Many new parents consider themselves truly lucky when they have their parents nearby to bond with baby and help with childcare. Placing your infant in the loving arms of their grandparent while you go to work or have a date night out feels more comforting than leaving them in the care of a stranger. But there may be a few things to discuss with grandparents to make sure you're on the same page when it comes to baby and child safety measures. A new study suggests that some of those old-school parenting techniques many grandparents turn to when watching their grandchildren are outdated and unsafe.
CNN reports about the study recently presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academics Societies that suggests many grandparents are unaware of new safety guidelines recommended when caring for an infant or small child. Grandparents involved in the study were given a survey asking about different methods of caring for children and babies. When asked about putting an infant to bed, many grandparents believe it is okay to place a baby on their stomach or side to sleep and are unaware that placing an infant on their back is the safest method to avoid risk of SIDS.
Many grandparents also believe placing a child in an ice bath is a good way to bring down a high fever. In reality, this dramatic change in body temperature can be very dangerous for a baby or young child and could lead to hypothermia. The majority of participants in the survey also reported that keeping a wound or cut unbandaged was a healthier way to heal when in actuality it is important to keep open wounds covered.
With child care recommendations changing so often, it is no wonder that grandparents are still turning to methods they used decades prior. But, it’s important that parents sit down with grandparents to make sure they are on the same page regarding child care safety measures. Lead author of the study, Dr. Andrew Adesman, explains that we often look to our parents as experts because they successfully raised their own brood - but it’s still important to pay attention to modern standards of safety when caring for children. He says, “We shouldn't assume that just because they've raised a child before, they're experts.”
What do you think of the new study that suggests grandparents may be using old school unsafe methods to care for their grandchildren?
Do you discuss safety measures with the grandparents before leaving them with your children?
I am a Mother of four & I also have 5 Grandchildren. I make sure to research EVERYTHING. When my oldest Grandchild was born, ten years ago, I read everything I could find to make sure I was aware of all the new safety guidelines. A great deal has changed since my children were young &I am quite aware of that. We also have the benefit of being able to do our research online now as opposed to only having the option to read books, magazine etc. In my experience Grandparents are not the only ones that are ill-informed on baby & child safety. I worked as a Registry Consultant in a baby store for several years & it was surprising to learn how many parents don't know important safety information - no pillows, car seat guidelines & safety, etc. Further, many parents choose to ignore those guidelines- they buy pillows for infants, they get used, unsafe & outdated car seats from friends. And when we inform them that these things are extremely unsafe, they purposely choose to do them anyway.