This bill would include assistance with the cost of diapers for infants and toddlers as among the necessary supportive services for parents involved in CalWORKs welfare-to-work activities.
AAP Positional Letter
October 4, 2017
Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
California State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
AB 480 (Gonzalez Fletcher): CalWORKS: Welfare-to-work: Necessary Support Services
AAP-CA Position: SUPPORT
Dear Governor Brown:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing the 5,000 board-certified pediatrician members of all four California AAP regional chapters statewide, strongly supports the proposed legislation AB 480 (Gonzalez Fletcher). This bill would include assistance with the cost of diapers for infants and toddlers as among the necessary supportive services for parents involved in CalWORKs welfare-to-work activities.
American Academy of Pediatrics research found that 30% of mothers report struggling to afford diapers for their infants, with numbers even higher among Latino and African-American communities. Low-income parents in school or struggling with employment security are especially impacted by diaper costs since none of the existing social assistance programs for food and health provide specific support for families in need of diapers. An insufficient supply of diapers can result in a parent changing their child’s diaper less often than is healthy for the child. Painful diaper rashes, skin infections, blisters and urinary tract infections are common outcomes leading to a doctor’s office or emergency department visit that can be costly for these families and the state, not to mention uncomfortable or even dangerous for the child.
AB 480 (Gonzalez Fletcher) would help children of low-income families avoid these easily preventable medical issues by assuring that CalWORKs recipients are able to afford diapers for their infants and toddlers. This would reduce unnecessary emergency room visits while helping low-income California families provide for their children.
California pediatricians respectfully request that you sign AB 480 (Gonzalez Fletcher) into law. We thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Nancy Graff, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
CC: Kris Calvin, CEO; AAP-CA Leadership; Lydia Bourne