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Can anyone clarify requirements regarding changing facilities. Due to lack of space, is it acceptable to place a changing mat on the floor of a large toilet cubicle (sole use of children) to change children's nappies? Management feel it is safer to change in this way rather than on a raised surface, is less stress on staffs backs, and as long as the toilet floor is clean (which it must always be!) it is hygienic. My argument is just that I would never have chosen to change my own children's nappies by laying their changing mat on a toilet floor and so personally would prefer an 'off the floor surface'.


Am I wrong and it is acceptable/good practice or not.


Thoughts and comments very much appreciated.


Thank you.

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Hi Monica


I have worked in settings that do use the toilet floor on which to put changing mats to change children, particularly large or heavy children. I personally never liked it much but it was literally that or nothing, as there was no other space, aside from in the main play room for nappy changing to take place.


I have also worked in a setting that had a built in changing unit (the ones you find in public toilets/changing areas). Ofsted were happy for us to use this, but for the larger children, we had to change them on the floor, for all manner of health and safety issues, including staff putting their backs out etc.


I can understand what you are saying about not wanting your child to be changed on the floor. It doesn't seem very nice, but as long as the area is kept clean at all times, as well as the changing mat, and hygiene procedures followed to the letter, it should be fine.


Maybe you could have a checklist, like the ones they have in restaurants, so the parents can see that the area is being monitored, cleaned and a signature is going to it, to say that it has been done? Takes 2 seconds to scribble a signature. Then for parents who don't look impressed, you could reiterate the points about health and safety of the children etc.


I think if I was a parent and could see that measures were being taken to keep the area clean etc, I would be slightly more willing to allow my daughter to be changed in this way.

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