ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate and estimate the cost of basic care in sickle cell disease (SCD) for patients under five years of age, within the scope of the Unified Health System (SUS) and to discuss the costs related to possible complications of the disease from the literature. Methods: The main management and conduct recommendations in the SCD up to five years of age, with healthy and baseline health status, were extracted from the Basic Guidelines of the Care Line in the SCD of the Ministry of Health. Systematic data regarding costs of medicines were extracted from the Medicine Market Regulation Chamber. The SUS Table of Procedures, Medicines and Orthotics, Prosthetics and Auxiliary Means of Movement Management System was the guide for the values of complementary exams, as well as for medical consultations. The values applied to calculate the vaccination schedule were extracted from the Pan American Health Organization, adopting the perspective of the SUS-paying costs. Results: The total cost obtained for basic care of SCD in children up to five years of age, including the use of antibiotic prophylaxis, immunizations and the performance of transcranial Doppler ultrasound in the prevention and early detection of cerebrovascular accidents was, on average, $1020.96. Conclusion: The cost-effectiveness of prophylaxis in SCD, up to five years of age, exceeds the expenses resulting from hospitalizations due to complications of the disease. The study of expenses associated with SCD could be used to establish public policies, improve prevention strategies and treat the symptoms and complications of the disease.