Art of Aging: Grandparent class

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Art of Aging: Grandparent class. Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 12 p.m. on August 30, 2018.

Nearly 2 and a half million grandparents are raising their grandchildren, and millions more babysit while parents work long hours. One local hospital is offering classes to prepare grandparents.

Mary McNitt is reading up for important duty - a weeklong stint caring for her first grandchild.

Because it's been 30 years since Mary took care of little ones, a co-worker suggested the Grandparents as Babysitters course offered by Main Line Health.

Ann Marie Casey-Glatts co-created the class.

"We saw that a lot more of the grandparents were becoming either part-time or full-time caregivers," said Ann Marie.

The half-day course and its manual cover a lot to get grandparents up-to-speed.

The updates on things like cribs and car seats" added Ann Marie.

"Children up till 13 years of age need to be in the back seat - that was a surprise to me. We talked about allergies, asthma, fevers, how to bring them down - ice on the forehead, ice under the arm - didn't know about under the arm," said Mary.

They also cover giving medications safely, including Epi-Pens for allergic reactions.

And then there are hands-on CPR lessons for both infants and children.

Mary also learned she needed a vaccine update.

'Whooping cough is coming back. We as babysitters need to get a booster," she said.

Ann Marie says tips for family bonding are also part of the class.

"We put together entertainment and road trip ideas," she added.

And they discuss other family matters, like TV and screen time.

Ann Marie says the class has been very popular.

"We've had people come to Riddle from as far away as York and Lancaster counties, and the Poconos," said Ann Marie.

"It's really worth it, to get caught up, added Mary.

The next class is September 8.

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