SURVEY: 1 in 3 parents can't afford baby diapers, need is great in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - One in three moms cannot afford diapers for their babies and it could be making the children sick. That is according to a new survey, conducted by Huggies in partnership with the National Diaper Bank Network.

It costs about $80 dollars a month, nearly $1,000 a year to keep a baby dry, clean and healthy. 

"Once they start walking, they get into more stuff," said Tavesha James.

Tavesha has her hands full, taking care of her son, Latrell.

"His wet wipes, his snack, his sippy cup, his diapers," said James, showing off what is her in baby bag.

She has been budgeting baby diapers for the last two years.

"They were expensive but I’m always working so I make sure he had what he needed," Tavesha said. 

And just as he is becoming potty trained, James is preparing for another.

"I’m just doing it all over again," Tavesha said laughing.

Torrie Jasuwan, Volunteer director for Baby Cycle Diaper Bank in St. Petersburg, says the need for diapers is huge across the Tampa Bay area. The group passed out more than 100,000 diapers in September and would be giving away 5 to 10 times more if they had the supply and funding.

If you get a small pack of diapers online you may spend about $8.00. The huge challenge for many parents is many do not have internet access or an online store account.

For example, online retailer Amazon offers diapers at prices far below what consumers can find in brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, moms might be surprised that diaper prices are nearly double at the corner store where the quality may be slashed in half.

Lack of diapers can cause emotional and mental stress for parents. That can lead to child abuse, according to the survey.

Jasuwan says if most parents who cannot send along five diapers a day with their child to daycare will find their baby not accepted. That can cause a mom or dad to lose their job just to care for their kid.

There are health concerns, too.

"One of them is a urinary tract infection and it’s very prevalent especially in girls who are left in diapers for too long," said Jasuwan, pointing out Staph infections are another concern.

That is why Baby Cycle is working with social agencies to get diapers to families that need them.

If you need help, you must go through one of the organizations the group works with. Click HERE for distribution details. 

The group is always looking for donations, too.

Baby Cycle will take any extra diapers you have leftover after your baby out of them. The organization will re-package them and give them to families in need. They also accept baby food, formula and clothing. 

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