What do you think about child safety harnesses?

United States
April 22, 2007 9:54am CST
There was a large street festival in my town this weekend. I saw hundreds of children being maintained on a harness. What are your thoughts about the use of these devices?
7 people like this
19 responses
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I don't care for the harnesses for kids. I think they look like a dog being walked not a child. Now I do agree we need to keep our kids safe. When my neice was little, I helped raise her, we had something different. It had velcro wriste bracelets on each end and a telephone cord between them. This way both the adult and the child are connected the same way. It allowed the child to move about but not too far from the adult. Both were restrained and it didn't look like a pet being controled. It just looked a lot better in my opinion. It allowed the adult to keep the child restrained without looking like a restraint.
23 Apr 07
Keeps them safe, no problems. If it's good for an animal like a dog, it's good for a small child who's safety is so important and with the way so people drive these days or how kids love to inspect something. they're life savers, I do admit it looks somewhat downgrading for the child/baby but if booster seats are a good idea personally for me these are. ~Joey
2 people like this
23 Apr 07
Safety Strap - A safety strap for children
I never used one with my daughter, but with my son I had to. He had no fear and before I buy one he nearly got run over. I bought one that strapped to my wrist and his so he had the freedom to move around but I was always on the other end! I never liked the ones that wrap around their bodies as they are dangerous if your child trips over. They are left dangling or worse, they fall forward onto their faces. This is why I opted for the band. I see nothing wrong with them, especially in crowded places where they can so easily get lost, which I experienced when my son was 5 years old and harness free. It is the worse feeling ever. But it does depend on the child, like I said my daughter was fine but I do not regret using it with my son, he was murder and would be off in a split second. I must admit though I very rarely see parents with these anymore, as most kids are strapped into their prams till a much older age, which personally I feel is worse.
• United States
22 Apr 07
They were not around when my daughter was grwoing up. As they are great from keeping my littles from darting off into the street or getting lost I presume they can do the same thing to keep children safe .
1 person likes this
@Grandmaof2 (7603)
• Canada
22 Apr 07
I hope everyone really thinks before they answer this because I was a very good Mom and I was devoted and all good things and the one thing I always thought was, "How in the world could kids go missing if the mothers were watching over them." I also thought those harness were for dogs and not children. Well one summer day I had invited two of my best girlfriends to go to the city with me on a shopping trip. Off we went and of course I didn't believe in babysitters either so I dressed my little girl in the best and off we went to a big mall. We had stopped in Sears and they had a big huge rack of earings and all on sale, I needed earings and I only had one hand free because my little girl had ahold of my other hand. I let go of her hand to take the earings out so I could have a better look. After deciding to buy them I reached down to take my daughters hand and she was gone. Both my girlfriends were very close by, they were looking at the jewlery also. My little girl was absolutely no where to be found. They announced it on the P.A. system all doors leading in and out of the mall were locked, security was involved and this panic went on for over an hour. You have never seen a crazy woman like me. My girlfriends advised I stay in the same spot in case she came back looking for me and they took off on the hunt. I knew she loved new toys so I asked the Sears lady where the nearest toy store was in the mall, like as if a little kids would know where to go she had never been in this mall before and it was huge. Anyway the lady said Toys and Wheels is just around the corner. I bolted for the toy shop and there she was sitting on the floor with all kids of toys the clerk gave her to play with. So you know what if you think you need a harness go ahead and buy one at least you're doing your part as a parent the way you feel works for you.
• United States
22 Apr 07
Well, you know I used to hate them, but now that I have a 3 yr old that can disappear in .3 milliseconds, I think they have their place. LOL Now, I do admit that I don't like to see them in a mall or Walmart...I think that you should be able to put your kid in a stroller or a buggy and be ok, but in a very crowded place like a street fair or something like that, it is ok with me. I still don't like the looks of them, but I do understand their use. LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Apr 07
before i had kids i thought oh those are horriable little things now that i have kids i think they are great lol. granted mine are 10 and 12 so i havent used one in a long time but i used something like it when they were small. the harness ones at taht time fastened in the front so my kids just took them off. so i always made sure they had belt loops on when we went somewhere where they would be walking and it was busy like the mall, amusment park etc. i used a dog leash. i fastened it to the belt loop on the very back of the pants and they could not get to it and away we went. i got some strange looks but i was able to give them freedom, didnt have anything aroudn the chest, kept up with them, they couldnt get it undone, and it worked. it was also cheaper lol.
1 person likes this
@RenaeT (688)
• United States
22 Apr 07
Well, I used to think it was rediculous that parents didn't TEACH their children to stay with them and that they were lazy parents. BUT . . . I have completely changed my way of thinking. Now days, I'd use one too. There are too many crazy people out there to take chances. That's my 2 cents worth
1 person likes this
@Marshell (60)
• United States
22 Apr 07
I will never forget the first time I saw this thing. It was several years ago,and at the time I thought it atrocious! Now, I believe the harness is a good thing. Isn't it funny how you perspective changes through the years? I look at it this way: we are only human, we can not possibly keep our eyes on a million people at once. Any thing that can possibly make it safe in crowds for kids has my vote.
