MIAMI (CBS) – Families with two working parents are becoming the rule rather than the exception.
With that trend, a rising number of grandparents have taken over caring for the kids. However, a new study suggests grandparents may not always know best.
When Betty Boyko began babysitting her grandchildren she quickly discovered how the rules have changed.
“For instance they said the baby goes on her back. She doesn’t sleep on her stomach. My children slept on their stomach,” said Boyko.
A recent survey found many grandparents weren’t aware of all kinds of new safety guidelines.
Dr. Kyran Quinlan, with the American Academy of Pediatrics, caregivers need to be up to speed on the latest information.
“There is new knowledge about what is safest for young kids and grandparents who regularly care for kids will need to learn about these things to do the best job,” he said.
The survey found a third of grandparents thought it was okay to put a baby to sleep on their stomach. But research shows that can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. About half of grandparents didn’t know that blankets, bumpers and stuffed animals also increase the SIDS risk.
About a quarter of the grandparents were not aware of the current recommendations for car seats.
“Grandparents felt it was okay for a 9-month-old to be in a forward facing in a car seat, and this is also the opposite of what is true,” Dr. Quinlan said.
Experts also warn parents to avoid the urge to pull out their old baby gear from the attic. Safety standards have changed so many times in recent years that older gear is likely to be unsafe.
“One of the first things a grandparent might do when they learn they’re about to become a grandparent is think that now’s the time to bring down the crib that their child slept in, toys they may have in the attic and we would certainly urge grandparents to stop before they do that. Older model cribs are simply not going to be safe,” said Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger.
Another helpful tip for grandparents taking care of young children is to be aware of recall lists. That’s where they can find the latest on updates on dangerous product and important safety information.
Experts agree that communication between parents and grandparents is key to keeping children safe.