Safety Harness Question

Updated on April 20, 2011
S.G. asks from Fort Eustis, VA
15 answers

I'm sure this has been thoroughly covered elsewhere, but I was interested in the opinions of those moms who are opposed to using a safety harness. How is that different than strapping your kids into a stroller? That is also a form of restraint.
Yes, Luv, I mean the "leashes." Thanks.
Sue H., sorry, I didn't intend to ask an inflammatory question. Just genuinely curious about other's opinions. Thanks.

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answers from Seattle on

I don't have an issue with the harness' if they are being used properly. The other day I saw this woman who was trying to get somewhere and she was pulling the child behind her while he was triping all over his feet. I thought that was a bit odd, couldn't she just hold his hand?
But, I have a friend who uses the leash and it works great. He is a runner! So, he is safe with mom, but feels like he has a bit of freedom to wonder around and look at things and mom can watch when her son is up at bat, or shooting a basketball, or kicking the soccerball and not have to worry about the 1 year old.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

I used to be morally opposed. Just like I used to be morally opposed to spanking. All the logic was on my side. I was an enlightened modern mom that treated my child with dignity and respect. I reasoned with her. I would simply talk to my girl and tell her how dangerous it is to run off from me. That all went wonderfully.
Then I had a little boy and all that went out the window! Now, I do what I have to do to protect my kids, damn the onlookers. If I have to pop my boys butt in the grocery store for trying to climb out of the be it. Bet he doesn't try to climb out of the cart again. If I have to put a harness on him in busy public places so he doesn't get be it.
No, he's not a pet. But he does have that same urge to chase a squirell! I would be an irresponsible pet owner not to leash my dog before he learned not to run off. I would be an irresonsible mom to sit in exasperation every time my son ran off from me before he learned not to if I didn't take steps to prevent it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

Oh gosh...not this again!!! If you want to use one, use one; If you don't, don't!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

IMHO, there is really no difference between a harness and a stroller.
It's just that ppl view strollers as socially acceptable necessities.

I don't know why anyone would feel the need to look down on a parent that uses a harness. Do YOU know MY child? No, you don't. So until you do, keep your opinion to yourself. (And if you did, I think you'd understand.) :)

If you don't want to use one, that is perfectly fine by me.

I carried my first child (in a sling) until she learned to walk and wanted to do so. She hated being in the stroller. She LOVED her harness.
My son is much heavier than she was at his age so he has spent more time in the stroller. But he is already wiggling to get down and he can't even walk yet. As soon as he is walking I am sure our monkey harness will be getting some use again.

I can teach my very young child until I am blue in the face not to leave mommy's side, but they are babies! Not capable of understanding just how dangerous it is do so. And all it takes is a split second in a crowd.

Sorry. This one is just a no brainer to me. Protect your babies.

I just want to point out (before the hate comes) I am talking about children 3 and under. At 4 a child should be able to better comprehend.

Sorry S., don't mean to rant. Lol. This was a topic on another site recently and I think I am just a little annoyed by all the judgement on why parents harness their kids. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Mine behaves and holds my hand, so I don't need to consider it.
It's main use is for safety. So my thinking is, if a mom uses it for it's intended reasons at least she's taking measures to ensure her kid is safe, and hopefully it works for that reason. It's better then the parents that don't pay attention to their kids at all while around cars.
The other day I was in a parking lot and a 2 year old was walking across the aisle just as a huge SUV was rounding the corner. I stepped in front of him (with my own 2 year old) to get him to go back in the direction fo his mommy. Wouldn't ya know she was busy opening a bag of flamming hot cheeto's for her 1 year old. Then I saw them walking on a very busy street....the 2 year old 3 feet behind her. All I could kept thinking is if that little boy had a leash on, the tugging might remind the mom to pay attention.
Again....personally I don't need them, but to each their own.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I agree completely with Traci K's response. My son was a runner, so I was proactive and used the harness. He loved it. It gave him some independence within a safe boundary I was happy with. The onlookers can snarl, judge and make their nasty comments (although I have never had that happen in my experience) but if it did, their reaction may ruin a few minutes of my day, but something terrible happening to my child would ruin my life. This is NOT an inflammatory question. It is a good question. :-)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

The difference between a leash and a stroller is simple. In a stroller, you are making it so the child doesn't wear himself out walking, or the child is unable (too young) to walk around so you don't wear yourself out carrying her around everywhere. It's a mode of transportation for children. You strap them in so they don't fall out! The leash is to keep them from running away.

