First 48 Hours

What To Do – The First 48 Hours of Your Child’s Death

While you find your way in the painful time, challenging decisions have to be made about the best way to honor your child and give them a proper burial or cremation.

Children’s Burial Assistance, Inc. (CBA) offers some valuable tips on what to do in the first 48 hours of your child’s death.

*Assess Your Resources

You do not want to add to the stress of unmanageable funeral, burial, or cremation costs.

  • The average cost of a burial plot is between $900 and $14,000.
  • The average vault cost is between $800 and $4,500.
  • The average cost to open and close of the grave is between $800 and $1,500.
  • The average funeral cost is between $3,500 and $8,000.
  • The average burial cost is between $900 and $1,500.
  • Take a realistic inventory of your financial resources.
  • Do have a life insurance policy for your child?
  • Do you havenon-retirement savings to cover the cost?
  • Do you have family, friends, and/or co-workers that will commit financial resources?

*Identify Outside Resources

If you cannot afford, or have very little funds to bury your child, find out if he/she may be eligible for assistance from the following:

Benevolent Program:

Most churches have benevolent missions set up to provide families with burial assistance. You may want to contact your church or local churches in your area.

Children’s Burial Assistance Inc.:

A non-profit organization developed to assist families with the funeral, burial, and/or cremation of deceased minor children.

Criminal Justice Coordinating Council:

If your child was a victim of a homicide you may be eligible for burial assistance. Most states in the United States provide this type of program.For more information, in Georgia, dial toll free 800 547-0060.Outside of Georgia, check with your state’s Criminal Justice Office.

Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS):

If your child was receiving benefits from social services, or any type of governmental services, contact your child’s caseworker to apply for burial benefits.Financial awards for burials may differ in each county in Georgia.


Be sure to check with your employer regarding family death benefits.You and your family may be covered under a death benefit policy.


If you or your spouse are, or were, members of a local union, inquire regarding available death benefits.

County Indigent Burial Program:

Each county in Georgia has an indigent burial program to meet the needs of individuals with no funds to pay burial cost. However, this process may eliminate your ability to determine how, when, and where, your child is buried.

*Shop Around:

Before contracting with a funeral home, make a few quick calls to compare prices. One funeral home may have a basic burial plan priced at $4,000, while across town the price could be $2,500. Identify three or four funeral homes to contact.Be sure to ask if the price includes a burial, plot, and open and closing of the grave.These items could add several hundreds of dollars to the base funeral cost. Make sure you understand all of the additional cost including programs, use of chapel, transportation of family, police escort, viewing hours, slide-shows, flowers, and other specialized features.

Select services that will honor your loss and your resources.A fully optioned funeral can cost approximately $4,500 – $8,000.Remember that your child wants you to have peace which is difficult if you over extend yourself and your resources.Consider all of your options.Make the decision that is right for your child and your family as you move forward.Below are descriptions of services you may consider. Consult with your funeral director.

Direct Burial:

The deceased person is interred quickly, and without a public viewing. Unless state requires, there is no need for embalming, cosmetic, or funeral services.

Direct Cremation:

Like direct burial, the deceased person is quickly cremated, and without a public viewing.

Green Burial:

The deceased body is not embalmed, only refrigeration or dry ice is used to preserve the body. The body is placed in a casket made of renewable, biodegradable material, or wrapped in a shroud of biodegradable fibers such as linen or cotton. Bodies are place directly in the earth. Gradually, the body returns to the earth in a natural progression.

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