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11/03/2008

Granny’s Got Your Back

When it comes to protecting kids from getting hurt, it turns out that grandmothers know best, according to a recent Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study. As reported in US News and World Report, injuries are cut in half when granny is at the watch as opposed to kids being at day care facilities or any other places.

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As opposed to the conventional wisdom, that grandparents aren’t as sharp or are too frail to care for young ones–it turns out that perhaps their years of experience dealing with child rearing and having eyes in the back of their head counts for something.

Perhaps these study results should force us to reconsider whether its better to send kids off to daycare or after school programs or to send them to their grandmothers and grandfathers. A little more time with one’s elders might not only prevent injury but pass on family values, let the previous generation tell family stories to the next, and all kinds of externalities besides the fact that grandpa won’t let Junior fall on his head off the swing set.

And who knows? It just might result in a new generation of children respecting their elders and valuing spending time with their grandparents rather than dreading it–as well as making kids safer too.

Summer Johnson, PhD

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