Infant and Children Needs
Shortage of diapers can lead to serious impacts on the well being of those in need. Parents without sufficient resources often allow children to wear diapers for too long during the day, or try to clean and reuse disposable diapers, putting children at risk for staph and other infections. The likelihood of abuse increases when a baby is in a household facing the stresses of poverty, and increases even more when that baby is crying due to the discomfort of a soiled diaper and the health issues that can result.
An analysis completed by the Children’s Action Alliance of Arizona in 2009 concluded that at current costs, a family of four earning $33,920 annually (based on two parents earning $8.15 per hour, equating to 160 percent of the current poverty rate) would spend all but $54 of their monthly income on housing, utilities, child care, transportation, food, and taxes. That $54 each month pay for diapers, clothing, personal items, school supplies, haircuts, and other needs for four people. Diapers for one child cost nearly $100 per month, leaving working families struggling to provide the most basic necessities.
At the same time, daycare facilities require that parents provide sufficient disposable diapers to meet the needs of their children while in the facility. In order to do so, parents may have to make difficult choices between purchasing diapers, paying bills, or buying groceries.