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Backpack harness–useful or mean?

Posted by on October 24, 2011

Before I had experience with toddlers I looked at the use of child backpack harnesses as rude, treating your child like an animal. Then I had a family member who before age 2 became a FAST runner. She loved to dart off and could disappear in a second. Then I understood. The harness/leash is simply a method of keeping your child safe.

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I took a facebook/twitter poll on what people thought of using a backpack harness. Here are the results:

46%  It’s a good option to keep my child near and safe.
30%  I thought it was bad until my child became a runner.
12%  I’d rather be embarrassed than lose one. (Fan write-in)
12%  It’s inhumane, the child is not a dog!
0 votes: I’d be too embarrassed to use one.

Only 12%  chose “the child is not a dog!” and 88% agreed that it is a good way to keep the child safe. I bought a backpack harness for Ella shortly after she started walking but never had to use it. I lucked out and she was very good at staying nearby. Not every child stays close, so if you have a runner don’t feel guilty for using a backpack harness. Keep your child safe.

Reader C.G. from Alabama said she used a harness when walking with her toddler daughter around the neighborhood. There was heavy traffic near the house and it was unsafe to let her daughter walk freely yet her daughter refused to hold hands. Perfect solution! Her daughter was happy with her freedom and C.G. knew she could keep her child safe from harm.

Here are a few very cute options that should make your toddler safe and happily unaware its purpose is really safety:

How about this one? I haven’t tried this item, but I love the multi-purpose uses for it! Great for families on-the-go!

The bottom line is, your child’s safety is far more important than what strangers think. Do what you need to in order to keep your child safe, especially in busy public areas like the airport.