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Child Harnesses: Do They Harm My Childrens Development Or Keep Them Safe?
Parents of young children know all too well that toddlers can be highly unpredictable, especially when in a public setting.
For safety concerns, many parents choose to use child harnesses or harness backpacks to ensure young children don’t try to make a swift escape. A tool that provides peace of mind to countless nervous moms and dads, though, is passionately criticized by just as many others. The question remains: Should parents use child safety harnesses? Or, are they more harmful than helpful?
If you’re still trying to decide for yourself, here are a few pros and cons of physically tethering your child to you:
- Safety is priority: Taking a 2-year-old out of the home– especially at a crowded theme park or airport, or even just with multiple children — can be an extremely nerve-wracking experience. All it takes is a moment of letting your guard down before your little one can disappear from sight.
- Harnesses can be helpful for children with special needs: Kids who have been diagnosed with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome and other sensory disorders can often lack judgment when it comes to outside environments. Having a harness acts as an extra safety measure for children whose judgement may be limited by their special needs. Even a very young child who is hearing impaired can benefit from a harness because it may be harder to get his attention if he should need to be stopped quickly for safety reasons.
- A harness offers relative freedom: When compared to strapping a child into a stroller, a harness offers more freedom for exploring various environments. Plus it allows him to do so with immediate parental feedback.
- A harness doesn’t allow children to learn proper self control: Relying on a harness all of the time robs children the opportunity to test boundaries and learn from them. If they are constantly tethered, they miss out on moments that allow them choice and responsibility.
- Harnesses limit a child’s curiosity: Naturally, kids like to explore. By allowing them freedom to walk around without the restriction of a harness, they have the opportunity to discover new things. A child harness, on the other hand, does not send the message that curiosity is valid.
- They attract negative attention: Many people associate child harnesses with dog leashes, and so they find it degrading that parents would restrain their child in the same manner as an animal would be restrained. This visual tends to attract negative attention, and depending on the child’s age, she could potentially be embarrassed or ashamed.
While safety harnesses can be beneficial for parents of multiples, children with special needs and high-energy toddlers who are still learning to follow directions, it’s hard to argue that it’s not healthy to have some off-harness practice time with little ones in public settings, too.
To read more about the pros and cons of safety harness use, read this article from Babygaga.com.
Share your thoughts! What do you think about child harnesses? Have you ever used one with a child?