Help Me Hank product test: Safety fence for kids

Fence spans driveway to keep children, toys out of the street

We're taking a look at the safety fence for kids -- should you buy it, or skip it?

For those with children in their lives, it’s important to consider the dangerous risks posed by warmer summer weather and more frequent outdoor activities.

The higher temperatures have more kids out and about in their neighborhoods, leaving many parents to worry about their children wandering into the street. With kids playing in the front yard or the driveway more often, there’s a concern about traffic in the streets -- especially since that neighborhood traffic seems to be moving more quickly these days.

The predicament led Local 4′s Help Me Hank team to test out a product that could keep children closer to home: a driveway safety fence.

The fence, which sells on Amazon for $57.99, has two posts and is meant to span the width of a driveway in an effort to keep children, and their toys, out of the street. You can find the exact product we tested on Amazon right here.

I brought the product home to use with my daughter, and also tested it out on a family with two active children in Canton. After playing for a while, the product appeared to work for the most part.

But, on a particularly windy day in Canton, balls would still find their way into the street.

Canton mother Stephanie LaFever said she likes the idea of the added level of safety that the fence provides, but believes that nothing can top a parent or caregiver being outside and watching the children. Especially when they’re young like her kids, ages 3 and 4 years old.

When testing it out in my neighborhood, I, too, felt the fence provided some extra safety while my 4-year-old daughter Emma was playing outside. When riding her big wheel bike, she rode down the driveway, saw the fence, and turned onto the sidewalk instead of potentially going straight into the street.

Still, the biggest advice I can give is to keep an eye on your children at all times, fence or no fence.

It’s important to note that wandering into the street is not the only danger children face in the summer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a list of tips to keep kids safe from drowning, illness, the sun and more. Click here for the CDC’s child summer safety tips.

Watch the video report above to see the fence in action.


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About the Author:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.