Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.4 Space and Equipment in Designated Areas

5.4.2 Diaper Changing Areas Maintenance of Changing Tables

Changing tables should be nonporous, kept in good repair, and cleaned and disinfected after each use to remove visible soil and germs.
Many infectious diseases can be prevented through appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures. It is difficult, if not impossible, to disinfect porous surfaces, broken edges, and surfaces that cannot be completely cleaned. Bacterial cultures of environmental surfaces in child care facilities have shown fecal contamination, which has been used to gauge the adequacy of sanitation and hygiene measures practiced at the facility (1).

One study has demonstrated that “diapering, handwashing, and food preparation equipment that is specifically designed to reduce the spread of infectious agents significantly reduced diarrheal illness among the children and absence as a result of illness among staff in out-of-home child care centers” (2).

Caregivers/teachers should be reminded that many disinfectants leave residues that can cause skin irritation or other symptoms. Caregivers/teachers should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparation and use.

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered product labeled for use as a disinfectant suitable for the surface material should be used to disinfect the changing table after use. Some bleach products are EPA-registered disinfectants.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
Appendix K: Routine Schedule for Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting
  1. Kimberlin, D.W., Brady, M.T., Jackson, M.A., Long, S.S., eds. 2015. Red book: 2015 report to the committee of infectious diseases. 30th Ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics. 
  2. Kotch, J. B., P. Isbell, D. J. Weber, V. Nguyen, E. Gunn, S. Fowlkes, J. Virk, J. Allen. 2007. Hand-washing and diapering equipment reduces disease among children in out-of-home child care centers. Pediatrics120: e29-e36.