Are Public Restroom Changing Tables Really Dangerous?

Contributed by Vicky Bell

Although my own 3 children are grown, my career, (formerly teaching, currently a hodge-podge of art, workshops and volunteerism) continues to put me in the direct path of parents doing the best they can to raise their babies in a complicated world.

So when I saw this video exposing the nasty hordes of germs lurking on baby changing tables in public restrooms, I wondered how real was the risk? Were babies truly endangered?  Or was this expose´ a frightening sounding, but ultimately harmless and statistically meaningless non-issue?

We all know that a certain amount of exposure to everyday germs is beneficial for healthy infants and young children, a natural way of boosting their immunities and building a robust defense against disease.  Healthy kids who’ve been exposed to everyday germs—kids who play in dirt—do get sick, of course, but they also recover quickly, easily ridding their bodies of toxins, viruses and unhealthy bacteria to which they’ve been exposed.

So why scare us with all this undercover secret camera stuff about public changing tables?  Isn’t lugging around our babies, our carriers, our diaper bags and our 2-year olds enough for us to deal with?  Isn’t it enough to lay something (a blanket, a towel) under the baby being changed?

Well. No. It’s sort of like the 5 second rule… remember that?  That bit of magical thinking which posits a nasty germ requires at least 6 seconds to climb aboard your fallen, tasty morsel. As children, we believed. As weary parents? Sometimes we find ourselves sort of wishing it were true, looking the other way, and hoping for the best. Kind of like laying a regular towel on the changing table.

Only it doesn’t actually work that way. Because not all germs, or germy places, are equal.

I asked my adult daughter Addison, a scientist (who ate plenty of dirt back in the day), to watch the video and explain to me why parents should be more worried about the germs on a changing table, then, say, those in a backyard.

She explained that the changing table germs are highly concentrated, and generated by a stew of fecal matter – which by definition is bad.  Your body expels such matter for good reason and this is the primary stuff you want to avoid. The video suggests wiping the surface with anti-bacterial wipes (not plain baby wipes).  A good practice, but is that enough?

I asked her about the germ-killing properties of silver and what she thought of the Bye Bye Bacteria line of silver-embedded fabric products for babies.  Fantastic application, she said, and exactly the sort of thing she would be working on if she hadn’t changed majors (from materials to environmental science). Silver, she explained, has well documented germ-killing properties and is being used in bandages and other items by hospitals and in the military to help prevent infection. Says Addison, it makes perfect sense to use it in children’s products.

I thought about all the times I’d changed my children with just a thin blanket or cheap changing mat beneath them, and how I’d fold the item up (germs and all) and put it right back into my diaper bag. Ugh. How much better it would be to have had a changing pad that would act not just as a barrier between my babies’ bottom and whatever dubious surface was available, but one that actively killed the bacteria it encountered?  Technology is a wonderful thing.

Yes, an antimicrobial Fold-N-Go changing pad should be part of every parent’s diaper bag. Because new parents have enough to worry about.  Like growing extra limbs for all the things they have to carry, and knowing when (and when not) to apply the 5 second rule.


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New Moms at Risk for Bacteria

It’s a scary world out there. Two cases of flesh eating bacteria have been reported recently in South Carolina.

The most recent case affects a new mom of twins. No one knows exactly how she contracted the disease but it is most commonly spread through open wounds or cuts – from bacteria which often lives on our bodies such as: Staphyloccus Aureus, Streptoccus Pyogenes and Aeromonas Hydrophila.

For more information about the SC case, please see the article at USA Today.

Women can be vulnerable to infection immediately after having a baby. The stress of childbirth can bring on infections of the endometrium (otherwise know as endometritis), breast or urinary tract. Childbirth wounds and incisions can also pose added risk.

One in 20 nursing moms suffer from mastitis which is a breast infection caused by cracked nipples. It can also affect non-nursing moms if their milk ducts become engorged.

Other infections can occur at the incision site of a c-section delivery or from an episiotomy in a vaginal birth. Urinary tract infections are possible if you had a catheter inserted during the birthing process.

Once you’ve brought your baby safely into the world, be sure to maintain your own health and well-being. Follow doctors’ postpartum advice and remember to nurture yourself while nurturing your own little bundle or bundles of joy.

