Contaminated Changing Tables: What you need to know

(Valley News Live) - "If there was a concern of black marks and thinking that it might be drug residue – I would say don't even touch the surface," says Elizabeth Bjur, a public health nurse with Clay County Public Health.

"You don't know if there's still drugs on there or not," says Tanayah Jackson, who lives in Fargo.

In a viral Facebook post, a mother and recovering drug addict points out black marks on a changing table - explaining that they came from burnt spoons used by drug users.

"Yeah, it does surprise me and it's scary," says Barney Haugen, a father from Glyndon.

"I didn't hear about that back when he was in diapers. I mean, it's definitely alarming for mothers that do still have their kids in diapers," Jackson says.

The post goes on to say changing tables can also be used to crush up drugs, leaving residue behind that can be deadly for babies.

"We have to be careful about anything that our children might be exposed to whether it's even regular medication – their doses are smaller because their bodies are smaller. So the potential of them having a stronger reaction is there," Bjur says.

"The rise of synthetic opiates and some other drugs in particular have the potential to be absorbed by the skin and into the bloodstream where minuscule amounts can be deadly to anyone, including children," says Jake Metcalf, an addiction management coach with Face It Together Fargo Moorhead. "We hear about the tragic stories of first responders suffering this fate all the time from coming in contact with increasingly potent drugs; it's only natural we protect our kids similarly."

Now, thanks to the social media post, local families are aware of the danger and are ready to face it.

"That will be something that I will be helping parents be more aware of," says Bjur. “It’s really left in the parents’ hands to make sure that where they’re placing their child is safe and clean.”

"Now, it's like you have to watch your kids 24/7 and you can't let them out of your sight because there's so many things going on," adds Haugen.

Public health leaders say if you see a changing table that looks suspicious, don't touch it. Instead, let management know or contact police.

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