Can you imagine rationing, say, one or two diapers throughout the day, knowing that a baby should have approximately eight to 10 changes during that timeframe? Here’s a sobering statistic: Nearly 30% of low-income families cannot afford enough diapers to keep their babies clean, dry and healthy. Diapers are not covered under assistance programs like food stamps (now SNAP) or WIC.
Diapers are a small thing, but not having an adequate supply, which can cost up to $100 per month, can lead to bigger problems:
- Child Health: A child left in a diaper for too long is at an increased risk for diaper rash and hepatitis.
- Parent Mental Health: A recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics indicated that lack of access to diapers was the number one stressor on moms. Mothers who can’t afford diapers exhibit more symptoms of depression and other mental health problems. And we know from research that a mother’s mental health can have a profound effect on a child’s development.
- Family Economic Security: Families need to provide a supply of diapers for their child to attend childcare, so that they may attend work or school.
You can help meet this very basic need by supporting The Diaper Bank with a donation of diapers or funds. The Diaper Bank serves over 4,000 children each month, distributing over 200,000 diapers each month to families in need in Greater New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport and Middlesex County. Since its founding in 2004, The Diaper Bank has distributed over 16 million diapers to Connecticut children.
During "National Diaper Need Awareness Week" (September 8-14), diaper collection events will be held in Bridgeport, Middletown, Norwalk and North Haven, and The Diaper Bank will hold its annual “Rock Your Baby” fundraiser on October 17. Details on these events can be found at www.thediaperbank.org
Our guest blogger this month is Janet Alfano, Executive Director of The Diaper Bank, based out of North
Haven, CT. The Diaper Bank centralizes the fundraising and distribution of free
diapers to poor families through existing service providers, including local
food pantries, soup kitchens, child care centers, social services centers and
The Diaper Bank is a member of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance, a statewide advocacy organization working to ensure that all children are healthy, safe and ready for lifelong success. Visit us at earlychildhoodalliance.com, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ctearlychildhoodalliance or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cteca. The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is supported by the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, the Fairfield County Community Foundation and our member organizations, such as The Diaper Bank.