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RESEARCHER’S in the UK have come to the conclusion that children who spend a lot of time in the care of their grandparents are more likely to suffer ill health. Bad diet, sweet treats, lack of exercise and the dangers of secondary smoke were the main issues, the Glasgow University team concluded.

Concerning diet, grandparents often feed children with heavy fatty food and give portions that are too large. They also have desserts more often and continually give things such as sweets and chocolate as a treat. They are also more likely to care for the children in the house rather than take them out and TV’s and video games are used as substitute nannies. Finally, elderly smokers are far more likely to smoke in front of children than the younger generation, being either unaware or ignoring the dangers of secondary smoke to young lungs.

The researchers stressed that all the dangers were unintentional ones but that parents may want to lay down guidelines with their own parents – something many are loath to do it seems, especially with the in-laws.

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