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Can't Afford Diapers? You're Not Alone

Find a diaper bank near you
33% of the women interviewed for a study published this week in the journal "Pediatrics" said they'd experienced a time when they could not afford to buy the diapers their kids needed. One in ten women reported that they would “stretch” the diapers when their supply was running short by leaving a wet diaper on their child or by partially cleaning the diaper and reusing it.

Diapers are such a concern that low-income families rank it along with food and housing as a top stressor. This concern is especially real for single moms, a group who tend to be the most economically vulnerable with a poverty rate of 15%.

6% of a single, full-time working mother's gross income goes to purchasing diapers. Unfortunately neither WIC nor SNAP (food stamps) include their costs. One women, Debbie Bloom of Warwick, PA , said she spent $30 per week on diapers. The costs were so high that "she often paid her credit cards late, incurring penalties" so she could afford them.

Carl Latkin, a professor in the department of health, behavior and society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health points out why the study is so important:
The new study, while it has its limitations, shows "a gaping hole in the safety net.... The vast majority of focus has been on food and security. Obviously when you are defining a safety net of basic necessities, I think most people would put diapers in that category."
Do you have a story about the high cost of diapers? Share it with us.


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