Baby changers are a great necessary aren't they for whenever parents go shopping, hospitals, days out, resturaunts etc...you name it and practically every place will have baby changing units. They are a life saver esp for those poonamis (poop explosions that basically go everywhere and require a full clean set of clothes)! But where are the facilities for those children more specifically disabled children who are often incontinent for much longer , sometimes for the rest of their lives?
There are less than 1000 changing places in the UK alone...that's shocking considering how many toilets there are that come with a baby changing unit. In this day and age people go on about human rights, equality and do everything they can to ensure their needs are being met but what about disabled children/adults? They deserve dignity just like the rest of you, decent changing facilities are needed to make this possible.
Would you sit on a public toilet floor? Would you even walk bare footed on a public toilet floor? I'm guessing you all are looking disgusted at the thought of doing something like this, and saying to yourselves "never" ...well think about the parents/carers who are being told to put their children & adults on the floor to change their nappies/pads. It's disgusting and downright undignified.
Disabled people have feelings too you know, they may cannot communicate but they can feel and sense the discomfort of others around them.
Many disabled children & adults are unable to weight bear so need to be lifted out of their wheelchairs onto units to be changed. So not only do we need adult size changing units we also need hoists so that the parents & carers are able to do this. You all know how heavy children get as they grow older and there comes a point where they become too heavy or the parent/carer end up injuring themselves from lifting such a weight.
There are many disabled children who are able to walk but still need to wear nappies/pads so need an bigger changer to accommodate them. My son is one of those. He is mobile but due to his severe learning disability he is yet to be toilet trained and it could be years yet if any before he is fully toilet trained. So meantime he wears nappies and we often go out as a family to various of places but I'm finding it harder and harder to change him as there are hardly any changing places. I see baby changers and they all say a max weight which is often 18kg sometimes more...but there was one place I went to that had been renovated and the changer unit said weight max was 35kg, my son is 20kg so I lifted him onto it and yes it held his weight but in order to change him I have to lay him down and his bum was hanging off the changing unit!! What is the point of having a bigger weight tolerance but yet don't increase the length of the unit?
Sometimes we get told to change them standing up which is fine if they understand to stand still, if they are wearing nappy pants rather than the nappies. If its just a wet nappy I have llearned the art of changing him standing up but sometimes we have issues with leaking due to him wriggling and the nappy not fitting properly so I've yet to master it....if its a dirty nappy its virtually impossible the change them standing up as it just ends up everywhere and with him wanting to move around all the time its just a disaster so we need a changing unit to be able to do this. I often have to change him in the boot of my car which isn't very dignified as you are trying to shield him from prying eyes at the same time as trying to get him clean and often he soemtimes needs a change of clothes. If I have my husband with me he will stand in front of the boot to shield our son while I clean him up as quick as I can. As a really last resort I have had to put him on the floor on top of a large mat which then goes into a plastic bag and washed once home as I dread to think what its touched on that floor.
It's time to show your support in #changing places campaign to have better factilities to meet the needs of all disabled people .
Here is a image made and shared by my friend and fellow blogger who has done so much to try and get awareness out there... Brody, Me & GDD
The message is simple .... "we dont belong on a toilet floor"
Please share all the related blogs and get people to sign the petition so that more changing places are made.Please use the hashtags #phantomloos #changingplaces