April 29, 2014

Taking Babies to Restaurants?

So recently a controversy erupted around the problems created by bringing babies to restaurants.  Here's the tweet that started it:

 And a bit of background on the situation:


It seems whenever these debates happen it becomes obvious there are lots of people that will continue to bring babies to places that other people wish were for adults only.

Here is Grant's response on Good Morning America:

ABC US News | ABC Business News


It is possible to avoid many of these problems with some common sense.  

  1. Go to restaurants that encourage families, look for signs like high chairs and baby changing stations.
  2. Choose an appropriate time.  Lunch time isn't likely to raise many eyebrows, but an evening at a restaurant full of couples?  Don't be surprised if you get a few looks.
  3. The Scouts had it right: Be Prepared.  Bring food, a bottle, a favourite toy, the baby blanket and so on.  
  4. Be respectful of other diners, if your baby starts making a fuss you need to answer those needs.  Be prepared to find a quiet spot, outside, in the lobby or the bathroom at least until you are able to calm the baby down.

Given the above it's easy to see why this clash happened.  This might be an extreme case, at $250 a plate Alinea is as swanky as it gets, but the problem is the same one faced by Dads (and Moms) every time they take the baby along to eat out.  So dads, what are your rules with babies and restaurants?  How do you handle situations when your baby disrupts other patrons?  And what do you do if (heaven forbid), the restaurant doesn't have a KB200 in the Mens room?

April 02, 2014

California's New Law on Commericial Baby Changing Station Gender Equity

On Feb 21 of this year the California Senate introduced an act to amend the civil code relating to public restrooms.    Senate Bill 1350 hopes to add access to baby changing stations for both women and men.  The current law requires public facilities to "be equipped with sufficient restrooms to meet the need of the public at peak hours".  Bill 1350 would require restroom facilities that have commercial baby changing stations installed to be available in both the men's and woman's room or in an area that is accessible to both.


California commercial baby changing station law SB-1350



 Section 1714.27 is added to the Civil Code, to read:


(a) Any place of public accommodation that provides restroom facilities for the public and installs new, or substantially renovated, facilities shall install and maintain at least one baby diaper changing accommodation that is accessible to women and at least one baby diaper changing accommodation that is accessible to men, or a single baby diaper changing accommodation that is accessible to both.
The fine for a violation while small ($250) is more than the cost of a new commercial baby changing station.  Lets hope that's enough encouragement to get more men's rooms equipped with commercial baby changing stations.

November 06, 2013

Choosing The Best Baby Changing Station for your Bathroom

Most businesses,  childcare centers and public buildings have baby changing stations in the restrooms. Changing tables provide a safe and hygienic location to attend to the needs of young children. With so many available options, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your business.

Affordable Changing Table Units

For budget-minded businesses, the Safety Craft starts at just $129 and is a very popular choice. The Safety Craft can be purchased as a horizontal model or as a vertical model. This baby changing station may be one of the least expensive models available, but it is very durable and meets or exceeds the highest ADA, ANSI and ASTM standards. The Safety Craft is made of high-density polyethylene with a steel inner frame. There are two built-in dual liner dispensers that hold a total of 100 sanitary liners. There is also a hygienic bacteria-resistant nylon safety belt. The EZ mount plate is purchased separately.

Koala KB200The Koala Kare KB200 baby changing station is also an affordable option. Unlike the Safety Craft, the KB200 is constructed of bacteria-resistant polyethylene. The bed surface is embeded with Microban antimicrobial technology, reducing odor and bacteria. This model has a unibody steel chassis that can support 200 pounds with minimal deflection. For businesses seeking LEED certification, the KB200 is made of 16% recycled materials. This changing table also comes in a model clad with 304 stainless steel, the Koala Kare KB200-SS. This popular option has all of the durability and safety of the original KB200 in a trendy stainless steel finish that easily blends in with other stainless steel restroom fixtures.

While the KB200 and KB200-SS are horizontal units, those preferring a vertical unit may like the Koala Kare KB101 Vertical Baby Changing Station. The KB101 is constructed of high-density polyethylene with steel on steel hinges. The surface is made with Microban technology for safety and hygiene. This changing station is made with 46% recycled materials, making it a great choice for LEED certified buildings.

