Did you know that babies without enough clean diapers are exposed to more potential health risks & are less likely to be accepted to daycares? In fact, there are a variety of health and financial issues that can stem from not having access to an adequate supply of diapers. Most notable among these issues is diaper rash. Diaper rash is not only harmful to the baby experiencing the pain and irritation, but the family also often ends up suffering financially in order to treat the problem.
What Is Diaper Rash?
Diaper rash (or diaper dermatitis) is a common form of irritated skin that typically forms when the skin around your baby’s diaper area is in direct contact with urine or stool for an extended period of time. It appears in red blotches on the skin under the diaper, and more severe cases can include fever, and a widespread rash.
How To Prevent & Treat Diaper Rash
Fortunately, diaper rash can usually be treated with basic at-home solutions including air-drying, ointments, and more frequent diaper changes. Mild cases will typically disappear after just a few days and your baby’s skin will be back to normal. But it is important to note that techniques for preventing and treating diaper rash go hand-in-hand, and families experiencing diaper need are also more likely to see more severe cases of diaper rash, which require medical attention.
The first and most important step in treating and preventing diaper rash involves changing your baby’s diaper more frequently. Both urine and stool contain irritants that will affect your baby’s skin quickly, so do your best to change your baby’s diaper immediately after it’s been soiled.
Additionally, thick applications of diaper rash cream containing zinc oxide or petroleum jelly can be used to protect your baby’s skin from moisture. It is preferable to use a fragrance-free variety, and it is possible to purchase creams that are formulated with organic ingredients. If you are unsure which diaper rash cream is best for your baby, contact your child’s healthcare provider.
Another step you can take is to make sure you are using the right size diaper for your baby. If your baby’s diaper is too tight, air-flow is limited and chafing can occur. You could also consider using a larger diaper while your baby recovers from diaper rash. To find the right diaper size for your baby, use this helpful size guide from one of our founding sponsors, Huggies.
If these basic treatments and prevention methods are not working, or your child’s condition worsens, contact a healthcare provider right away.
Diaper Rash & Diaper Need
Because diaper rash is often caused by leaving a baby in a soiled diaper for too long, there is a direct correlation between occurrences of diaper rash and families experiencing diaper need. If a family has an inadequate supply of diapers, the baby will not only become more likely to experience diaper rash more often, but the family will also be less likely to have the means to treat diaper rash when it does occur.
When diaper rash is inadequately treated, medical professionals must be contacted. In the United States, this can result in costly medical expenses, and missed work days for families that are already struggling.
At National Diaper Bank Network, we understand that providing free diapers for families in need can make a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of babies. In a recent study on the social and economic impacts of the Diaper Bank of Connecticut, it was found that “incidences of diaper rash declined 33 percent (from 627 to 420) among children whose families received supplies of clean diapers, plus babies experienced 77 percent fewer days of diaper rash.”
Additionally, the study discovered that “providing diapers to families eliminated $4.3 million in medical costs due to reductions in both incidences and days of diaper rash.” This study highlights how providing diapers to families in need not only improves the health of the baby, but the financial security of the whole family.
National Diaper Bank Network is dedicated to bringing relief to the most vulnerable populations in America, and ensuring that the basic needs of all children and families are met. If you’d like to learn more about how we help address diaper need in America, and see how you can help make a difference in the lives of children and families, click here. If you are looking for additional support, please visit our Member Diaper Bank page to find the diaper bank nearest to you.