Necessary or degrading - what's your take on toddler safety harnesses? 1 week ago

Necessary or degrading - what's your take on toddler safety harnesses?

A thread on Reddit sparked the age-old debate in relation to safety harnesses for children.

User Gloriousstudent asked the following question: “What are your thoughts on ‘leashes’ or safety harnesses used on children?”

They explained:

“I was driving down the street near a beach and saw what seemed to be some sort of childcare company. there were two adults with around 6 kids each on leashes. Looked like a dog walking company. That is kind of what prompted the question [sic].”

Hundreds of people, both parents and non-parents weighed in on the question with a variety of opinions.

Some don’t agree with the use of them:

"I don't like them. My parents never needed to use one on me or my sister, nor did my aunts and uncles need to use them on their children. I think it's just lazy parenting honestly." (Citizenerased1989)

"No. It doesn't teach the kid to be calm and behave." (highly_caffinated)

"Hold your kid's damn hand. If you don't want to be a parent don't have kids." (auntfaintly)

"Speaking as someone who was on one for a bit as a kid, I hated it. It did not help me. All it did was teach me that I could pull and tug and be reckless and I would be fine because I wasn't responsible for my own actions, the person holding the leash was. I didn't have to pay attention, someone did it for me. So if I wasn't on the leash, I was still reckless and oblivious. I learned to think for myself way later than I should have. And yes, even as a little kid, I found it degrading and embarrassing (but I wouldn't have been able to articulate that, just cry instead). This was just my experience. Seems like other people were on them and were fine, so who knows. It would be interesting to see a study done on those things." (ThreePartSilence)

Others feel that they are necessary:

"Better a harness than a crushed child under a car. Toddlers… have no road sense and if you can't drive but need to go to the shops AND you have a pram plus shopping....you NEED a harness. You can't hold your toddlers hand properly otherwise." (BottledApple)

"We used them at the airport for our 2 and 3 year olds. Not because of controlling them, but it always scared me that they could quickly get kidnapped and loaded onto a plane never to be seen again." (Keetlady)

"They are wonderful. No one wants to spend all day chasing a toddler through Six Flags, or fighting them to sit in the stroller, or be nervous or anxious or yelling. A leash gives the kid the independence they want and parents the control they want. Everyone is happy everyone is safe." (bladedada)

"I used one for my kids. They were both quick as lightning and would run away from you SO fast. I don't apologize one bit and would do the exact same again." (Steffisews)

Many said that it depends on the child:

"Some kids probably need and benefit from them. I always thought the animal backpack ones where the parent holds the animal's tail were cute." (somuchforskydiving)

"If someone feels like they need one for their kid, they should use it!" (Virgoddess)

"Every kid is different. Some kids can sit happily in a stroller for 2 hours, some demand to be carried the entire time, some can calmly walk beside you, some are wild and want to run off. There are many different methods of corralling children, what works well for one family may looks ridiculous for another. I hope I don't have to use one with my kids but if I had to I would be extremely grateful they exist. I would never judge a parent for using one." (MidnightSG)

A few revealed that their opinion had changed:

"Hated them, until I had a kid with autism. As long as you're not using them to drag your kid around, they ate great. We used one on my youngest three to teach them what a safe distance was." (Slimming_shady)

"I used to be very against them before I had a kid. "Well my kid won't be an animal and I'll actually keep an eye on him unlike those parents who use leashes". Then I had a kid. Kids can and do run fast sometimes. They also like to run fast in crowded areas making it much harder to chase them. I finally caved in a bought a leash - made my job so much easier and I don't care what people think because I'm just glad my son won't get lost." (youremysillygirl)

What do you think? Let us know in the Facebook comments or get in touch on Twitter (@HerFamilydotie).