You like numbers? Zero to Three does. This national nonprofit focuses on the development and health of infants and toddlers, and they’re spreading the word on babies to families and policymakers – as you can imagine, we DC Diaper Bankers are big fans.

We were particularly interested in Zero to Three’s 2013 State Baby Facts. This report covers health, family life, and early learning for the nation’s 12 million toddlers. Stats are broken down state by state (and DC!).

A few tough numbers on our youngest community members:

  • 44% of children under 3 in DC live in low-income families (32% in MD and 36% in VA).
  • Preterm births – which can have lifelong consequences –  in the area are close to the national average of 12%.
  • Roughly a quarter of maltreated children in Maryland and Virginia are under the age of 3 (20% in DC).
  • Approximately 20% of area children 4 months to 5 years are at moderate to high risk for behavioral or developmental problems (that number goes up to 29% for DC).

One fact sheet focus is stress – something that has always been at the heart of DC Diaper Bank’s mission. Factors like family stress, and economic hardship can be toxic to a child’s developing brain.

“I could use some good news right about now”:

  • Between 10% and 13% of local families participate in a home visitation program – these programs help parents respond to children’s needs and have been shown to reduce child abuse and neglect. We’re proud to say that DC Diaper Bank diapers help counselors make and keep home visit appointments with families.
  • When it comes to reading to our little ones, DC area families are beating the national average (nationally, 48%  of families read to their 0-5 year old every day – DC 56%; MD 56%; VA 52%).
  • Roughly 60% of local families report that they sing and tell stories to their 0-5-year-old.

What do you think of the stats for our area? Which facts shocked you? Gave you hope?

To read more about the state of babies in our area and across the 50 states, visit Zero to Three.

To make a difference in the life of a baby in your area and to help move these numbers in the right direction, visit DC Diaper Bank.

-Robin Leon