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Grandparents are Great Babysitters, But Are They Safe?

Chances are, your folks are crazy--we're talking jump-on-a-couch-on Oprah crazy--about your kids. But while Grams and Gramps are the sweetest babysitters in town (toys! treats!), are they the safest? Recent research suggests "Generation G" may not be up on the latest rules on kids' health and care. Researchers surveyed 49 grandfolks about common pediatric issues, and got some alarming answers. More than half didn't know that babies should be placed to sleep on their backs to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, for instance. Oh, and you know those scary baby-walkers that injure so many tots through falls and other accidents? Nearly 75 percent of grandparents surveyed thought they were fine, and even helpful. Yikes! Significant numbers of oldsters were behind the times on things like crib safety and proper car seat use, too. 

Plus: When Grandma's Parenting Style Clashes With Yours

That doesn't mean you need to stop dumping...er...dropping off your kids at your parents' house for some much-needed R&R, but it's smart to help them brush up on what's changed in child-rearing since they had you. Try taking Grandma along on your kids' next health checkup, or offering to install a car seat (properly!) in Grandad's car for those times he'll be driving your little one around. Or read a magazine about raising kids together...hmm...we think we know one! 

Have you ever butted heads with a grandparent who insists on doing things the old-fashioned way? How did you handle it? Leave a comment.

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