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Celebrate National Grandparents Day

Grandfather with two grandsonsTake steps to live a healthy life and support your grandchildren’s health.

September 7 is National Grandparents Day. Grandparents play a special role in children’s lives. You can support their health in many ways, including the following:

Get Vaccinated

Infants are at greatest risk for getting pertussis (whooping cough) and then having severe complications from it, including death. As a grandparent, you can help protect your grandchild by being up-to-date with the adult pertussis shot (Tdap). If you’ve never gotten this vaccine, be sure to get it at least two weeks before visiting the baby. Although most adults were vaccinated against pertussis or may have had the disease as a child, that protection wears off over time.

Store Medications Properly

More than 60,000 young children end up in emergency departments every year because they got into medicines while their parent or caregiver was not looking. Keep all medicines and vitamins up and away and out of sight of your grandchildren. Call the national Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222 in case of an emergency.

Grandfather with granddaughter on shoulders

Share your health history with your family to help them know if they may be at a greater risk for developing some chronic diseases.

Share Your Family Health History

You might not realize that your current health conditions could affect your grandchild, but this family health history information can be important for keeping your grandchild healthy, now or in the future. As a grandparent, you may know more information about diseases and health conditions in your family than your grandchildren or their parents do, and it’s important to share this information with your grandchildren and their parents. People who have a close family member with a chronic disease (for instance, diabetes) may have a higher risk of developing that disease than those without such a family member. Knowing about a family health history of a chronic disease can help your grandchildren and their parents take steps that might help prevent or delay these conditions. Whether your grandchildren are adults or children, it is never too early for them to get started on healthy habits, and you can join them by being more physically active and having a better diet. Take a quiz on family health history with your children and grandchildren—find out who is the family health history expert in your family!

Model Healthy Behavior

Kids watch what you do. Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day. Include activities that raise their breathing and heart rates and that strengthen their muscles and bones. More than half of kids (aged 3-11 years) are exposed to secondhand smoke, which contains harmful chemicals and causes disease. Get help to quit smoking.

  • Page last reviewed: September 3, 2014
  • Page last updated: September 3, 2014
  • Content source:
    • CDC Office of Women's Health
    • Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs
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