These dirty baby rooms in two busy subway stations in Seoul should be avoided at all cost if you are heading there with your baby!
If you are a breastfeeding mom and thinking of heading to Seoul with your little one, whatever you do, do NOT breastfeed in the baby rooms of the following two subway stations there.
According to news reports, the nursing rooms in Seoul Station and Yongsan Station are dirtier that the toilet bowl lids of nearby public toilets!
Contamination levels in these two rooms are reportedly up to 13,476 relative light units (RLU) per milliliter.
That is about 14 times the average contamination level of toilet bowl lids in nearby restrooms, which was 951 RLU.
In order of most to least filthy items in these rooms:
- The surface of water purifiers installed for drinking water for baby formula had the most germs - at least 13,476 RLU.
- Sofas had a contamination level of 8,481 RLU
- The level for diaper switchboards was 2,877 RLU
To give you perspective, a reading of under 500 is thought of as clean, while anything over 1000 is dirty, and obviously the higher the reading the filthier the object.
In Korea, the Maternal and Child Health Law (in a step in the right direction) states that public spaces such as subways, should have baby rooms if parents need to use them to feed or change their children. However, guidelines for hygiene control in such places are non-existent.
Rep. Choi Do Ja from the National Assembly's Health and Welfare Committee in Seoul is quoted by The Straits Times as saying, "mothers and babies are more vulnerable to viruses than others. Setting up hygiene standards is as important as installing feeding rooms for the convenience of mothers with babies."
Because of this, it's always good to be well prepared when heading out with baby. We suggest you ensure that the following items are in your baby bag always:
- Hand sanitiser/ antiseptic wipes
- A large cloth/ shawl that you can drape over a chair if needed
- A separate breastfeeding cover/shawl that you can use if you wish, if you'd rather not nurse in a baby room
- A portable baby changing mat. If you can't find one, pack a separate cloth that you can place over the change station in the baby room
- A bottle/ flask of water from home to make formula milk if needed
Reference: The Straits Times
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore