Florida dad petitioning lawmakers to mandate changing tables in men's bathrooms

A Pasco county stay-at-home dad says he's petitioning local lawmakers to require businesses and stores to have changing tables for children in men's restrooms. 

Paul Perez, says he's gone into too many men's restrooms with nowhere to change his 18-month-old daughter. 

"Either I have to drive all the way home, or try to change her in the car, which the seats are too small," he said.

Perez decided to stay home with his three daughters and the son on the way to offset daycare costs. 

He started a change.org petition to request State Senator Joe Negron, and several other local representatives. 

He posted, "as a stay at home father I've been to an unbelievable amount of places that have either no changing tables at all, or only in the women's restroom."

He went on to write that he's not comfortable changing his child in the car, nor should he have to. 

In 2016, former President Barack Obama signed a law that made changing tables mandatory in men and women's restrooms in all federal public restrooms. 

At a local level, we found out the city of Tampa recently put in 10 new changing tables in men's and women's bathrooms. 

Adding to that, Hillsborough County has chosen to add changing tables in their newer construction buildings that include recreation centers, libraries, the East County Service Center and more. 

As for the older facilities there are several changing tables in co-ed and family bathrooms. 

To see the petition, click here.

ABC Action News reached out to the Tampa International Airport to find out if they had changing tables in their men's restrooms. They said:

"We do have changing tables in at least some of our men's restrooms...And of course, we do have family restrooms that can be used by men or women and all have changing tables."

We also reached out to Publix. They say:

“Many of our customers have young children with them while shopping our stores, so a baby changing station can make their shopping experience much more pleasant.  Most of our newer stores include changing tables in the men’s, women’s and family restrooms.  Each year, we also refresh our existing stores through our remodel process.  When these occur, we attempt to include a family restroom when possible.  When we are unable to include a family restroom, we make sure the men’s and women’s restrooms include changing tables.”

Pasco County also released a statement on the issue:

We have changing tables installed in our men’s restrooms at 8 different parks in Pasco County.  

Our facility at Wesley Chapel District Park has included them in all 5 restrooms.  

All of our newly developed or renovated parks have included a changing table in at least 1 men’s restroom per site.  
 

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