A federal health official called Wednesday for child abuse to be treated as a high-profile public health problem upon the release of a report estimating that one year's worth of abuse cases costs the United States about $124 billion.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta found in a report published in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect that children who survive neglect, physical abuse, psychological abuse or sexual abuse cost the country an estimated $210,012 during their lifetimes, according to a release.
Those costs come from increased strain on the country's criminal justice, education, health care and welfare systems. An abuse-releated death costs the country an estimated $1.27 million, most of which comes from "productivity losses."
"No child should ever be the victim of abuse or neglect - nor do they have to be," Linda Degutis, director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said in a statement. "The human and financial costs can be prevented through prevention of child maltreatment."
The report compares the cost of child abuse to that of such other health conditions as a stroke, estimated at $159,846 per case, and type-2 diabetes, estimated to cost between $181,000 and $253,000 per person.