Grandparents Safest Choice for Child Care

11.07.08 Study finds fewer boo-boos for kids under grandma's watch


Think you're doing a better job than your parents at watching your child—well guess again, The New York Times reports.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children are actually safer with grandma or grandpa than with other family members (including mom!) or a day-care provider. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers found that under the care of a grandparent, the risk of injury to children of working parents was cut almost in half. Many of today's parents think their parents' old-fashioned approach to child safety could put children at risk, but these new statistics seem to prove otherwise.

The number of grandparents who reside with children has been rising since the 1970s as they step up to help single and working moms. The Census Bureau's 2006 estimates show that 6.1 million grandparents live in the same home as their grandchildren; while 1 in 3 of them are responsible for their grandchildren's care.

Injuries are the leading cause of death for U.S. children: Every year, about 1 in 4 children suffers an injury that requires medical attention, officials report. Check out a list of our best baby safety ideas and tips in our Baby Safety Month.

In addition, Census stats show that only about 15 percent of Americans live in a Leave It To Beaver family. Regardless of type, our This Is What Family Looks Like Now story shows that the strongest families are wrapped in a supportive net woven of community and extended relations.

Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor. She misses her grandfather every day.