Each year, thousands of American children are the victims of preventable brain damage, which can be caused by a birth injury, due to medical malpractice or a catastrophic injury. When parents get the terrible news that their child has a traumatic brain injury (TBI), their thoughts and concerns immediately focus on the struggles their child will have in life. Many parents do not consider the huge cost of raising a child with TBI, which can impact the family for the child’s entire life, depending on the severity of the TBI.
Here are some facts and figures on the cost of raising a child with TBI…
- According to the CDC, each year an estimated 3,000 children and youth die from TBI; 29,000 are hospitalized; and 400,000 are treated in hospital emergency departments.
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it will take roughly $240,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18 ($13,333 annually). For a special needs child, those expenses can quadruple, according to Fatherly.
- According to the American Journal of Public Health, in the 3 months after injury, the median individual-level costs were $1,004 for mild TBI, $4,347 for moderate TBI, and $7,265 for severe TBI cases.
- For children with mild TBI, these medical costs level off after a year, but for cases of severe TBI, the health care cost continues indefinitely, costing the parents roughly $10,000 per year for hospital stays, medical treatment, therapy, equipment, and transport costs.
- Depending on the child’s specific needs and the parents’ financial situation, there are specialized services for children with TBI, including:
- Occupational Therapy: $5,000 to $10,000 per year
- Behavioral Therapy: $10,000 per year
- Life Skills Therapy: $4,000 per year
- Private Schooling: Up to $20,000 per year
- Private Caregiver: $9,000 per year
- Due to the time-consuming nature of raising a child with a TBI, it estimated that parents of children with TBI earn 35% less than parents of children without a TBI. Some parents are not able to work full time, if at all, due to the logistics of caring for a child with special needs, and the working parent is often forced to pass up more lucrative positions or promotions to retain the flexibility they need to care for their child.
- According to Lisa Lightner of A Day in Your Shoes, the parents of a child with a TBI can expect to pay hundreds of thousands or more on hidden costs, such as “Special foods, co-pays, special clothing and equipment, gas and car expenses for driving to specialty places, extra child care to care for other kids while first kid goes to appointments, the list goes on and on.”
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If you suspect your child suffered a birth injury, our team is here to help. At Brown & Barron, LLC, we make it our mission to protect families’ rights against large hospitals and insurance companies.