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San Antonio City Council Votes To Require Baby Changing Stations In Public Restrooms

A typical baby changing station that can be found in public restrooms. | https://flic.kr/p/nwX4YZ
Mike Mozart
A typical baby changing station that can be found in public restrooms. | https://flic.kr/p/nwX4YZ

Baby changing stations will now be required in new and remodeled public restrooms.

The San Antonio City Council today approved an amendment to city code that makes it mandatory for businesses and buildings to provide a diaper changing station in men’s, women’s and all-gender restrooms. The city did not have any requirements regarding access to baby changing stations. 

District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez says seeing men’s rooms without baby changing stations motivated him to introduce the ordinance last year.

“Think about that message that we send by continuing the status quo and that message is this is mom’s job to change diapers and not dad’s when in 2020 we know that that’s not true,” he said.  “The modern dad share’\s that responsibility and that helps him share in that responsibility.”

Many parents and caregivers are forced to use other methods such as bathroom sinks or floors to change a diaper when a table isn’t available, he added.

“All of us have seen that poor guy on the floor of a men’s room changing a baby, we’ve also seen that guy in a… busy parking lot in the back of his SUV changing a baby,” he said.

The ordinance specifically targets businesses that have restrooms for the general public such as restaurants, libraries, department stores, convenience stores, hotels or hospitals.

Buildings and businesses that already have restrooms built do not need to make any changes but all new construction and renovations will need to have a diaper changing station installed. It’s expected to go into effect in 90 days. 

Joey Palacios can be reached at Joey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules