One in three families in America already struggle with the high cost of diapers.
Some of the most popular brands, like Pampers, Luvs, Huggies and Pull-Ups, will see price increases in the next few months.
Kimberly-Clark, which manufactures Huggies and Pull-Ups, plans to increase prices by mid-to-high single-digit percentages next month. Procter & Gamble, the maker of Pampers, Luvs and All Good diapers, say their brands will see a similar increase by mid-September.
It's about to be even more expensive to be a parent in America.
Why are diaper prices rising?
Experts say much of it has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. It caused widespread supply-chain disruptions and surging shipping costs—and demand for diapers remained constant.
Diapers aren't the only goods that are about to see price hikes, either. For the same reasons, Kimberly-Clark said it plans to raise prices on Scott toilet paper, while P&G is raising prices on feminine-care products and adult diapers from its brands like Tampax and Always.
"Families have enough to deal with right now—the last thing they should have to worry about is affording diapers."
Families spend about $80 a month on each child in diapers, according to the National Diaper Bank Network. One-third of all families in America struggle with affording diapers.
Earlier this year, Senator Tammy Duckworth introduced a new bipartisan bill to help families afford the necessary, and rising, expense.
The End Diaper Need Act of 2021 provides resources for low-income and middle-class families to help finance diapers for babies, toddlers, and medically complex children and adults.
"Quite frankly, families have enough to deal with right now—the last thing they should have to worry about is affording diapers," said Senator Duckworth.
If passed, the End Diaper Need Act would:
- Appropriate $200 million per year for the Social Services Block Grant Program, to be used to provide diapers and diapering supplies;
- Allow for 200 medically necessary diapers be provided per month for medically complex children through the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Program; and
- Make medically necessary diapers and diapering qualified medical expenses so that families can purchase them using their health spending accounts (HSAs) or health reimbursement accounts (HRAs).
Right now, there's no state or federal child safety-net program that allocates money specifically to purchase diapers. Families can't use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to buy diapers, for instance.
"Families struggled to purchase diapers long before the pandemic, but the spread of COVID-19 has created a dire situation for countless parents, guardians, and caretakers," said Representative Rosa DeLauro, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, of a companion bill in the House. "At a time when our local diaper banks have seen double and triple demand for diapers, the federal government should step up to cover this basic need."
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