How safe is your change table?

Here’s a scary statistic: of the 19 change tables recently tested by CHOICE, half didn’t pass the key safety criteria.

The change tables were all subjected to checks for stability, strength of construction and general safety, including tests to make sure little limbs or fingers couldn’t be caught in small spaces, and that there were no sharp edges that could cause injuries.

Most importantly, the tables were all checked to see how good they are at preventing children from rolling off – an accident that can lead to serious injuries.

The good news is that three change tables received a full recommendation by CHOICE: the Bertini Renaissance, Mother’s Choice Liberty and Valco Baby Pax Plus passed all safety tests.

Another six were labeled as being “worth considering” but failed a safety recommendation, while CHOICE spokesperson Ingrid Just said the rest can’t be recommended for Australian homes.

“Two of the change tables failed the roll-off test because the mattress sides are soft and don’t adequately resist the child rolling onto them,” she said.

“Other concerns focussed on the possibility of limb entrapment and sharp corners.”

There is currently no Australian Standard for change tables, a fact CHOICE would like to see changed.

“If we have an Australian Standard developed locally or adopted from overseas, it will help parents and manufacturers alike,” Just said.

“It will reassure mums and dads and provide a guide for the companies who make the change tables.”

What makes a change table safe

As around 125 Australian children receive medical treatment after an accident in the nursery – including falls from change tables – every week, it’s important to make the room as safe as possible. CHOICE gives advice on what to look for in a change table:  

  • Look for tables that have roll-off protection, such as raised sides. These should be at least 100mm high and should be rigid, instead of being made from soft foam.
  • Look for a table with a harness you can use to strap your baby in.
  • Choose a table that’s a good height for you, with enough built-in storage that you won’t have to reach far for nappies and wipes.
  • Collapsible frames need a secure locking mechanism. Likewise, if the table has wheels, at least two wheels need lockable breaks.

This information about change tables is part of CHOICE Baby Safety Week. For more information about baby safety and choosing the right products for you and your child, download the free guide.

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