For business owners who wish to add a unique touch to their family-friendly restrooms, the Koala Kare KB208 is a great choice. Instead of mirroring the rectangular shape of other changing models, the KB208 offers a stylish oval shape. This model is also priced like the KB200 and KB101 and is a popular choice. Like other Koala Kare changing station models, the KB208 is constructed of polyethylene with steel reinforcement and nylon child protection straps. This model is available in cream, grey and white granite to match any decor.

Stainless Steel Changing Table Units

KB110 SSREThe Koala Kare KB110-SSRE Stainless Steel Baby Changing Station is the perfect option for sleek, upscale businesses. This stylish stainless steel unit is recessed into the wall, making it discrete and space-saving. This model is a great choice for new businesses or for buildings where the restrooms are being remodeled as it does need to be installed as a recessed unit. The interior of this unit is made with polyethylene. The exterior is stainless steel with steel on steel hinges and an internal gas spring mechanism. It is ADA accessible and made of 56% recycled materials.

For the high-end restroom that doesn't need to be remodeled, the Koala Kare KB110-SSWM is a great choice. This model has all of the stylish and functional features of the KB110-SSRE but can be mounted on the wall's surface rather than requiring a recessed installation. This changing station mounts horizontally and when folded, it lies flat against the wall. It is 50 pounds and when properly installed meets all ADA accessibility guidelines.

The ultimate in durable baby changing stations is the Brocar 100-SSV-R. The Brocar 100-SSV-R is a full stainless steel changing table. It is installed vertically and recessed into the restroom wall. For hygienic purposes, a replaceable high-hygiene polyethylene tray included. There are also cushioned safety corners. This beautiful model is extremely durable and the stainless steel surface blends in with many high-end stainless steel restroom fixtures.

The Brocar models also come in several other installation choices. The Brocar 100-SS-SM is a horizontal unit that can be mounted on the wall's surface. The Brocar 100-SSC-R is a recessed unit that can be mounted horizontally. Finally, the Brocar 100-SSV-SM is a vertical unit that can be mounted on the wall's surface rather than as a recessed unit.

Special Needs and Adult Changing Table Units

Foundations 100-SSE-RNursing homes, hospitals and schools for individuals with special needs often require changing table units that can support a full-grown adult. The Brocar 100-SSE-R is the only choice for facilities that require a changing table unit that supports an adult. This extended length changing station supports up to 400 pounds and can hold a person up to 62 inches tall. This recessed unit only projects approximately one inch from the wall’s surface when closed and 21.75” when opened.

The 100-SSE-R is constructed of heavy-duty 304 brushed stainless steel with dual pneumatic gas springs. The Brocar 100-SSE-SM has all of the features of the 100-SSE-R, but can be mounted on the wall's surface. Like the recessed model, this special needs changing unit is ADA and ANSI compliant. This model protrudes only 4” from the wall when closed making it a discreet and stylish choice.

Whether you are looking for an affordable changing table unit that offers convenience, safety and durability or you would like to add a stylish high-end model to your family-friendly restroom, there are several options available to meet the needs of every business. Our infant and special needs changing units meet all ADA standards and are among the safest and well-trusted changing tables on the market today.

October 26, 2013

BabyStations.com site relaunch, you asked we listened.

Stay tuned we're in the middle of a major redesign.  The new store will launch with any of the features you asked us for:


  • Inventory levels
  • Expected delivery dates
  • Product reviews

We're really excited and think it will be a pretty big improvement.

October 22, 2013

3 Questions to Ask When Purchasing a Baby Changing Station

Baby changing stations offer a hygienic way for parents and caregivers to tend to the physical needs of the children in their care. Daycares, public shopping centers and airports are just a few of the places that must carefully plan for purchasing enough quality baby changing stations to provide a safe place for someone to change a baby’s diaper. By carefully planning for the inclusion of changing stations in public areas, a company can avoid some of the common issues that may arise when not enough stations are present. Here are three questions to ask when purchasing a baby changing station that will ensure that the one selected will offer many years of service while enhancing the aesthetics of any public space.
How Many Changing Stations are Necessary?
One of the most common issues people run into when installing a baby changing station is not having enough to serve the amount of children that are cared for in a building. This can be avoided by assessing the traffic flow in an area so the correct amount of changing stations can be purchased. For daycares, one changing table per eight infants is generally sufficient. However, it is also a good idea to plan to include an additional changing station in any adult restrooms for parents to use if one is occupied in the classroom. Other public spaces, such as airports and entertainment venues, may need to install more than one changing station in each bathroom. This is especially true if a high number of children are expected in the area.

