By Denise Long
There are approximately 14 million grandparents in the UK. One in every three people over the age of 50 years old is a grandparent and now nearly seven million grandparents provide regular childcare for their grandchildren.
Many people find that grandparenthood is one of the most rewarding times in their lives. The Pew Research Center found that older generations said that being able to spend more time with their families was probably the best part of being elderly, which makes sense.
Kids and Outdoor Safety
You’ve raised your kids, you’re either retired or getting there, and you can enjoy your grandchildren without necessarily delving into the hard work of raising them. For that reason, your kids might opt to leave them with you for a few weeks during their spring or summer school breaks. So here are some tips on how to prep for outdoor safety during those stays.
When many people look back on their childhoods, they remember the warm months – diving into the pool, running barefoot through the grass, catching bugs in mason jars. So when your grandkids visit you and the weather’s nice, be sure to go outside with them, but also keep them safe.
Time for some outdoor safety! Comb your property to see if anything sharp or hazardous has been left out: blades, bottle caps, broken glass, exposed wires, garden tools, even cigarette packs. Also, if you have firewood, stack it in a rick in the garage so that it’s bunched together, and tell your little ones not to scramble over it. Fill in any holes, trenches, or gaps in the fenceline that they could stumble into. And put away pesticides or toxic fertilizers high on shelves away from their reach.
If you have a back garden patio and a grill, it’s tempting to fire it up and cook burgers for your grandkids. But be careful. The National Fire Protection Association reported that, on average, grilling ignites 8,900 home fires each year in the USA. Place the grill at a safe distance from the eaves, the deck siding, games that are being played on the lawn, and areas where your family is coming and going.
Only use the grill outdoors, only use lighter fluid, and never add fluid to a grill that’s already been lit. Finally, institute a three-foot zone around the grill where little kids aren’t allowed – under penalty of not getting any more hot dogs. Find more BBQ and outdoor safety information from the Fire Service.
Even the best summers spent with Grandma and Grandpa are going to involve some rainy afternoons when you can’t go to the pool or dash through the sprinklers. If your grandkids are babies or toddlers, it’s important to childproof your house prior to their stay.
If you have toys, make sure they don’t have sharp edges, they can’t break apart, and they’re not small enough to cause choking. Keep computer wires and cords out of reach. Cover the toilet seat. Anchor your furniture, even the TVs. Lock the rooms that could be dangerous, such as a home gym, the garage, the bathroom. Also, be sure to put up a baby gate in front of the steps into any room that you want to keep your grandbaby out of.
Getting your house ready for your grandkids when they’re young likely means that the place where you’ll spend the most time with them indoors will be in a nursery or playroom. That room should be complete with crib, mattress pad, and nappy supplies. Also, keep a baby monitor near the bassinet so you can hear your grandchild’s rhythmic breathing even in another room and know that he or she is safe.
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