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Grannies help us to thrive in childhood

LOVING grandparents have given humans an evolutionary advantage in survival, say scientists.

Humans are practically unique as a species in having grandparents who are involved in the lives of their grandchildren, and the role can be crucial in the lives of young children, new research has shown.

"Grandparents in industrialised societies invest a significant amount of time and money in their grandchildren," said Dr David Coall, a study co-author from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia.

"Taking care of the grandchildren when the parents are at work, providing financial resources and providing emotional supports are just some of the many ways in which grandparents invest in their grandchildren.

"After examining a large body of evidence from traditional human societies, the evidence suggested that the presence of some grandparents can substantially increase the chances of children surviving during the high risk period of infancy and childhood."