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Changing Table Safety

Falling from changing tables is a common cause of injury in babies and young children. When purchasing a changing table, look for the following features:1

  • The table is of sturdy construction, with a railing on all sides that is 2 in. (5.1 cm) high.
  • The middle of the changing surface is slightly lower than the sides.
  • The safety belt is easy to fasten.
  • An area for changing supplies (wipes, diapers, creams) is within easy reach. You shouldn't have to bend or take your eyes off your baby to access these items. However, they should be out of reach of the child.

Take the following precautions to avoid a potentially serious injury:

  • Never leave your child unattended on a changing table, not even for a second. Always keep your eyes and at least one hand on your baby. A strap is not a substitute for your supervision.
  • Keep disposable diapers and powders out of children's reach. Pieces of plastic liner can choke babies. Inhaled powder particles can injure their lungs.

Citations

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Keeping your child safe. In SP Shevlov et al., eds., Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 5th ed., pp. 457–506. New York: Bantam.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Last Revised January 22, 2013

Last Revised: January 22, 2013

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