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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » Baby Harness

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Author Topic: Baby Harness
Member # 15351

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I was just wanted to get some opinions on something. Today, while working, I saw a middle ages couple with a small child about 2 years old, the child was strapped to the mothers hand and had a harness around his body. This angers me, being a parent myself, I can't understand someone wanting to put their child on a,leash. I mean, if you don't have the energy to chase your kid, put him in a cart. Running after a child who's just learned to walk is part of parenting and people should just suck it up and get off their lazy butts. Sorry if anybody agrees with this method of controlling our "animals". Companies say it's safety, I say it's inhumane, absolutley unnecessary. Please, some opinions on this.
Posts: 21 | From: Regina, SK, Canada | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
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You know, the first time I saw this (as an ECE teacher years back), I had a very similar reaction to yours.

At this point, I'm not really sure where exactly I stand on it. I know that some children have a very, very hard time in crowds (I've had a few as students) and that save carrying them the entire time, something like this are some parent's only alternatives to either having their kids get lost or having them be unable to get out in a group and enjoy themselves as a family. (And sometimes, buggies just aren't workable -- ever tried taking one on a bus? Major big problem)

Do I like seeing it? No. It still weirds me out and yes, I do feel like a child appears to be akin to a pet. Yet at the same time, so long as the kid isn't weirded out by it, and it's presented in an apporpriate way, I can also see how it might be workable for some, and it IS certainly better to having a child get totally lost. I was one of those easily distractible kids myself, and try as my mother did, I'd almost always end up away from her, eventually grabbing the hand of the most convenient adult, which is pretty scary, since there are plenty of folks out there with whom that could have gone very badly.

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 961

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What's an effective way of keeping a kid attached to you can also be an effective way of tripping other people, or cutting off their access to where they're going. So, not a fan, but I do think anyone who has to deal with a kid who tends to dart AND buses or crowds might find an umbrella stroller helpful.

Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

And everybody's got to live their life
And God knows I've got to live mine

Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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want irony? i saw a toddler on a harness in Golden Gate Park, which apparently has no leash requirement for dogs. so tether the baby, but let the hound run free?

At Disneyland, I saw a toddler break the latch on his harness and take off running. He managed to get about 10 yards from his mother, but seeing the look of horror on her face, I stopped the child and took him back to his mommy. The place was very crowded, and the child easily could have been injured or lost.

I think i have an odd opinion of the baby leashes. I can see how they might be useful for a 4 or 5 year-old who is fully able to walk, but has a tendency to wander away and get lost. but on a tyke younger than that, they look to be more of an injury risk. Would i ever leash my kid? No. I'll just get one of those baby backpacks.

this would probably be better in Pregnancy and Parenting forum

if p then q (statement)
if p then not q (negation)
if q then p (converse)
if not p then not q (inverse)
if not q then not p (contrapositive)

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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Well, since this hasn't been moved yet i will post this here.

I remember when I was about 3 maybe 4 my parents had this bracelet thing with a bright red springy cord in the middle, linking them. I remember being put on this after staying behind to look at a winnie the pooh display in a department store. When i looked up from the toys to show my mom, they were gone. I cant remember how exactly i got to the front desk but i remember being there sitting on the counter when my parents came to get me. I remember the leash very well and I personally dont see the harm in this to a child like me who had a tendancy to wander off(usually because i just wasn't paying attention-still happens, but not as often). My mom used it on me because i didn't like to hold her hand ("im a big girl, mommy!") but i loved wearing bracelets. So i see it as unless the child is screaming and tugging and fighting to get it off i dont really have a problem with them.


I am one in a million... to bad there are over 6 billion peope in the world.

Posts: 93 | From: Alberta, Canada | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 14139

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My brother and I both had the wrist bracelet thing. I don't have any problem with that, and I'm not going to really rally against a baby harness, but it does just seem inhumane. It make me think of a cat harness. It's useful maybe, but just doesn't sit right.

And yes, it does depend a lot on the kid. If the child is running off, or if you're in a super crowded place, maybe more drastic measures are called for. Making me a little uncomfortable is better than losing your toddler.

