Memorial Day marks the opening of the Jersey Shore summer season for many who enjoy visiting our beaches and attractions. Whether you travel or stay at home…no matter where you enjoy your summer…it is always a good thing to be aware of ways to ensure safety for our grandchildren, children, and ourselves.

Also, as motorists, we need to be mindful that children may be on their bikes, running after balls, and focused on what they are doing rather than on what we might be doing. Please be alert and be safe! Parents, please keep your kids out of the street! My son-in-law’s brother was killed crossing the street on a green light when he was 8 and his cousin was killed when he ran into the street after a ball…he was just 3. I remind my grandchildren regularly that I know they know the rules, but I don’t know if others do…so they have to be extra careful to stay safe…because we love them so very much.

Now, please read the following spring and summer safety tips below sent to me by Malcolm Denniss (AKA “Mr. Toy Safety”) Technical Director for SGS Consumer Safety Testing, to share with you all.

Spring Summer Safety Tips by Malcolm Denniss: Technical Director for SGS Consumer Testing Services

As the weather improves and children start playing outdoors more, some of the precautions that may be forgotten in the excitement for more sun should be reviewed and checked, for instance:

1)      Protective gear is most important for kids out on their bikes, skate boards and other riding toys.

  • Make sure they have helmets that fit correctly.  As they grow make sure the straps are adjusted properly and the knee and elbow pads are fitted correctly. Remember there are different types of helmet for different activities – use the right one.
  • Remind the kids to stay away from traffic areas such as roads parking lots and driveways. Particularly with young children, riding low slung ride-ons should be kept away from driveways as too many accidents happen when someone backs up a car and cannot see the child behind.

2)      Swimming is a popular summer sport.

  • It is important to make sure the pool is properly protected with fences and self-closing gates to ensure very young children cannot access the pool without close adult supervision…even a minute left alone can risk a toddler falling into the pool and drowning.
  • Make sure your pool has the proper drain guards to prevent long hair being dragged into the drain pump and trapping the child under water.
  • Finally make sure there are no toys like hard dive sticks that could be positioned in the pool such that a child jumping or diving into the pool could hit one.

3)      Trampolines are fun for kids out in the yard.

  • It is important that the tranpolines are stable and properly anchored. They are safer with mesh barriers around to prevent kids falling off and always make sure they are properly supervised.

4)      The younger kids may want to get out into the sand box and rediscover the dump truck or spade and shovel from last year.

  • Check them all out carefully and make sure that they have not deteriorated due to weathering. A rusty metal truck can not only have the potential for a nasty cut but could also lead to an infection as well.

5)      Buying a new home playground or still using the old one…these are fun activities, but it is necessary to set up a new one or make sure the old one is still properly set up.

  • Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for initial set up and most importantly for periodical maintenance checks.
  • The surface under the playground is most important as many injuries result from falls onto a hard surface.

Many of these safety considerations and more can be found on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission web site at as well as information on recalled products and new requirements that have been enacted to safeguard children at play.

May you all have a very, happy and safe summer!