Grandparents and Child-Safety Guidelines
Many grandparent caregivers don’t know about new safety guidelines that help their grandchildren avoid injury and even death, a new study shows.
In the survey, 49 grandparent caregivers answered a 15-point questionnaire on child safety procedures.
Asked about car-seat positioning, 24.5 percent of respondents said that a nine-month-old, 22-pound child should face forward. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children should remain in rear-facing seats until they are two years old.
And although 44 percent knew the correct position for a sleeping baby (on the back), 33 percent said on the stomach and 23 percent said on the side. The AAP has said that sleeping on the back will help avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
In another finding, 49 percent of respondents said it was permissible to have bumpers or stuffed animals in cribs, although the AAP recommends against that. And 74 percent said it was permissible to use a walker to help babies learn to walk. The AAP advises that caregivers not use those devices at all because of safety concerns.
Researcher Dr. Kathryn Hines, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said in a statement that the misunderstandings were caused in part by the changes in safety recommendations over the years. “Pediatric health and safety recommendations are constantly evolving," Hines said. "Many recommendations are likely to have changed since these grandparent caregivers parented their own children."
The findings were presented at the AAP’s national convention in New Orleans.