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Magical Mother’s Day Giveaway Hop: May 7-14, 2012

Mother’s Day is around the corner and we ALL know someone who could benefit from time-saving tools – like hooded towels and travel changing pads that “wash themselves” and help protect baby from germs! If you’re looking for unique Mother’s Day gifts, especially for new moms, click here to shop our antimicrobial line of baby products and textiles!

Want it for free? Bye Bye Bacteria Corp. is a proud sponsor of the Magical Mother’s Day Giveaway Hop, taking place between May 7th and May 14th, 2012. Enter to win our convenient Fold-N-Go Changing Pad, large enough to cover the ENTIRE changing table in a public restroom – and antimicrobial to prevent germs from coming home with you in your diaper bag. Many thanks to Angie at Luv Saving Money for helping to promote our prize!

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What is the difference between antimicrobial and antibacterial?

Difference between Antimicrobial and Antibacterial

As a manufacturer of antimicrobial baby products, we are frequently asked the difference between antibacterial and antimicrobial. Antibacterial is certainly a more familiar term than antimicrobial, but what do these labels really mean?

An antibacterial, or antibacterial agent is a product that kills (and prevents the growth or reproduction of) many types of bacteria.

An antimicrobial, or antimicrobial agent is a product that kills (and prevents the growth or reproduction of) not just bacteria, but other potentially harmful microscopic organisms such as protozoa, yeast, fungi, viruses, some algae and some worms as well.

An antimicrobial agent is an antibiotic, an antibacterial, an antifungal, an antiparasitic and an antiviral agent all-in-one.


Bye Bye Bacteria Corp. Antimicrobial Products Help Keep Your Baby Safe From Harmful Microbes

Though effective on microbes, the ingredients used in many antimicrobial products can be harsh on your baby’s skin. Our patented Argent 47 antimicrobial silver yarn (originally designed for use by hospitals to help prevent the spread of infection):

  • Is super soft and gentle on baby’s skin
  • Naturally deprives bacteria of the food source needed to reproduce and survive
  • Eliminates odor causing bacteria
  • Prevents mildew, molds & fungi, protozoa, yeast, viruses, some algae and some worms
  • Is natural, non-toxic, environmentally safe and Proudly Made in the USA

How is Bye Bye Bacteria Corp. Different from Other Antimicrobial Manufacturers?


We’ve intelligently engineered our products by harnessing the antimicrobial power of Silver.

Learn More!

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How to Protect your Baby from Germs: 1. How germs are spread.

Bringing your baby home from the hospital can be both exciting and scary. Newborns are especially susceptible to infections, and in your home there resides a plethora of malevolent microbes such as bacteria, viruses, mold and mildew. These germs love your baby as much as you do! To protect your newborn from these invisible and malicious germs it is important to have an understanding of where germs collect, how they are transferred, and how to effectively combat them.

Armed with this antimicrobial information you’ll minimize the exposure of your baby to household germs that can cause serious illness.

How Germs are Spread:

There are four ways that germs are spread from one place, or one person to another:

  • Direct-Contact
  • Indirect-Contact
  • Airborne Contact
  • Ingestion

Continue reading to learn how to protect your baby from each of these germ transfer methods.

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10 Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep: Tip 1. Create a Bedtime Routine


Is your baby having trouble going to sleep? Does your baby frequently wake in the night? Here are our top ten tricks to help your baby sleep through the night:

01. Create a Bedtime Routine

By establishing a bedtime ritual as soon as possible, you are giving your baby something they need and crave. Predictability is inherently comforting to infants and they crave routine. The consistency of a daily bedtime ritual will relax your baby, increasing the likelihood that they’ll fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer – plus it’s a great bonding experience for parents!

Anything you do with regularity works for a bedtime ritual. The important part of the ritual is sticking to it – even when you’re away from home. Keeping the routine the same makes your baby more inclined to be comfortable in strange new places.

Try a combination of any 3 or more of these soothing activities, or come up with your own:

— Bath
— Pajamas
— Story
— Lullaby
— Kiss Goodnight
— Massage
— Feeding
— Rocking
— Soft Towel Wrap
— Sleeptime only Stuffed Animal

As much of your ritual as possible should take place in your baby’s sleep environment. Obviously, you can’t bathe them in their bedroom, but try to read a book, put on pajamas, or feed them their last bottle in their bedroom. This way, their crib or bassinet will feel less like a nighttime prison because they’ll associate their bedroom with good feelings. Take care to begin your ritual early enough in the evening that you don’t have to rush through it.

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