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Do the Grandparents Know Current Child Safety Info?

Do the Grandparents Know Current Child Safety Info?

You know that if your grandkids are coming to stay with you, you’ve got to do some preparation: Buy all their favorite foods (especially those ones to spoil them with), get out the best toys and make up their room in the house. But while you may be ready in those areas, do you have the most up-to-date info to keep your grandkids safe and sound?

A small study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that many grandparents don’t know the most recent safety guidelines for children. In the study, 49 grandparents, who served as primary caregivers to their grandkids, completed a survey to see how much they knew about child safety information. The results were disappointing. For example, only 44 percent of the participants knew to place a baby on their backs while sleeping to help avoid sudden infant death syndrome.

One frequently missed question was about keeping stuffed animals or blankets in cribs. While it’s not recommended (due to the risk of suffocation), 49 percent of participants said that it was okay to have these items in cribs with the children. And almost 74 percent said that it was a good idea to have a baby use a walker to learn to walk. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends not using these devices because of safety concerns, and in fact advises people to dispose of them.

Another question covered car seat positioning: 25 percent of participants said a 9-month-old child should sit in a forward-facing car seat, while the AAP’s guideline is that a child should sit in a rear-facing seat until they are two years old.

Kathryn C. Hines, MD, who authored the study, noted that recommendations in pediatrics are always evolving. “Many recommendations are likely to have changed since these grandparent caregivers parented their own children,” she said in a press release.

Grandparents, want to stay in-the-know and get great health and safety tips for your grandkids? Check out our Healthy Baby and Children’s Health Topic Centers.

Medically reviewed in April 2020.

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