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Hospital Seeks 10,000 Diapers in Upcoming Drive

Cox Health will be collecting diaper donations March 1st through the 29th./Credit: Cox Health Connection Website

According to the Diaper Bank of the Ozarks, a baby needs six to 10 diaper changes a day to stay clean and healthy. But with the expense of disposable diapers, purchases like food often come first, creating a diaper need.  KSMU’s Anna Thomas reports.

There are currently no government programs that assist in covering the cost of diapers, which cost an estimated $1,000 a year, according to the Diaper Bank of the Ozarks. So for families in need, diapers can become a luxury instead of a necessity, says Jill Bright, the organization’s director.

“Basically, when families are struggling, they will do whatever they can to get by. In a lot of cases with diapers what we see is a family, a mom, will be even trying to rinse out the diaper so that she can use it again, or leaving it on for a long, long  period of time,” Bright said.

These methods put babies at risk for skin rashes and urine infections, often adding extra stress to the whole family.

While disposable diapers are in demand, cloth diapers can be another option. Bright said she hopes to start a group in the near future to educate mothers on this cheaper alternative.

Each month, the Diaper bank sends out about 12,000 diapers in packs of 24, serving nearly 600 babies in the area.

And beginning next month, Cox Health will hold a diaper drive to collect and donate diapers of all sizes to local agencies.

“It’s amazing with a goal of 10,000 diapers. Last year, they actually did bring in a little over 7,000. They’ve raised the level a little bit this year which is awesome, and that’s almost a month supply for us of diapers going out,” Bright said.

The Diaper Bank currently works through 25 agencies across southwest Missouri. Volunteer and donation information is available here.

For KSMU News, I’m Anna Thomas.