall from a changing table can result in a skull fracture and sometimes even death. It’s easy for almost anyone to get distracted during a diaper change, parents and teachers alike. In our article on changing table safety, we offer these recommendations to make diaper changes safer:
- Guardrails: A changing table with guardrails can help prevent a child from falling out.
- Concave diapering surfaces: Most changing tables should be designed this way, with the middle of the table sitting lower than the edges. However, this is how the table in the video was designed and the child was still able to roll off.
- Safety straps: Always use safety straps if the table has them. While not designed to keep the child from falling off, straps can at least help keep them in place.
- Keep all supplies within reach: A child can fall off if a provider has to turn away for a second to grab wipes or a diaper. Keep supplies close or be sure to bring them with you before starting the changing process.
- Inspect diapering surfaces: Guardrails and straps can wear out. Inspect these items regularly.
Another area of concern is the physical strain changing diapers can put on childcare providers. With 16 or more changes a day, lifting injuries are extremely common among childcare workers. Installing a step stool for older children to climb onto the changing table is one way to eliminate some of this repetitive lifting. We have more back safety tips in this childcare safety article. Keeping providers healthy is crucial in already short-staffed childcare centers.