I am a child of the 70â€™s, which means my parents parented in the time of rampant reckless endangerment of children. In retrospect, it was almost as dangerous as living in the time of cholera without all that pesky defecating on yourself.
Children were not harnessed into seatbelts or car seats. I remember riding to the park in the back of my uncleâ€™s pickup truck. We drank rice cereal in bottles and slept on our stomachs.
Way back in the days of glass bottles, no safety gates and walkers that tipped over regularly, Iâ€™m surprised any of us survived at all. My parents let us ride our bikes in the streets until it got dark out and I canâ€™t even count how many times in my life I walked across town to a friends house, by myself.
What the hell were they thinking?
My parents had 6 children. They are pretty good at recognizing the signs of a childâ€™s needs and they are loving grandparent Olympians. My childrenâ€™s grandparents get an A for effort, but I am painfully aware that they are a lot more relaxed and certainly not prone to sweating the small stuff.
Me, I sweat the small stuff and nothing makes me sweat more than my parents caring for my small people, especially after that one time that I caught Grandpa trying to feed my 9-month-old unshelled peanuts. Peanuts!!!
A growing number of grandparents are raisingÂ or providing regular care for their grandchildren. A recent study confirms, what Iâ€™ve already known from 7 years of experience in trying to keep my children safe, which is that grandparents may not be as informed as they need to be when it comes to safety.
Nobody likes to correct his or her own parents (well, maybe a little bit) and it can be hazardous to your health if you try to correct your mother-in-law on the proper way to hold a baby when feeding a bottle.
Nothing makes someone over sixty give you a dirty look faster than trying to correct them on how to handle small children. They take it very personal. Sometimes you just have to mommy up and talk to them about your reservations.
Grandparents have years of child-rearing experience, but most are relying on old data and unintentionally putting your childâ€™s health and safety at risk. Unintentional or intentional, if your kid gets hurt, itâ€™s too late to decide to go over the latest on safety in child rearing with your parents.
Their nose might get bent out of joint, but they will get over it. After all, they want whatâ€™s best for your babies.
I donâ€™t call my mom after every pediatric appointment and update her on the latest advancements on child safety, but when the girls were smaller, I made sure that she knew before I ever left them in her care, what I expected from her as a caregiver.
I was afraid of hurting her feelings but I was more afraid of coming home and my child being hurt.
Grandparents who donâ€™t live in the same city as their grandchildren or only see their grandkids on special occasions donâ€™t usually have their house childproofed.
I used to go home for Christmas and bring along gates, stove knobs, safety plugs and run around to make sure there were no knives, faulty wiring or scissors in low lying areas. I am sure my mom thought I was crazy, but I was following safety guidelines for todayâ€™s toddler.
Researchers surveyedÂ three grandparent support groups, 49 participants in the Birmingham, Alabama metro area.Â All of the grandparents in the survey were caregivers for their grandchildren.Â They were given a 15-question survey about safety for kids of all ages and, by my standards, most of them failed my stringent safety training qualifications.
How do you make sure that your caregivers are up to date on the latest safety regulations for children?
Photo Source: Deborah Cruz