With the ever rising price of daycare in the United States, more and more parents are now turning towards grandparents to help out with their children’s caregiving needs. Unfortunately, many grandparents are unaware of newer safety guidelines that have developed since they were first parents.
An American Community Survey performed in 2011, helped to shed light on these safety concerns. In this study, 49 grandparent caregivers were asked about the best sleeping position for a baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants should be placed on their backs when sleeping to prevent sudden infant death syndrome, but 33 percent of the grandparents surveyed said the infant should be placed on their stomach, and 23 percent said they should be placed on their side. Another question asked about the proper positioning for a car seat for an infant under the age of two. It is recommended that an infant at this age should be positioned in rear-facing seats, yet 24.5 percent of those surveyed said that the infant should be facing forward. One of the most jarring findings was that nearly 74 percent of those surveyed believed that a walker is a good device to help babies walk. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against the use of these devices and strongly urges caregivers to get rid of them because of serious safety concerns.
While parents are undoubtedly very appreciative of the caregiving support that grandparents can provide, it is important that grandparents know the latest safety guidelines involving children so that potential tragedies can be avoided.