Social Issues

CITIZEN VOICES®

Changing table requirement in public restrooms?

Jun 22, 2018

A New Hampshire father of four recently made news when he posted on social media about having to change his daughter’s diaper on the floor of a restaurant mens’ room due to the lack of a changing table. Right now, New Hampshire law does not require changing tables in any public restrooms, though by federal law they are required in all restrooms in federal buildings. 

“Should NH require that both men and women have access to changing tables in restaurants and other public accommodations?”

Discussion held on Citizens Count website and Facebook page June 12, 2018

100 citizens responded69 citizens were opposed to a changing table requirement17 citizens were in favor of a changing table requirement14 citizens commented on related questions or issues

What Participants Said

No: 69 citizens were opposed to requiring that both men and women have access to changing tables.

  • “We don't need a law for this. Just ask establishment owners to get one installed!”
  • “It would be a nice to have but I wouldn't mandate it.”
  • “Somehow I managed to raise three kids when no restroom had a changing table. It’s not a right, deal with it.”

Yes: 17 citizens were in favor of requiring that both men and women have access to changing tables.

  • “Yes ... Such a requirement doesn't need to mean changing tables in every restroom. It could mean a common area just for handwashing and changing infants' diapers, accessible to people of any gender or gender identity. And such a requirement can be phased in over several years. It's one small way to help New Hampshire be at the forefront of progress, rather than a laggard, especially since we need to lure more young people to live and work here.”
  • “Yes they should have them in men's restrooms too!”
  • “Yes, either one could need one.”

Other: 14 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included:

  • Personal principles: “Personally, I only bring my kids to child friendly places and they have them in both bathrooms already. If they don't have a changing station, I don't go there.”
  • Alternative suggestions: “Could just have unisex bathrooms and mark that one has a changing table.”
  • Specifics of the case study: “From what I heard he was taking his daughter for a walk in her stroller so there was no car available. At least he had enough brains to put a blanket on the floor first before putting her on the floor.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

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Comments

Mike Dunbar
- Hampton

Wed, 06/27/2018 - 9:31am

Comment: 

Whenever we pass well-intentioned laws like these, they bring unintended consequences (and costs) to business owners. We should not use the heavy hand of government to mandate what are essentially conveniences. Let citizens reward with their continued patronage the establishments that provide the best service.

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