Diaper changing stations in commercial spaces provide accessibility for both mothers and fathers with young children to engage in public life outside the home. As of June 2019, two states and three cities have implemented policies to install diaper changing stations in restaurants. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania does not have any such city or state regulation. Additionally, Philadelphia does not keep any records of which establishments have installed diaper changing stations. There is growing advocacy efforts to support anecdotal evidence suggesting inadequate diaper changing stations available in public bathrooms on a national level. This study assessed a methodology to determine the presence of diaper changing stations within restaurants, and the extent to which diaper changing stations are accessible to both mothers and fathers. Phone interviews were completed with 60 restaurants with public bathrooms available to its patrons in Philadelphia zip code 19104. The phone interview asked whether the restaurant had unisex or gendered bathrooms, a diaper changing station, and diaper changing station to women, men, or both. Each phone interview was followed with an in-person audit. Phone interviews reported 10 restaurants having diaper changing stations and 50 reporting not having diaper changing stations. In-person audits confirmed 59 of 60 reports as only 9 restaurants had diaper changing stations. Audit also confirmed 55 of 60 restaurants correctly reporting its bathroom type. The results suggest phone-interviews are an effective way to assess whether restaurants have diaper changing stations. This method can be used to gather data on a larger scale to further study disparities in access to diaper changing stations and advocate for policies increasing access to diaper changing stations.
Recommended CitationPandya, Nishant; McIntire, PhD,MPH, Russell; and Frasso, PhD, MSc, CPH, Rosemary, "Methodology to Assess Diaper Changing Station Access in Philadelphia Restaurants: Pilot Study" (2019). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 301.