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Confronting The Unthinkable In Childhood

Dec 18, 2007
The thought of insuring a child's life is not something many people wish to entertain.

When it comes to life insurance parents deal with themselves, particularly in advancing years but also especially when they have begin to have their own children.

The parents consider the need to protect their child against financial difficulties should anything happen to them. There are funeral expenses, debts to pay up, homes to secure, education to continue and a lifestyle to fund.

Parents may even plan ahead for the unpredictability of contracting a long term illness to protect the family concerns and ease the burden on their children.
What many parents do not consider though, is the sad but too often occurrence of a child developing a long term illness. In the hopeful event of remission or recovery this will still entail the parent having lots of time off work, travelling expenses backwards and forwards to hospitals and clinics.

Should the unthinkable happen, there are still expensive funeral arrangements to be made. Should the child thankfully remain perfectly healthy throughout their young years, they will then have the added benefit of continued cover, should an illness develop later in life.

However, it is well worth considering that one in every 600 children under 15 contracts cancer in the UK every year. It doesn't sound like a high risk but it does equate to 1700 new cases every year. That's 1700 children who need their parents constantly by their side through treatment, not at work trying to keep up an income.

Many parents like to try overseas treatment when new discoveries are made. The opinion is widely held that without a good prognosis any avenue to prolong life has to be tried. However, these attempts are very rarely funded by the NHS. Critical illness cover on a life insurance policy would fund this.

Also to be considered is the fact that many life prolonging drugs new on the market are not available on the NHS. They can be obtained through private doctors but at a price. A price that life insurance would cover.

Fifty years ago, a diagnosis of Leukaemia was a veritable death sentence for children and 95% of them would die. The incidents of childhood Leukaemia have changed little since. However, the good news is that, will all the medical advancements to date, the statistics now show that 75% of children with this disease survive at least 5 years after diagnosis.

One option for parents with a very sick child is hospice care. Contrary to popular opinion, hospices are not sad, depressing places. They are cheerful and full of life. The staff go out of their way to stimulate the child's senses, keep them happy and comfortable as well as being qualified to administer all medical requirements.

A children's hospice will also accommodate the child's family, making them all at home. They know how important it is for a sick child to have their family around them and to continue as near a normal existence as possible. This has the added advantage of boosting the immune system. Counselling is available in hospices for children and family and friends.

All hospices are charitable organisations and run entirely on donations. Virtually no parents would be willing to sit back and watch all this care being ploughed into their child without feeling the type of gratitude that they feel the need to repay.

Having a sick or dying child in the family is traumatic for all. However, when there are siblings involved a degree of normality has to be kept for their sake. Add to this the financial pressures involved and stress levels are dangerously high and the parents are less able to cope. Life insurance for the child with critical illness cover would assist with this.
About the Author
Health expert Shaun Parker looks into the life insurance cover for children. To find out more please visit http://www.theidol.com/
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