Grandparents are a Safe Source
of Child Care, Researchers Say
For working parents, having grandparents as caregivers can cut the risk of childhood injury roughly in half, according to a new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The results were published in the medical journal Pediatrics.
The researchers analyzed data from the National Evaluation of the Healthy Steps for Young Children Program, which includes information on more than 5,500 newborns enrolled in 15 U.S. cities with follow-up for 30 to 33 months.
"Recent growth in the number of grandparents providing childcare has some observers concerned they don't adhere to modern safety practices," says lead study author David Bishai, M.D., Ph.D., a professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health. "To the contrary, this research tells us not only is there no evidence to support this assumption, but families that choose grandparents to care for their children experience fewer child injuries."
Of course, we all know of instances in which a particular grand- parent might not be an appropriate childcare provider. And it's a good idea to talk with anyone who will be caring for your child about cur-rent car-seat regulations, etc. But it's good to know that, overall, today's grandparents are great at keeping young kids safe. (They're also pretty terrific at providing giggles, cookies, and hugs.)