Kids safe and secure with grandparents around
Nov 12, 2008 - 2:19:14 PM

Washington, Nov 3 - Kids are safe, secure and protected from injuries when grandparents are around, a boon for working parents, according to a new study.

Compared to organised daycare or care by the mother or other relatives, having a grandmother watch a child was associated with a decreased risk of injury for the child.

According to researchers, the odds of injury were significantly greater among children whose parents never married, compared with children whose mothers stayed married.

Similarly, odds of injury were greater for children living in homes in which the father did not co-reside. These associations were independent of family income, according to a Bloomberg press release. The results were published in the November issue of Paediatrics.

'Recent growth in the number of grandparents providing childcare has some observers concerned they don't adhere to modern safety practices,' said co-author David Bishai, professor at Bloomberg School's Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health.

'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.'

Bishai and colleagues analysed data from the National Evaluation of the Healthy Steps for Young Children Programme, which includes information on over 5,500 newborns enrolled in 15 US cities in 1996-97 with follow-up for 30-33 months.

Data on child care arrangements reported by the mother were linked to claims reporting children's office visits, allowing researchers to identify medically attended injuries.

'As injuries are the number one cause of death for children in US, it's critical we continue to determine risk and protective factors,' said study co-author Andrea C. Gielen, director of the Centre for Injury Research and Policy at the Department of Health Policy and Management at Bloomberg.

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