Parents Seeing Diaper Shortage Caused by Coronavirus 'Panic Buying'

April 2, 2020
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Not being able to provide the essentials to take care of your child can be stressful for any parent.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, many parents have begun seeing diaper shortages similar to the toilet paper shortages a few weeks ago.

Many of the shortages have been caused by bulk buying by parents who have the means to do so, which leaves lower-income parents at a disadvantage.

"Many families who typically experience diaper need are in precarious jobs such as hospitality and retail that have been suddenly eliminated," Audrey Symes, a New York City mom who contributes to donating excess diapers for the GOOD+ Foundation told Good Morning America.

"Especially early in the month, when benefits are paid out, it’s really helpful to those families to be able to purchase stock. The rashes and infections that result from overuse of disposable diapers could overwhelm the medical system right now."

"They [people with low-income levels] don’t have the resources to buy in bulk, so they depend on consistent stock availability," she added.

The National Diaper Bank Network reveals that about one-third of American families cannot afford the diapers needed for their children.

As many people get laid off and furloughed, that number will surely increase as organizations do their best to help with a limited supply.

Bridget Cutler from the New Jersey-based Moms Helping Moms Foundation diaper bank told GMA they’ve seen a huge uptick in diaper requests since the coronavirus hit and it’s increasing everyday.

"We are doing our best and happy that we are open, helping the public and keeping our employees working. However, we will not be able to keep up with this demand without additional funding,” she said.

She revealed people need to do their part by not overbuying, contacting local diaper banks in their state for their needs, and donating to the diaper banks if they’re able to.

"We can use those to purchase diapers through our channels at 1/3 of the retail cost," she said.

With disposable diapers in high demand and flying off the shelves because of “panic buying,” cloth diaper companies have also seen a spike in purchases.

Liz Turrigianio, co-founder of companies Diaperkind and Esembly, told TODAY that their “revenue has grown by 300% in the past five days."

She said many customers have expressed struggles buying diapers online and in stores.

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