King County Council recognizes Diaper Need Awareness Week, WestSide Baby

White Center Blog -- The King County Council on Monday (Sept. 28) recognized ‘Diaper Need Awareness Week,’ recognizing local non-profit WestSide Baby.

Far too many parents have to make the difficult choice of changing a diaper or letting their child stay in a soiled diaper to help extend their limited supply. The Metropolitan King County Council today recognized the week of Sept. 28-Oct. 4 as Diaper Need Awareness Week, the effort to ensure that all infants and toddlers can be clean, healthy, and dry by having the diapers they need.

National surveys report that one in three mothers experience diaper need while their children are less than three years of age, and that nearly half of families delay changing a diaper to extend their supply. Medical professionals are undivided in their concern over the affect this has on the health and welfare of babies, toddlers, and their families.

“Diapers are a basic need for babies and can be a significant investment for families of every income level,” said Council Vice Chair Joe McDermott. “Making sure that every child has an adequate supply of diapers with go far to keep kids healthy.”

The average infant or toddler requires an average of 50 diaper changes per week over three years. In addition, diapers cannot be bought with food stamps or WIC vouchers, so obtaining a sufficient supply of diapers can cause economic hardship to families.

“I’m a longtime supporter of the work done by these groups because it’s so vital to the health and happiness of families. It is very important for parents to have access to diapers as regular changing keeps babies healthy,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “I now have 16 grandchildren and am thankful every day that all of them are healthy. There is no more important work than providing the essentials to families as they raise our next generation!”

A supply of diapers is generally an eligibility requirement for infant and toddlers to participate in childcare programs and quality early education programs, thus addressing diaper need can also lead to economic opportunity for low-income families.

Nancy Woodland, Executive Director of WestSide Baby and Eastside Baby Corner Executive Director Renee Zimmerman received the recognition from the Council. Both stressed the impact the lack of diapers can have on struggling parents

“Many people are unaware that government assistance programs – such as food stamps and WIC, do not provide funding for diapers. There are currently 10,000 children aged 0-3 living below the federal poverty level in King County, whose families face a daily struggle to secure a necessary supply of diapers,” said Woodland. “Diapers for one child can cost upwards of $70 per month, and most daycares won’t accept children without an adequate supply, leaving parents without child care unable to get to work and trapped in a cycle of poverty.”

King County is proud to be home to various community organizations that recognize the importance of diapers in helping to provide economic stability. We encourage the media and others to learn more online at either WestSide Baby or Eastside Baby Corner.