Before You Change Your Baby In Public Again, Read This

We’ve all been there – as soon as we leave the house, the baby has a diaper blowout, spits up, or spills their “non-spill” juice cup all over themselves.

We’ve just trekked across the parking lot in the rain with the stroller and all the gear, and the thought of doing it again right then is just too much.

Most of us would prefer not to use a public changing table, but if you are faced with no other option, there is something important you need to know.

Sure, we all know public restrooms are a hotbed of germs.

Between changing the baby and running full-steam ahead to get a potty-training preschooler to the bathroom while we’re shopping, we just do our best to keep them as clean as possible.

But some concerned moms are issuing a warning to all parents who need to use public changing tables – and you will be shocked at their experiences.

Even if you use your own changing pad or a blanket to cover up those plastic fold-up changing tables, it may not be enough to protect your child.

One mom, Jessica Wayman, recently went public with her outrage over what she found on one public restroom changing table.

And she is sounding the alarm for all parents about something most of us would never notice.

Jessica recently found black marks on a changing table and knew immediately what they were because she is a recovering drug addict.

She wanted to spread the word that parents should be cautious if they see these marks when they go to use the table.

They are burn marks from heating up spoons to shoot up heroin, methamphetamine, or other illegal drugs.

When addicts use the public restroom to get high, they often use the changing tables as a “work space” to prepare their drugs and lay down their paraphernalia.

Jessica also says that addicts will crush or prepare other drugs directly on the plastic surface of the table and not clean up afterwards.

Because changing tables are often located in the largest stall in the restroom, they can lock the door and have some privacy during the process.  These restrooms don’t have cameras and most people would be totally unaware of what is going on behind closed doors.

Jessica posted her warning on Facebook, and it went viral, being shared nearly 200,000 times.  Her post reads, according to Parents:

“PSA: Before putting your babies anywhere near these things, ALWAYS wipe them down first. Even if you are in a hurry, even if you have a blanket to lay down. See the black marks? Those are from burnt spoons.  Addicts use these as tables while they shoot up. There could be residue from heroin/meth whatever, and other harmful bodily fluids. If someone doesn’t care about themselves, I can promise you, they aren’t thinking about your kids. Be cautious.”

Not only is drug residue of great concern, but perhaps even more so is the fact that droplets of blood or other bodily fluids could remain on the changing table unnoticed, seeping through a blanket or into the thin changing pad that comes with diaper bags.

While we don’t want to look like crazy, overprotective moms when we are in public, this is one time where being overly cautious is important.

If you see these black marks or blood on a changing table, alert the store manager – and don’t use it!!

Even trekking back to change the baby in the backseat of the car is worth the inconvenience if it protects your child from harm.

When you use changing tables in public that appear to be “clean,” it is still a good idea to carry a small can of disinfectant spray, spraying the surface of the table and then wiping it down with a baby wipe.

On top of that, use a sturdy changing pad of your own and wash it after each use in a public restroom.  The extra laundry is worth the time.

As if this scenario isn’t frightening enough, another mom posted about a horrific incident that occurred while she was changing her baby on a public changing table.

Mom Hayley was changing baby Samuel on top of the changing pad that was a part of the table when he began to scream and fuss.

Thinking he was just tired and cranky, she picked him up to give him a quick hug before laying him back down to fasten his clothes.

That’s when she saw the unthinkable.

Samuel’s back was red and irritated, and she found puncture wounds in his skin.

Someone had placed thumb tacks under the changing pad, sharp side up, that weren’t visible when she placed him on it.  Once the weight of the baby pushed the thickness of the pad down, the tacks came through the other side.

No parent can possibly understand why anyone would do something like this, but these horrific situations are happening.

Hayley advises parents to pick up the pad attached to any public changing table and check underneath it on both the surface of the table and the underside of the pad itself.

Between Jessica’s and Hayley’s experiences, we shudder at the possibility that a used syringe could be hiding out of sight, as well.

The bottom line is, if you don’t have to use a public changing table, don’t.

If you cannot get back to your vehicle or another place to change your child, take Jessica’s advice and “be cautious.”

Clean the surface and do a visual check of the table for anything that indicates a potential danger to your child.

While these scenarios are uncommon, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Be safe, and share the advice of these moms with your friends.

What do you think of the horrific experiences these moms had while using public changing tables?  Have you ever seen anything dangerous or strange on a changing table in a public restroom?  Leave us your thoughts.

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