Any parent knows the importance of a public bathroom. They can be a lifesaver. When you have a baby, having convenient access to a diaper changing station is also important. You’d think it’s common sense, but it’s not. While things have gotten better in recent years, changing tables still remain absent in scores of public restrooms. And If you’re a dad, chances of finding a changing table are even less in your favor.
Last week, however, a small change occurred that could hopefully influence more and more businesses and public places to take notice. On October 7th, President Obama signed the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act into law.
Introduced in the House this past April, by Rhode Island Representative David Cicilline, the BABIES Act requires male and female restrooms in a public building to be equipped with baby changing facilities that are physically safe, sanitary, and appropriate. Even more, that requirement must also fall in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Unfortunately, this is just a small victory, as the Act only applies to federal buildings and not private businesses. But still, any step in the right direction should be celebrated.
I still prefer family bathrooms to anything. As the father of two girls, ages 5 and 8, I hate having to take them into a crowded men’s room. Maybe one day family restrooms will be less of a pleasant surprise and more an expected norm.