Where Should They be Placed?
In addition to purchasing the correct amount of baby changing stations, it is also important to plan for the proper placement in a restroom facility or daycare classroom. Begin by assessing the current layout of the bathroom or classroom to identify areas that should not be blocked by a changing station. Although baby changing stations fold up when they are not in use, it is important to make sure they do not interfere with wheelchair access when someone is changing a baby. For safety purposes, it is also important to ensure they are not located near hot hand dryers or over garbage containers. In the past, baby changing stations were only placed in women’s restrooms; however, including them in men’s restrooms will ensure that everyone has access to a hygienic area to tend to a child’s needs.KB200-SS stainless Steel baby changing station from Koala

Once the layout has been planned, it is important to measure to ensure that the station will fit into the area while allowing enough space to maintain traffic flowwhen it is opened. Using the KB200-SS model as an example, a person should plan for the station to take up 4-inches of space when it is closed and approximately 24-inches when it is opened. Finally, be sure to account for the additional space used by the person operating the station. In most restrooms, the compact nature of this model will fit into any layout.

Is it Durable Enough to Last While Maintaining Style?
Including a baby changing station in any area that is frequented by heavy traffic requires paying close attention to the materials from which a changing station is made.  For daycares where most diaper changes are completed a staff or parents a polyethylene unit will be sufficient.  However, in high traffic applications with a high risk of abuse a stainless steel unit is recommended.
 Here are a few of the other features to look for that will point to a quality changing station that can go the distance:
  • Steel hinges for wear-resistance
  • Inner-cavity locks to deter vandalism
  • Child-protection straps
  • Antimicrobial bed surface to ensure hygiene
  • Ability to support the weight of older children
In addition to the many special features that are available for ensuring durability, it is also important to consider how the changing station fits into the overall decorating scheme. Baby changing stations are available in several different colors including white granite, grey, beige and brown. When choosing the color that works best in a classroom or restroom, it is important to consider the other fixtures included in the space. This will ensure that the baby changing station blends into the space while contributing to the overall aesthetics. 

Parents and other caregivers appreciate the thought that goes into planning for and purchasing baby changing stations that can make tending to their children easier and more hygienic.




Photo Credit: Jason L. Parks via Compfight cc

October 21, 2013

A Brief History of the Baby Changing Station

Before World War II, the ideal family structure of a single breadwinner going to work while the other stayed home and raised the child was indeed a popular view,
A 1950s Future
though mostly unattainable in average households. The majority of homes could not get by on a single income, as few jobs paid a good enough wage to support a whole family. After the war, however, an economic boom rang throughout the U.S., and national prosperity allowed for the "ideal" home in popular culture. Families in the 1950's and 60's saw fathers going off to work while the mothers stayed home to raise the children. This became the norm for the time. 

However, this ideal setup did not last for long. Starting in the late 1970's, the average family structure began to change. Divorce rates rose, single mothers were on the rise, and both parents saw need and want for two incomes as the economy weakened and pay rates for women rose. 'Family time' became a precious term as for only a few hours in the evening and the weekends, the family could spend time together. Parents' schedules began to tighten while both tried to balance a work life with home life, not only earning enough to take care of their children, but making sure they found enough time to spend with them. The "absent fathers" of the 1950's and 60's were changing to be a far more active role in the raising of the child. 

Due to this change in family time and tightened schedules, small children began to appear in public more and more. People not only had jobs to fit into their days, but the same tasks as before had to be finished, and the balancing act was becoming difficult. Parents had errands to run, groceries to shop for, and items to buy at the shopping malls, and they were less inclined to leave their children at home. Not only was it getting harder for parents to leave the children while they finished tasks, but they wanted to use this opportunity to spend time with their kids. Parents also still wanted to go to movies and out to dinner, and finding a babysitter wasn't always an option. 

Patent Drawing of first Baby Changing StationAs it became in the grocery store and shopping mall, society shifted to be more accepting at seeing small children in restaurants and entertainment venues. However challenges arose as it came time to change an infant, and countertops in public restrooms were far from fitting for swapping a diaper, either being too small or unsanitary. And thus, the public baby changing station was born. 

