Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!

Leashing Up Your Children; The Argument FOR Child Harnesses

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October 14, 2009 // Parenting

When my sisters and I were growing up and causing our mum to pull out her hair, we used to have a white leather child’s harness that was put on us. I think we just had the one among the three girls and I don’t remember too much of it other than seeing an old picture or two. I have some really vague memories of my youngest sister toddling around all harnessed up. Safe and sound. Now I am a parent I am totally for using a child safety harness to keep children safe.

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I will be that mum using a ‘leash’ on my child as he insists on walking through the city and not sitting in his stroller. I care too much about his safety to think that I can always hold on to his little toddler hand to keep him safe. It has been great using a stroller for the past year and carrying him in a sling or just holding him while we are out and about the city. However, he is growing up and I have to be smart about things.

The argument I have heard against ‘leashing’ up your children is, good parents should be available for their child’s safety 24/7 and not rely on a leash to keep them safe. Not really that realistic in my opinion and experience. I don’t think that every parent of a toddler needs to use a harness system. I do think that parents of high energy children, who will dart off to go and explore, would be very smart to use a harness system. Especially so when you are off travelling or in large busy public spaces.

I use a leash on my dog every single time I take her for a walk. Yes, I am comparing harnessing my child to leashing my dog but probably not the way you think I am. If I am to take good care of my dog I put a leash on her to ensure that she does not dart into the street and get run over by a passing car or run off while I am not looking. I care about my dog and I care about the safety of my almost fully mobile one year old. So, for me, the argument that your child is not an animal and thus should not use a leash is not really a great argument in my books.

I have had a dear friend say to me, “my child is not an animal. I would never put a leash on him”. I hope that either my friend has four arms (she doesn’t!) or a boy who never will dart off to try and explore things on his own. Maybe this parent won’t ever be in a situation that requires the harness but I am pretty sure that Ben will want to jet off on his own and not hold my hand.

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When my older sister took her 1.5 year old boy to Disneyland she bought one of those fuzzy back pack child harnesses and he was able to explore his surroundings with a safety line. This is what I believe a leash to be; an extension of your hands, a way for your toddler to feel confident and move around on their own while still connected to someone. Same with my girlfriend who has a very active 2.5 year old who once in awhile likes to get up to no good. He is just curious and busy but this can easily lead to scary situations in a busy public setting. My friend also travelled to Disneyland and instead of having her son run off (cause he just might!) she used a fuzzy dog leash and kept him safe.

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A mum on a website asks this question, ” My toddler thinks it’s fun to run away from me on the street or in crowded places. I don’t want to strap him to his buggy, but I’m afraid I’ll lose him or he’ll get hurt if I don’t. How can I teach him to stay close?” Click HERE to read the safety response.

Some websites to check out: Small Planet Kids and The Baby Boutique

Have something to say on this topic? Leave a comment and I will respond back to you! You do not have to agree with my opinion to leave a comment!

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About the author

Hi! I'm Andrea, a 30 something girl who loves living the downtown lifestyle and didn't want to give it up once I started a family. Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!

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