The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: In Support of Kiddie Leashes

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In Support of Kiddie Leashes

When my twins were toddlers, I decided that safety trumped gossip and bought leashes to tether my girls in crowded or dangerous locations.  The trip to a mall, the boardwalk, and beach brought disapproving glances from parents of all ages who obviously considered me a bad mother.  They probably thought I'd allow them to poop on the sidewalk, too, like a poodle.  However, I can only be in one place at a time and had only two hands for three children.  The leash seemed like the solution to this safety-minded mother's nightmare.  So off I went, two kids on leashes in one hand and my older daughter holding the other hand, safe in the knowledge that I knew where my kids were at all times and could come to their assistance at a moment's notice if needed.  An added attraction for me was that I didn't have to push a bulky twin stroller and my daughters exercised their leg muscles in the process.  It was a win-win situation.  Plus, holding childrens' hands for an extended period of time can be uncomfortable -- imagine how you'd feel keeping your hand raised above your head for hours!

Naturally, there are two sides to every story. The writers at www.child.com in an old post discouraged leash use for two-year-olds, claiming that "the leash conveys an innapropriate message by using physical force instead of words to keep your child near you." I say that sometimes kids just don't listen (you think?) and words aren't enough to ensure safety.

Maureen Dempsey Baker, creator of the By My Side child safety harness explains, "We were informed by pediatricians that (many) common injuries are to shoulders and arms from parents pulling up when a child falls while holding their hand. The harness allows you to gently guide your child while supporting them in their strongest place, the chest."

Now there are backpack-style leashes that provide a better fashion statement than my old-fashioned harness variety that really did look like a dog leash.  Plus, the kids are agreeable to being leashed because they can keep "stuff" in their backpacks as they walk along.  I support kiddie leashes all the way and the tongue waggers can just keep wagging their tongues.  After all, they probably never had to ensure the safety of twins and a singleton at the same time. 

Happy Parenting!

1 comment:

  1. i have twins on the way and they will both be leashed, i had one when i was a toddler cuz i like to run and hide in stores and in retro-spect thats a horrible thing to do. but if my kiddo's are like me and their mom ( and they will be ) then they will need to be leashed aswell :)

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