In 1986, four Minnesota businessmen put together a company called JBJ Industries (now Koala Corporation) and designed a baby changing table that attached to a wall in a public restroom. It was a standalone product that could fold down from the wall for use. Parents were now able to change their babies safely and privately, and fold the table back up when done. The changing stations were easy to install, use, and maintain

It was a simple addition and parents were impressed. Businesses began to take notice. Baby changing stations started to pop up everywhere, mainly in restaurants at first, but expanded to theaters, grocery stores, amusements parks, and shopping centers. Child-friendly facilities became a positive and even impacted parents' decisions on where they spent more time and money. Businesses realized family convenience was now a major factor in visitors and sales, and equipped themselves with the tables. This then gave a rise in child seating products, such as the booster seat, and play products. 

The initial design (created by Koala Corp.) of the public baby changing station has not changed much over the years: molded polyethylene and steel, rounded edges for safety, and compact - ideal for even small restrooms. A study in 1998 by the Howell Research Group reported nearly seven out of ten parents shop with their children either all of the time or most of the time, and as of today, these changing stations are now an expected convenience in many establishments. Large retailers around the world are equipping these stations in both men's and women's restrooms, as, like handicapped stalls, a baby station is a sign that the business cares about its customer.




Photo Credit: x-ray delta one via Compfight cc

October 15, 2013

Setting Up a Home Daycare? Here are Six Things You Will Absolutely Need!

Owners of home daycares have unique needs for their small charges. They must be patient, caring, and kind. They must have the capacity to manage basic needs while helping children learn to share and cooperate with each other. Because home daycare owners must be on their toes throughout the day, they need certain items to help them ease each facet of childcare.

  1. Pack n Play The saving grace of parents, grandparents, and home daycare providers, a Pack n Play is an easily transportable playpen that converts to a bassinet with ease. Pack n Plays are light and easy to move. They are durable with removable covers that are machine washable. They can be used to store toys for older children as well. Best of all, Pack n Plays are inexpensive. Any home daycare can have several Pack n Plays without making a huge dent in the overall budget.
  2. Convertible High Chair A daycare provider could be feeding up to eight children at the same time. Purchasing eight separate high chairs can be costly, but more importantly, few homes have the space to store eight large high chairs. Instead, opt for convertible high chairs that can be used for multiple purposes. Some high chairs easily convert to desks for coloring or reading time. Look at the Badger Basket Envee High Chair or the sleeker Primo Poppy Plus. Another good option is a chair top high chair. These fit snugly onto a standard chair and convert into boosters for older kids.KB200-SS
  3. KB200-SS Baby Changing Stations Diaper changing is no one's favorite task, but changing stations make the job fast and easy. KB200 Baby Changing Stations are the best choice due to their space-saving features. These changing stations fold flat against the wall, converting any room into a nursery no matter how small. Many home daycares have multiple changing stations; thanks to the small size and price of KB200 Baby Changing Stations, it is possible to have one of these in each bathroom of the house.
  4. Toy Organizers and Storage Bins No home daycare provider wants to spend the bulk of the day picking up toys. Encourage children to learn how to pick up after themselves by providing them with toy bin organizers they can reach on their own. There are many companies that make adequate toy organizers; the most important object is to have a secure place to keep toys sorted and out of the way. Look at the Whitmor Kids Storage Collection for bins that are accessible to multiple age groups.
  5. Safety and Cleaning Supplies Cleanliness is never more important than in a home daycare setting. Children have germs. Even more prevalent is their propensity to lick and chew on objects and then share with others. Toys should be regularly disinfected, but floor care is equally important. Linoleum, tile, and hardwood should be cleaned daily with the Bissell 1940 Powerfresh Steam Mop. This mop makes the job of cleaning floors fast and easy. Carpeted areas benefit from the Hoover SteamVac Carpet Washer. In addition, any off-limits areas, including those closets or cabinets that hold cleaning products, should be kept secure with safety latches and locks.
  6. Tot Tutors Book Rack As a home daycare provider, the number one goal should be to foster important life skills while keeping the environment safe and secure. Leading research shows that children are more successful in life when they are surrounded by books at a young age. The Tot Tutors Book Rack is small and light, making it easily transportable to any area in the house. Likewise, young fingers can easily remove and return books. This teaches them two lessons in one: reading and responsibility. Another good reason to chooose the Tot Tutors Book Rack is that it is made from a light yet sturdy nylon fabric. Nylon covers are easy to clean and virtually indestructible. Of course, these tools are not the only things home daycare providers need. A steady supply of crayons, coloring books, soft toys, and feeding supplies are in order. Allergen-free snacks for older children, changes of clothing for those accidents that are bound to happen, and a soft rocking chair are also needed. Most importantly of all, home daycare providers need to be heavily stocked in patience and love.