Posts: 317 | From: Seattle, WA | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 1386

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My son had a harness and I have no regrets whatsoever. What are the alternatives? Ever had the sinking feeling of horror when you realise that you've lost your kid in a crowd? I have.

Never underestimate the ability of a toddler to dart off during a moments inattention.

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein

Posts: 3442 | From: Stirling, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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My son is very big for his age -- about the height of your average five-to-six-year-old, and he's three and a half -- so strollers do NOT work for him. The seats pinch and his knees get cramped.

So as an alternative we use a wrist-to-wrist tether. He's very energetic, and it's impossible to keep a firm hold on his hand at all times. He doesn't try to take it off, and his arms and wrists don't get sore from having a panicked parent's vice-grip on hand all day.

My only other option is to just not take him out, and I think *that* would be cruel and inhumane.

Posts: 1287 | From: Missouri | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I'm not a parent, but I've used a harness while teaching a four year old to ski. Wow, did that make a difference. She was in my sight the entire time, I knew she was safe and I was able to help her whenever she needed me, not as soon as I could get to her.

Given how much safer I felt having her right there with me and knowing she couldn't get away from me for any reason I'm completely in favor of them. I've experienced the "where is the child" feeling once and that's something I never want to do again.

Posts: 3641 | From: Truckee, CA, US | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Every parent I have known that has put their child on a leash has done so for safety reasons only, not because they're lazy! Many children don't stay right by their parent's side, especially in a new and exciting situation. It's too easy to have them be there one second and not there the next. Your comment that they should just be running after them...I'm sorry but I think it's niether safe or realistic to go running after your kid in a crowded mall for example (and kids can be pretty fast). I used to judge people's parenting choices but it's a waste of energy when you don't know the choices behind them. It hurts because when I was pregnant with twins-I totally planned to have harnesses for them when we went to busy places and I was alone. It bothers me that these could be the opinions people have when all I would be trying to do is protect my children.

"My art forgot her tampon and she's bleeding through her jeans, yeah my art don't need no tampon she'll just bleed through her jeans"-Alix Olson

[This message has been edited by XCatFightX (edited 03-01-2004).]

Posts: 47 | From: Maine, USA | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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My sister was a runner of the worst sort when she was little. She could escape from just about anything and would be swinging under the clothing racks like a little monkey before you would even realize she was gone. So we both had wrist tethers when mom took us out. From my perspective, I don't remember being bothered by it at all. In fact, it really made me feel safer as a child. I was a bit of a scared little thing, and that physical cord made me feel safe because I was always connected to mom or dad. No one was going to get me and I wasn't going to be accidentally left behind. As far as I was concerned, it wasn't such a bad deal.

Sarah Liz
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Posts: 7316 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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My sister was like kittengoddess' sister. She would hide under clothes racks. We are talking security looking for her and everything. My mother used to be hysterical. My sister couldn't help it, she was around 3ish. Carts aren't available in every store, so the wrist teether was my mom's only option. My sister never cared. By the time she was old enough to figure out how to take it off, she was old enough to know better, and to always hold hands, or stay close.

As a mother, who until december, fought with strollers, umbrella strollers at that on the bus, I can tell you, it is pure hell. Ever try to get a stroller with a 30lbs kid, and your backpack up the steps on a stroller? Try it sometime, totally horrible, let alone the space it takes up in the aisle. Stressful events, now try doing it twice a day, everyday! I gave it up, and opted to restrain my son on the bus. That was no pic-nic either. I would have put him on a harness if it would have helped. Sometimes, you got to do, what you got to do.

Mommy, my boogers are yummy. Here try some! (I real conversation with my 2.5 year old)

Posts: 234 | From: Ottawa, Ont, Canada | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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I can see the point of view of those who employ harnesses, however, I cannot even fathom using one on my son. I helped in raising my sister's two older children through their toddler/pre-school years and wouldnt have imagined using one on either of them either.

To me, leashes and harnesses are for animals and people who participate in extreme sports like bungee jumping---not for children. Or maybe my sis's kids were just well-behaved...I dont know. Neither of them ever took off in a crowded mall or parking lot and got more than 6 feet from me or sis.

Do what thou wilt but harm ye none...

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