You expect those changing tables in public restrooms to be somewhat germy, but you won't believe what else might be lurking there...
Baby changing tables found in public restrooms are not typically known for their sparkling cleanliness, but along with a few germs, an informal study from the United Kingdom reveals that nine out 10 public changing tables are coated with trace amounts of ... cocaine.
Spurred by an announcement that the UK has earned the dubious title of "cocaine capital of Europe," a team of journalists visited public bathrooms in shopping centers, hospitals, police stations, courts, churches, supermarkets, and department stores around London, using special wipes to check for the drug. According to the results, 92 out of 100 changing tables turned up positive for cocaine residue.
Think this is only a problem in Great Britain? In the United States, studies have found trace amounts of cocaine on many surfaces, most notably money (US researchers have yet to test public changing tables).
Study or no study, as any mom will tell you, it's always a good idea to have something between your baby and the changing surface at diapering time, especially when using a public changing table. Don't forget to pack a portable changing pad—or a towel or two—and wash after use. Other tried-and-tried mommy advice? If the condition of the restroom changing table is not to your liking, don't feel compelled to use it. A quiet corner of the bookstore, a hidden booth at a restaurant, a park bench, the back of the car... Skilled moms can make quick changes just about anywhere!