October 14, 2013

Tips on How to Setup a Church Nursery

The nursery is an important ministry in any church. It provides a biblical foundation for young children and may influence them for a lifetime. Starting and equipping a church nursery is a challenging but rewarding endeavor. Many parents choose a church by considering what is best for their child. Parents want to ensure that their children will be safe and well cared for so they can experience the church service with peace of mind. 

Church nurseries should be sparkling clean and welcoming. Make your church nursery a place where children want to stay and begin to learn about Jesus. Setting up this important space for little ones involves careful consideration of furniture, equipment and toys. 

If possible, locate the nursery close to the main worship area and building fire exits. A restroom with sink access in the nursery is ideal. Walls that have additional insulation will decrease the noise of various activities. Paint walls with non-toxic paint. Bright wall murals are a great nursery addition and popular with tots. Mount mirrors to the walls at floor level to keep babies and toddlers entertained and engaged. 

A system that pipes the audio from the main service to the nursery is a nice addition. The staff will be able to hear the worship service while attending to the children. To contact parents during the service, a wireless paging nursery call system offers privacy and comfort. 

Establish your church nursery with safety as your number one priority to avoid injuries to children. First aid kits, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers all protect children from possible harm. Childproof all wall outlets and cabinet doors. Your nursery requires a monitoring system that matches children with their parents. One method is using security tags to make sure to release a child only to the person who has the matching tag. 

Follow safety precautions when installing furniture in the nursery to prevent accidents. Anchor all dressers, shelves and bookcases to walls or the floor to stop children from pushing unstable furniture over and injuring themselves or others. Keep equipment power cords and cables away from the reach of children. Do not allow children to play on furniture such as tables, carts or bookcases at any time.
Basic nursery furniture and equipment requirements include:
  • Security camera
  • Cribs
  • Stationary jump and learn jumpers 
  • Rocking chairs or rocker-gliders
  • Preschool tables and chairs
  • Musical baby swings
  • Storage unit or peg hangars for diaper bags or coats 
  • Hand sanitizer units
  • Vacuum cleaner and bags
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Hardware and brackets to anchor furniture to walls or floors

Wall Mounted Changing Tables
KB200 baby changing stations are an excellent choice when floor space is limited. The units come with safety straps, are easy to clean and very durable when attached to a wall.

  • Crib blankets and sheets
  • Receiving blankets
  • Rubber gloves and mop
  • Toilet cleaning items
  • Plastic pails
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Garbage cans and bags
  • Juice and snacks
  • Paper cups, plates and napkins

Thoroughly clean the nursery floors, furniture and toys after each service. Wash crib sheets and other lines every week. Immediately disinfect toys that sick children have handled. Clean toys frequently and remove them from the nursery when damaged. Loose toy parts can cause a choking hazard when swallowed. 

Kids love to play and interact with each other. Outfitting the nursery with educational and creative toys stimulates a child’s imagination and encourages a learning environment. The church can promote creative play and learning in the nursery.

Toys appropriate for a range of ages are a good fit for your church nursery.
When selecting toys for the nursery consider the following guidelines:
  • No toys with sharp edges
  • No toys with long strings or cords
  • Battery toys with batteries only accessible with a screwdriver
  • Toys to encourage sharing and cooperative play
  • Educational books and toys
  • Dollhouses
  • Shopping carts
  • Washable baby dolls 
  • Wooden train set
  • Kitchen center with play food and dishes
  • Workbench with plastic tools
  • Toys to encourage group activity
  • Toys to help develop coordination
  • Toys that promote imaginative play
Puppets are a nursery staple since they encourage play and storytelling between children and caregivers. Bible themed puppets include characters from the Old and New Testaments. Bright and colorful building blocks promote coordination and creativity. They keep children busy and challenge their minds. Talking toys that share scripture verses are popular choices. Children can press points on the toy to hear different Bible verses. 

