Study: Grandma and Grandpa Make The Safest Babysitters

A new study shows children are less likely to be injured when they are in the care of grandparents.

“Recent growth in the number of grandparents providing child care has some observers concerned they don’t adhere to modern safety practices,” said lead study author Dr. David Bishai, a professor with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health “To the contrary, 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.”

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health analyzed caregiving and injury data from the National Evaluation of the Healthy Steps for Young Children Program. The program includes information about 5,500 newborns in 15 United States cities during 1996 and 1997, with follow-up over the next three years.

The analysis showed that having grandparents as caregivers cut the risk of childhood injury by about half. Compared to organized day care, care by other relatives, or even care by a mother who doesn’t work outside the home, children who were cared for by a grandmother were less likely to be injured. The findings were published in this month’s issue of Pediatrics.

I wonder if Grandma and Grandpa fared better in these studies because they have less children to take care than community day care centers or in home day care providers.

Their ratio would be 1:3(or less), as opposed to a 1:8 or more at a professional care facility…



About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

Leave a Comment