Local dad pushes city to address changing table access in public restrooms

Local dad pushes city to address changing table access in public restrooms

The City of Columbus is using grant money to help get changing stations for babies installed in restrooms.

The grant will help small businesses that want changing tables in its men's rooms or changing tables in both restrooms.

It's an effort that all started with a dad who became frustrated with public restrooms that didn't offer changing tables in restrooms.

Ethan Hansen still remembers the day and place when he faced that challenge as a new dad.

Hansen said he was watching his 4-month-old daughter while his wife was at another event. When Hansen needed to take his daughter to the restroom, he had everything he needed, but the most important thing was missing.

"I took her to the bathroom and there was absolutely no where to change her diaper whatsoever. I ended up changing her on the floor in front of the urinal, which is not where anybody wants to change their daughters diaper," said Hansen.

Instead of complaining about the problem, Hansen challenged the city to address it. Hansen asked the city to change the zoning code so that changing tables would be a requirement in all public restrooms.

Hansen is happy to see progress being made a little more than one year later.

The City of Columbus announced the new grant program at Sweet Carrot in Grandview Heights, Thursday afternoon. Sweet Carrot already accommodates moms, dads and caregivers.

"When we built this store and were working on the design and amenities, it wasn't even a question of whether or not we'd have changing tables in the restrooms," said Angela Petro, the Founder and CEO of Sweet Carrot.

The grant program is about $25,000. The city said it's Recreation and Parks department will also install equally accessible changing stations in 30 recreation centers throughout the city.

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