Set up your church nursery with the above guidelines to provide parents an opportunity to focus on spiritual matters while at church. Parents can freely worship and rest easy knowing their children are safe.

October 11, 2013

Stainless Steel Looks for the Price of Plastic With the KB200-SS



The Koala Kare model baby changing station is a standard fixture in almost every public restroom in the United States. With a long history of safety and quality, Koala Kare is trusted by parents. Fourteen years after the release of the KB100, the company released a new updated model designed with increased safety and convenience in mind. Since its release, the KB200 skyrocketed to become the world's top selling baby changing system.

Koala Kare KB200
The KB200 is constructed using high quality and lightweight parts. Each unit is made with Microban technology embedded into the changing table's surface for increased long-lasting sanitation. The Microban protection also helps prevent stains and odors, keeping your property's restroom clean and professional. Other safety features include clearly posted safety instructions in four languages, reinforced steel-on-steel hinges, and a nylon safety strap.

The Koala Kare brand commercial baby changing table includes several convenient features as well. The KB200 supports significantly more weight than did the previous model, and does it with only minimal deflection. A locking dual chamber liner dispenser ensures that parents can always grab a fresh sanitary liner when changing their babies. The updated model includes two bag hooks as well. Finally, the horizontal design allows the table to be mounted according to ADA requirements.

The original KB200 model is available in white granite, earth, clay, and cream color schemes. However, recently, the Koala Kare company released the stylish and trendy KB200-SS. This new model is constructed with a high quality and attractive stainless steel veneer panel. The stainless steel model integrates beautifully with almost any restroom decor. This model was designed with current fixture trends in mind. Many faucets, dispensers, trash cans, and even stall doors are now stainless steel. The KB200-SS mimics the color scheme and blends in instead of being an eyesore in an otherwise upscale restroom.

Koala Kare KB200-SS
The Koala Kare KB200-SS is constructed of high quality type 304 stainless steel on the outside, with a polyethylene and unibody steel chassis internally. Microban technology is included in this stainless steel model as well as in the KB200. Weighing in at only 32 pounds, this model is easy to open and close yet strong enough to safely support an infant. In fact, the stainless steel model can support 200 pounds with only minimal deflection.

This model includes all of the KB200's safety and convenience features. The steel hinges are durable and strong. A locked dual cavity is included and has the capacity to hold a total of 50 bed liners. Finally, strong nylon straps are attached to the unit to prevent infants from rolling off the table.

For business owners who are environmentally-minded, the KB200-SS is the perfect changing table option. Not only do all Koala Kare models comply with the safety standards set by ASTM and EN, but every model contributes to LEED certification. In fact, the stainless steel model is made with 16% recycled materials, making it an environmentally conscious choice for your business. 

The Koala Kare KB200-SS is 35 3/6" wide and 22 1/4" high. When the unit is closed, it's a very shallow and unobtrusive 4" deep and opens to a roomy 23 3/16" deep. This unit is large enough to hold almost all infants and toddlers comfortably, yet small enough to blend into surrounding decor when folded up in the locked position.

In 2012, the stainless steel model was introduced as a way to bridge the gap between the high quality and popular KB200 model and Koala Kare's high end stainless steel models: the KB110 and the KB111. While the high end models are beautiful and unobtrusive, the $1200 price tag can be a bit more than some businesses desire to spend on an infant changing table. The KB200-SS is almost $1000 cheaper, making it a very affordable option while still providing all of the style, convenience, and safety of the higher-end models. The stainless steel model can help businesses create a trendy and modern look without having to spend thousands of dollars on installing changing tables. 

Each KB200-SS ordered includes the changing table unit, complete with all of the safety and convenience features that are expected of a Koala Kare product. Also included is the installation kit, ASTM compliant installation instructions, and mounting hardware. Finally, each unit comes with the operator kit. The operator kit includes the operation manual, as well as a maintenance and cleaning instruction sheet and registration card. The operation kit also includes a liner dispenser lid key, label for the restroom door, and a sanitary bed liner starter kit with 12 liners. 

For business owners and landlords, the Koala Kare KB200-SS is an affordable and stylish option for your public restrooms. In addition to offering all of the safety and convenience of other Koala Kare models, this updated model blends in with existing stainless steel fixtures giving your public restrooms a clean, modern, and welcoming feel.

