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Toddler Safety Harness: Cool or Cruel?

Updated on May 30, 2012

Why Would You Need A Toddler Safety Harness?

A toddler safety harness is something that a lot of people use with their children.

We all know how kids can be, your turn your head for 30 seconds and they are nowhere to be found! This can become quite the problem especially when you are going out into public places where your child can get lost or hurt.

3-5 years of age is probably the ages that a child safety harness is used most. They can easily walk around and are so curious about...everything! Child safety harnesses allow the parent to put a small portion of their mind to ease knowing that their child cannot wander away from them, even if they turn their backs for a moment.

Is Using A Safety Harness Cruel?

However a lot of people will argue that a safety harness is cruel to the child. It's like putting your child on a leash, like a dog. Personally it is kind of true, it sort of is like a leash but it is for the toddler's own protection.

Especially when doing things like shopping with your toddler you may find that a toddler harness comes in handy. You want to stop and read that label and not worry about your child running across the store in that 30 seconds you are busy.

The toddler safety harness would allow him or her to be independent enough to be able to walk and their own and not have to sit in the cart yet will allow the parent the security in knowing their child cannot wander too far.

A Child Safety Harness Your Toddler Thinks Is Cool?

Toddler safety harnesses can be a lot of fun these days. It is not simply like a 'dog leash' anymore. There are lots of fun designs that will make the child want to wear the harness.

Some are designed with their favorite TV characters and others are animals like:

  • cats
  • dogs
  • ducks
  • frogs
  • bears
  • and bunny rabbits

and other toddler safety harnesses are like backpacks. There are many choices, designs and styles available on the market when in comes to choosing a toddler safety harness!

Is A Toddler Saftey Harness Right For You & Your Child?

If you decide that using a children's safety harness is right for you and your child know that there will be the occasional people who may not agree with your choice. But you know what is best for you and your child. A toddler safety harness may or may not be the right choice for your child.


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    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      My kids are grown but sounds like a wonderful idea to me. I had the best kids in the world and even they got away from us in a store one day when we were not looking and I do bet many, many people wish they had used this....

      Great article. ^+

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 6 years ago

      I think the harnesses are a great idea! Some people don't like them... but like so many other commenters have said, the harnesses can save a life, especially when the child is adventurous or impulsive. Besides, the harness can be used as a last-resort safety mechanism - it can be used IN ADDITION to verbal cues, etc etc, not as a substitute. But, so many people (mainly those opposed to harnesses) think of harnesses as substitute to teaching children... they're not! Whereas, the only other option to truly ensure safety is to put the child in a stroller... where they really don't get to learn, nor get any exercise.

    • Jean Meriam profile image

      Jean Meriam 7 years ago from Canada

      I have a little girl with ADHD. A leash is a necessity. She tells me she can run in the street because she is faster than cars. Ya, I don't think so.

    • Misty May profile image

      Misty May 7 years ago

      I think they are great for some children. For the people who think they a cruel I dare you to babysit a hyperactive and curious child in public all day and get errands and daily shopping done at the same time without a harness or putting them in the cart. Are you up for that challenge? lol I want video of that! :) This is a great hub!

    • ruthcpatton profile image

      ruthcpatton 7 years ago

      We have one of these for our daughter. It has been a life saver, literally!! She will run into the road in an instant, and she is so fast...I am so glad that I have one for her now:-)

    • nasus loops profile image

      nasus loops 7 years ago from Fenland

      I did use you. It made my son feel grown up, being allowed to walk on his own even if there were lots of people around. Without it I would had to have put him in a pushchair much more often. It just isn't safe to let a child walk on their own when in a crowded shopping centre.

    • CennyWenny profile image

      CennyWenny 7 years ago from Washington

      Oh man, I can hardly keep my son on my lap when I'm holding him, he wants to GO! I used to think they were awful but then I had an extremely active little boy and I know I'll need one as soon as he's walking, both for his safety and my sanity.

    • profile image

      weaseleldo 7 years ago

      I think the harnesses are a good idea, especially with the prevalence of child abductions these days. I used a wrist harness with my son when he was little, but he quickly learned how to take it off. I wish I had one of these back pack styles then! Those who treat their children like dogs when using them, and yes, it does happen, probably need to take some kind of parenting class in the first place.

    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 7 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      Thanks for the comments everyone! :)

      These may seem cruel at first sight, but in the distracting world we live in for a lot of people this is the best option. My Mom had one of these for me when I was little.

    • profile image

      Laynie84 7 years ago

      I used to think these "leashes" were a terrible idea too. However my child is now 16 months, and I think I might be making a purchase soon:-) The ones they have now are super cute, and most can double as a backpack when they get a little older.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      My grandchildren needed one for a while and the leash was essential to prevent them running away. You only have to be distracted for a moment. Later they realise the dangers and don't bolt!

    • DIY Girl Nina profile image

      DIY Girl Nina 7 years ago

      Some people really need these...others, not so much!

    • miss_jkim profile image

      miss_jkim 7 years ago

      When my oldest daughter was a toddler I saw people with these harnesses. (She is 34 now) I thought, "How cruel to treat your child like an animal!" This was long before the cute styles they offer today.

      When my son was born I asked, "Where do I buy one?" I used it all the time with him, he was the curious one on the go and into everything. My biggest worry was that he would run out into a parking lot without looking. It was a life saver and a stress saver as well. (My son is now 32)

      By the time my youngest daughter came along, I just needed one that slipped around her wrist and then mine. Again, this was a life saver and stress minimizer.

      Each parent will have to decide with each child, what is the best and safest way to deal with the curiosity of a toddler. I would rather see a child on a "leash" than in a hospital, or worse.

      Great Hub!

    • profile image

      Ryoko 7 years ago

      I guess these things could be for good uses, but most of the parents that I see using them are treating their children like dogs...pulling on the leash, making clicking sounds at them like there were calling an animal to come to them.

    • Connie Smith profile image

      Connie Smith 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      I also thought the harnesses were cruel and seemed like a dog leash. That was until my grandchildren started coming along. A child can be snatched in a heartbeat and suffer far more cruelty than what someone perceives a "leash" to be. So many people are willing to give up civil liberties in the name of safety (not I) then turn around and call these little child protection devices cruel. They are not. When I see one, I now know that the parent is making sure that their child stays safe. Face it, at the mall, parents are distracted. They do NOT have their eye on the child contantly. These devices ensure that the child is safe so the parent can do what they came to do. btw, we have the monkies....

    • WendyU profile image

      WendyU 7 years ago from Calgary, AB Canada

      Totally up to the parents, and it ticks me off when I see someone being berated for using them. You don't know anyone's situation but your own, and unless the parent is being abusive, it's none of your damned business.

    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 7 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      I agree with that. for some people it is just necessary. Other people it's not. Just depends!

    • instantlyfamily profile image

      instantlyfamily 7 years ago

      I am not a big fan. However for some children (and parents) it might be necessary.


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