For working parents, having grandparents as caregivers can cut the risk of childhood injury roughly in half, according to a new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Compared to organized 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.
The study is among the first to examine the relationship between grandparents’ care and childhood injury rates.
In addition to source of caregiving, researchers examined the connections between family structure and the likelihood of injury.
According to the researchers, the odds of injury were significantly greater among children whose parents never married compared with children whose mothers stayed married throughout the child’s life.
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.
“Recent growth in the number of grandparents providing childcare has some observers concerned they don’t adhere to modern safety practices,” said lead study author David Bishai, MD, PhD, MPH, a professor with the Bloomberg School’s Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health.
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