Baby Dangers- Misguided Grandparents

OMAHA (KPTM)- In this day and age, it's almost a necessity for both parents to be out on the job.

To save some cash, rising numbers of couples rely on grandparents to take care of their kids. According to the 200 American Community Survey, an estimated 2.87 million grandparents are the primary caregivers to their grand children.

However, the ones we call to duty could be putting our precious little ones at risk, a new study revealed.

For Betty Boyko, she's not only 'Grandma' to her grand kids, but babysitter as well.

She say's she loves the time she spends with her grandchildren, but times have changed since when she raised her kids.

"For instance, they said, the baby goes on her back, she doesn't sleep on her stomach. My children slept on their stomach," said Betty.

That's one rule Betty knows now, but a number of grandparents aren't aware of newer guidelines for kids.

"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," said pediatrician, Dr. Kryan Quinlin.

The job starts with safe sleeping. Around one-third of grandparents surveyed said they would place a baby on its stomach. SIDS research says the best way for a baby to sleep is on its back.

Also, around 50 percent of grandparent's weren't aware of another sleep danger. "They should be in a crib that doesn't have bumpers and stuffed animals and blankets," said Quinlin.

When it comes to the road, 25 percent of grandparents would fail before pulling out of the driveway. "Grandparents felt it would be okay for a 9 month old to be forward facing in a car seat, and this is also the opposite of what is true," said Quinlin.

75 percent surveyed thought walkers were okay, but experts recommend using 'activity centers' instead, one of the reasons being walkers can tip over.

Nancy Cowles, the Executive Director for 'Kids In Danger,' said newborn babies may make grandparents want to break out old stuff. "(They think) now's the time to bring down the crib that their child slept in, toys they may have in the attic," said Cowles.

Cowles said a lot of those toys and cribs could have defects. "We certainly urge grandparents to stop before they do that, older model cribs are simply not going to be safe.

Betty said she's happy to follow all these safety tips. "We don't want anything to happen to our grandchildren," said Betty.

Experts have another important safety tip for parents and grandparents, check recall lists.

About 100 toys, cribs, and other things are recalled every year.

You can see the complete list and other tips by clicking here.