I personally don't like the leashes for everyday use (grocery store, out to eat, places like that). I figure if my dad was able to raise 4 kids, all under the age of 6, (My brothers were runners too...) without the leash, I should be able to handle one kid. I think it's important to teach your children to listen when they are told to stop. Although, I do think they are a GOOD thing for places like airports, amusement parks, or places like that where a split second of lost eye contact can result in a missing child.

I do NOT think leashes are cruel, or that it's treating kids like animals... I just feel like I would rather set boundaries, and enforce them, than have to rely on an outside tool.

On that note, this is just my personal opinion. I feel like it's my business that I choose not to use one. Just like if another parent decides that they want to use one, it's THEIR business. I'm not going to judge a parent based on whether their kid is leashed or not... Think of (sorry, can't remember the name) the woman who posted earlier asking about giving her sister one. She had a traumatizing experience, and the leash gives her peace of mind. Seeing her on the street, I would have no clue that she has had a previous experience. So who am I to judge?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Although I have never used one, I think there are some situations where they would be a great idea. The reason I didn't use one wasn't because I was opposed, but I only had one child and seemed to manage busy places okay. I also think they are a pretty short-lived too before you shouldn't need something like that anymore. The stroller would be similar, but has a much longer use and purpose. I do certainly see their place, and depending on the different environments you plan to be in, seems like it would be a good idea.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

We never needed one, but my husband apparently was a "runner". He had to be on a leash for many trips anywhere they went. There are photos of him wearing it. It looks pitiful, but he is severely ADHD so I can only imagine.

He said he did not like it because his mother would yank at it,. but he is alive and not squashed under a car.

He said he also did not like being harnessed in the car. Back in the day we did not have car seats, you were placed in a harness. His grandmother picked him up to take him to her home for his annual month stay, they (MIL-FIL) Harnessed him in and my husband had a fit. Grandmother was told to just let him cry.

She got around the corner, unharnessed him , popped open a bottle of Pepsi and poured in a bag of salted peanuts into the bottle and handed it to him and told him not to worry he would not need to wear that any more. He said he had a great time! Can you imagine? I told him I was surprised it was not a BIG Red soda! My MIL would have freaked if she ever heard that story.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I've always been agnst these unless u have more than one kid under 2, and merely for the reason that if you only have one, u can chase them, and keep an eye on them running ahead a little....every time I;ve seen someone use this with only one kid, they were ussually ignoring the child and the child was often in a bad area, or was being kind of drug around....I can see if you have a bunch of toddlers how you might need to use this...but my cousin has 3 under 3 and never had to use need to learn boundries not how to walk on leashes,...but to each their own

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

We use safety harnesses on the bus. I am sure there are some people who would object because they do resemble a straight jacket but the kids are safe and that is the number one priority. When we tell the parents that they can take the child to school then they are really agreeable. It is for safety after all!

The safety vests that are on the leashed look just as terrible but the kids are safe. I have seen kids in public places like that and (before I had kids) I thought they were terrible. I babysat out of control kids and can not imagine taking them somewhere. I had a safety leash for my daughter that was velcro that went around her wrist. She always stayed close but I was concerned for her safety in the crowds at Disneyland.



answers from St. Louis on

leashes are for animals. Not for children. I consider it the epitome of laziness in parenting. Teach your kids to behave, pure & simple. & having multiple children still doesn't justify it - my SIL had 3 kids in < than 16 months & never used a leash!

Strollers are different, because they are a method of transportation. As with motor vehicles, children should be strapped in for safety. A fall from a stroller can cause quite a bit of injury.....very different from tripping while walking independently. Peace.

I must say this is quite an inflammatory ? !!



answers from Kansas City on

I have 3 boys under five and have never needed one. I prefer the Bjorn or a stroller. Personal choice.


answers from Stockton on

what exactly do you mean by safety harness? To me that is for working men/women who are working at heights and are using it for safety?? I am a bit confused what you mean?? Are you talking about the leashes that they make for kids???


answers from Los Angeles on

I am not necessarily against them, I remember my cousin using one that attached to her wrist and the wrist of her child once when we went to Disneyland....but I have never used them and always found it odd when parents do use them like at the Mall or Target...I mean, if you can not be responsible enough to keep hold of your child or be in enough control of them to keep them safe with out having to chain them to you...what does that say about your parenting ability?

I get the argument about 'safety'... kind of...but am thankful that I have never felt that worry about my child NOT being safe enough with us, with out one. Does that make sense?

~I think in the end it boils down to 'to each is own' kind of thing. If you feel that is what is needed and have a child who just flat out does NOT listen to you...then by all means, use what ever you need to to keep your child safe and do not worry about what anyone else thinks.

*I have/had 3 kids under 4 yrs old and went to Disneyland with all of them and managed just fine...never used a leash on my kids before.

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