October 11, 2013

Safe & Efficient: 304 Stainless Steel and Baby Changing Tables

304 stainless steel is one of the most popular materials used in manufacturing consumer goods today. “304” is lightweight, yet incredibly durable, and can easily last a lifetime of regular use if the user takes care of it. 304 stainless is regularly used in the production of food equipment, particularly in machines that brew beer, process milk, and make wine. Kitchen cookery, pots, and pans is often entirely made of 304 stainless because it functions well in both cold and hot temperatures. Architectural paneling, trim, and building railings are frequently fortified with 304 steel. The St. Louis Arch, for example, is clad exclusively in 304 stainless. The material is also used in chemical containers and heat exchange apparatuses. 304 is dishwasher safe, making it a popular water bottle option for environmentally conscious drinkers. More importantly, 304 stainless steel is safe for kids, toddlers, and babies to lie on, touch, bite, or lick, making it an ideal material to use in cribs and public bathroom changing stations. 
304 Stainless Steel
Koala Kare, a manufacturer of baby changing stations, is using 304 stainless steel to produce their new KB200-SS Horizontal Wall Mounted Baby Changing Station because the steel has excellent resistance to wear and better durability than plastics. The stainless steel finish is easy to clean and maintain, and just to ensure that your kid is safe, Koala Kare has infused the changing station’s steel surface with Microban anti-microbial, which reduces odorous bacteria. The stainless steel hinges can hold up to 200 pounds, meaning you can change your baby with the diaper bag sitting on the table.

Stainless steel use in kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures has increased in recent decades because of its decadent, luxurious luster and polish. 304 stainless, with its typical shiny silver surface is versatile enough to mix with black, white, brown, or bisque-colored appliances. Stainless is popular in both public and private spaces alike, because it can be cleaned quickly and easily with a towel and some sanitizer. 

Grade 304 steel is an “18/8” stainless, meaning it contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. The steel also contains trace amounts -- 0.08% in total -- of carbon. Because 304 contains nickel, it is not magnetic, and does not produce the flaky rust often associated with other types of steel. 304 grade steel functions excellently in a broad range of atmospheric zones and is resistant to many corrosive materials. The material is, however, subject to pitting and corrosion in crevices in environments where warm chloride is present. The steel is resistant to potable water at room temperature, too, so chloride level does not exceed 200 milligrams in every one liter of water. 304 stainless steel is completely recyclable, can be melted down to make new metal, and is excellent for welding purposes.

304 stainless steel is manufactured in electric arc furnace. An electric arc furnace (EAF) uses an electric arc to heat an electrically charged material. Inside the furnace, carbon electrodes make contact with steel scraps and blast an electrical current through them. During this blast stage, chromium and nickel are added to make 304, but other materials like nitrogen and molybdenum can be put in the furnace during this step to create different grades of stainless steel. 

After the nickel and chromium are added, the steel continues to heat until it reaches its critical melting point. When this achieved, the steel scraps and added alloys begin to intermix, creating a homogenous metal fusion. The metal mass is then transferred to an argon oxygen de-carbonization (AOD) vessel, where the mass deoxygenizes. After this occurs, the steel is casted or forged. The metal is ductile and malleable in this stage, and can be easily manipulated into a variety of shapes, wires, and forms. 
304 Stainless SteelSometimes, manufactures treat the cooled steel an electro chemical process that can change the color of the steel to gold, black, blue, green, or bronze. For stainless steel that will eventually be used in consumer products, the steel is often dipped in an acid bath, so that the metal maintains a more polished appearance and is easier to clean after being used. At present, there are more than sixty types of stainless steel, each of which is categorized by its alloy combination. Despite all of the different grades, there are three main types of stainless steel: Martenistic, Ferritic, and Austenitic. These types are classified differently based on the presence of chromium, degree of magnetism, and proportion of different alloys. 

At present, there are more than sixty types of stainless steel, each of which is categorized by its alloy combination. Despite all of the different grades, there are three main types of stainless steel: Martenistic, Ferritic, and Austenitic. These types are classified differently based on the presence of chromium, degree of magnetism, and proportion of different alloys. Type 304 stainless steel is a T 300 Series Stainless Steel austenitic. Specifically, it is referred to as a chromium-nickel austenitic alloy.