Do Grandparental Presence Correlate with Early Childhood Injury?

Antti Tanskanen & Mirkka Danielsbacka


In present-day Western societies, unintended injuries are the most common cause of death in early childhood. This makes them a major social and health policy issue and an important child well-being indicator. Here we compared the risk of unintended home injuries between children who co-reside in three-generational households with grandparents and children who do not co-reside with grandparents. Moreover, we investigate whether grandparental presence is associated with decreased injuries in different risk situations, measured by family- and child-related factors. Using the British Millennium Cohort Study (n = 12,319 children between the ages of 9 months and 3 years), we found that children who co-reside with grandparents had a lower probability of home injuries than children who do not co-reside with grandparents. In addition, grandparental co-residence was associated with a decreased risk of injuries more strongly in boys than girls. The results are discussed with reference to older adults’ beneficial role of supporting their offspring.