• Canada
22 Apr 07
I don't believe I would ever be able to use one of these just because I just can't imagine taking my children with me somewhere that I would have to have a harness on them to keep them with me but I do see the point why others use them . If you want to go somewhere and have no choice but to take your child and you have a child that wanders off , it would be better to think that you had something to protect them and keep them close by you at all times because one mistake could lead into you never seeing your child again . I am lucky as in the area I am in , there are not a lot of people so it is easy to keep an eye on one's children but in an area where there are thousands of people you could be taking a chance if you didn't have one of these protecting your child if you didn't have them in a stroller or were holding them . For me I would prefer to use a stroller as I find it much more convinient .
1 person likes this
@tater03 (1765)
• United States
22 Apr 07
I have never used them but I will say this last summer we went to a big amusement park and there were so many people and my son was very frustrated when he was walking that he had to hold my hand all the time. Which in a way I don't blame him. But there were just so many people that I was so afraid that it would be so easy to lose sight of him. So having been in that type of situation I can see why parents might decide to have one of these.
1 person likes this
@tentwo67 (3384)
• United States
5 Jun 07
I can't say that I love the theory, but in such a crowded environment I don't know that I wouldn't have done the same. I always thought it looked pretty stupid myself in the past, like putting a leash on your child, but then I had a child. And having a small child now in so many ways is a different experience for parents now than it was when we were small ourselves. Like my son is almost 5 now (9 days away!) but back when he was first starting to potty train in big boy pants, I ended up in the mall with him without a change of clothes and of course he had an accident on the way to the bathroom. I'm in the ladies room at Penney's and it had a kind of "sitting room" attached to the bathroom and there was an older lady sitting in there who offered to keep an eye on my son for me while I went to buy some dry clothes to put on him. As sweet and probably harmless as she was, there was no way I could legitimately take her up on her offer so I had to take him with me through the store with his wet pants (where I literally purchased the very first clothes I saw in the right size and then took him into the fitting room to change his clothes). I thought about it later and thought that in a similar situation 35+ years before then when I was potty training myself, my mother might have accepted the nice lady's offer, and she probably would have been fine in doing so. So, I think it's marginally more acceptable to put one of those harnesses on your child if it makes the difference in being able to keep up with him/her or not in public. I actually did buy one for my son when he was smaller, but didn't use it much. I only truly felt the need in huge crowded situations like the one you described when I didn't have enough other support to keep up with him.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I don't like them in general, but think they are very good in very big crowds. People are getting so crazy that you cannot chance the child getting away from you.
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
23 Apr 07
Back when my son was little, I used one on him. Some lady got real nasty - she said I treated my son like a dog by keeping him on a 'leash'. My response was meaningful back then - I said 'better on a leash then on a milk carton'. She did not say a word. I think they are great. I would use them again.
@craftwave (1338)
• United States
23 Apr 07
When my husband and I got custody of our 16 month old grandson I had to fly with him,by myself, to Rota, Spain where my husband a military chaplain was stationed. Needless to say I had a bunch of suit cases and even my carry ons, purse, toy bag diaper, bag and another carry on, took up all of my hands. it was a Blessing to to have that harness. They type I had could be used two different ways, one with the body harness or industrial strength velcro that velcroed around each our wrists. That is the method I prefered rather then the harness. It left my hands free to carry what I needed, kept my grandson near by without him having to hold my hand constantly. I did have a backpack that I had bought for hiking but was already up to my limit in carry ons and luggage so had to send that by mail. I used the wrists straps until my granson was able to figure out how to undo them. I didn't use them all the time only when it was vital to keep a track of him and I had no extra hands to do it with.
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
23 Apr 07
I think harnesses are a good idea for some place that is busy. Especially if the child doesn't like riding in a stroller. I would much rather see a happy toddler on a leash than a screaming one pushed into the stroller because the parents can't keep an eye on them if they are walking.
@superchook (1786)
• Australia
22 Apr 07
I have four kids and have never had to use them. I personally don't like them, but understand that some people do need to use them.
@villageanne (8554)
• United States
22 Apr 07
I really dont know what I think about it as I have never seen it myself. They are not used in our community. It would probably keep the children safer per say but is seems that it may also dehumanize them. I cant give an educated answer as I dont know enough about them
• United States
22 Apr 07
I actually have mixed feelings about them. Personally, I don't like to see children confined to a leash type device. But, I can see how parents of over-active children could use them to maintain control over the running around in a public place. I wish someone would come up with a different solution though. I will admit, I used one, once. It was about 23 years ago, and I had a very, very, active almost two year old. We (just her and I) were traveling across country, via bus and plane. In order for me to handle the bag, and her, I really had to use it in the airports and stations. And she really needed to be able to exercise her legs, and me be able to keep control over her. I hated using the darn thing though, and never used it again. It just felt wrong.