September 21, 2012

Microban in Koala Baby Change Stations

Why Microban? 

In today’s busy world, parents rely on public restrooms to provide them with a safe and convenient place to change their baby’s diaper. That’s why proper maintenance of this product is so important. Parents expect every facility to properly clean, disinfect and maintain their baby change stations on a regular basis. Most manufacturers of baby changing stations include cleaning instructions with every new baby change station (Bedliners are also available for purchase). Still, many parents are concerned that public restrooms, and baby changing stations in particular are not cleaned frequently enough.

Koala saw an opportunity to improve the durability and safety of their products by including Microban® antimicrobial product protection. Microban is the number one antimicrobial brand used in a wide variety of household and institutional products. Microban’s protection inhibits the growth of odor and stain causing bacteria, mold and mildew, increasing the safety and durability of Koala’s baby changing stations.

To prove that Microban protection provides meaningful antimicrobial protection, Microban scientists conducted exhaustive field studies to identify microorganisms typically found on Baby Changing Stations when not regularly maintained through standard operating procedures. As expected, several of the stations that were field inspected, were found to have a variety of common bacteria such as those cause odors and stains typical to the restroom environment.

Microban’s scientists went to work on a custom Microban solution that could be added to the polyethylene used to manufacture Koala baby stations. Koala had several Baby Changing Stations manufactured with the recommended Microban additive. These units were tested with the same bacteria found in the previous tests. The results of these tests were very compelling.

Early Testing

(Bacteria on an unprotected surface can double in number every 20 minutes.) Koala Kare Products is the only Baby Changing Station manufacturer to use Microban. This means that only Koala changing stations employ an active antimicrobial to keep your unit cleaner between cleanings .

2006 Research Study

Koala conducted a national market study to better understand parents' attitudes towards their products and the facilities that installed them. The study highlighted the important role that baby changing stations play for establishments targeting families. Nearly 90% of parents shopped or visited public places with their children and of these, 75% deliberately sought out establishments that have family friendly accommodations. Parents said that they are more loyal, visit more often and spend more time and money at establishments with child accommodation amenities. And Koala rated highest for ease of use, quality, durability, safety and trust.

But the study also identified a concern - the lack of consistent sanitation. Since that study Koala implemented several measures:

First the they started including cleaning, sanitation and maintenance training in the package of every baby changing station the sold. Second, they started selling sanitary bed liners to help reduce a baby's skin contact with the baby changing stations and to help keep the baby station clean during use. Finally, Koala incorporated Microban technology into the polyethylene of the diaper station to help keep the unit cleaner between cleanings and inhibit the growth of odor and stain causing bacteria. Microban technology is not designed to protect users from disease causing microorganisms.

Koala also made all parts replaceable so maintaining a baby chage station is easier than ever. For replacement parts call 1-888-293-9722.

Microban Protection Summary

Microban Products Company conducted extensive research using industry standard testing methods for Koala Kare before proposing an appropriate antimicrobial solution. A random sampling of changing stations were tested for bacteria using three different methods: Plate counts, Luminometer readings, and Sani-Check AB strips to determine bacterial, yeast and fungal microorganisms.

All three methods showed that living organisms (bacteria) were present on every single changing stations they sampled.

Based on these results the Microban technicians recommended an additive that is effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria. Microban supplied Koala Kare with a sample of this additive to be added into the polyethylene and test stations were then manufactured using Microban technology. The test stations were then sent to Microban Products Company headquarters for testing along with some untreated changing stations for final evaluations.

Microban R&D tested the stations using AATCC* standard testing methodologies. The tests that were performed were both quantitative and qualitative in nature. The changing station with built-in Microban protection showed excellent zones of inhibition against the growth of bacteria while the control Changing Station showed no inhibition against bacterial growth.

With and Without Microban

This information is based upon standard laboratory tests and is provided for comparative purposes to substantiate antimicrobial activity for non-public health applications. Microban technology is not designed to protect users from disease causing microorganisms. Microban protection inhibits the growth of microorganisms that cause stains, odors and product degradation. Antimicrobial action is limited to product.

The addition of Microban protection into the Koala Kare baby changing station will keep the station cleaner between cleanings and will inhibit the growth of bacteria on the station that can cause stains, odors or product degradation.

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