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Diaper Need Burdens Low-Income Families In Texas

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A baby needs an average of 6-12 diapers daily and one in three mothers in the U.S. do not have an adequate supply. What's causing this gap? How does a lack of access to diapers affect health outcomes?

Diaper need is the most burdensome for low-income families. The monthly cost of diapers is $125 per child and no federal programs provide assistance for diaper need.

While diapers are a neccessity for infant care, this gap is not just an issue for mothers and babies. Health outcomes for seniors with incontinence issues and individuals with disabilities increase with a sufficient supply of diaper products.  

Why are diapers -- a necessary healthcare item -- not subsidized by federal programs like Medicaid, SNAP or WIC? Why are incontinence products not covered by traditional health insurance plans?

How do regular diaper changes affect health outcomes for infants and toddlers? How can assured access to incontinence products impact the physical, mental and economic well-being for seniors and individuals living with certain disabilities?

Diapers are an essential healthcare item for many families. What can be done to lessen the burden? Where is the greatest need? How can individuals and families get involved in local efforts to shrink the diaper gap?

How does diaper need increase in emergency situations like natural disasters?


"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, September 24.


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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dallas Williams is a Producer for The Source at Texas Public Radio. With a degree in Mass Communication — Broadcast Media, Dallas brings a unique perspective and a passion to producing a live, call-talk show.