Grandparents and grandchildren – what a great combination!
Grandparents want to be a part in their children and grandchildren’s lives.
They love to spend time with each other and make memories to last a lifetime. Some of those memories can include everyday experiences, such as reading and telling stories and playing at the park. These playtime activities are an important part of a child’s development.
Both grandparents and children benefit from the time they spend together.
In today’s world, the number of grandparents is increasing, and people are living longer. As a result, we are recognizing the importance of older people in families. One example is grandparents can often step in to take care of their grandchildren, which can help families struggling to afford daycare.
The joy that comes from being with a small child is one of life’s greatest pleasures. However, an interesting fact about children and older adults is that they are both at risk for falling. Falling is the number one reason for injury for both age groups.
Here are some statistics that show how serious falls can be for older adults and children:
For older adults in Ottawa (2017):
- One in five older adults fall in private homes each year.
- The most commonly reported types of falls that result in Emergency Department visits are slips, trips and stumbles on the same level or from stairs/steps.
- More than 2,000 falls related to hospitalizations for people aged 65 plus.
For children 0-6 years in Ottawa:
- Half of emergency room visits for injured children were because of a fall.
- More than half (62%) of those fall-related hospital visits were for head injuries and 25% were for upper body injuries.
- Falling from a bed, chair, or other furniture was the most common type of fall-related emergency room visit for ages 0 to 6 years combined.
- Falls from playground equipment, especially monkey bars, were the main cause of injury for children 4-6 years old.
If you are planning a family event or leaving small children with their grandparents, thinking about fall prevention can help to keep everyone safe.
If you are a grandparent or older adult, you can prevent falls and their impact by making some changes to your home and lifestyle. Some of these changes include eating well, staying fit, and using devices such as walkers and canes to help keep your balance.
You can find a checklist for preventing falls and more tips on the Ottawa Public Health website.