Thursday, 18 April 2013

My thoughts on child safety harness

It's all a stigma.

It cannot be helped because a child harness or infamously known as a child leash looks a lot like a dog leash. The only difference is that the latter wears  it with a collar.
In my 30+ years  (not revealing my age) I have not once come across a person using the child harness (leash) in Malaysia. Have only seen it in magazines and movies.

There is another type of harness which is widely used in Malaysia and almost every parent owns one- the 5 point safety harness found in strollers.
In context the safety harness in the stroller and the child leash are the same. Both these baby gears restrict a child's movement. Yet, no one would bat an eyelash if they see a child in a stroller, protesting being strapped in.

Safety first

Society has changed. People have changed and I tremble in fear each time I hear news of a child missing or run down by a vehicle.
I'd rather use a child harness and let others judge me now, instead of regretting it later, that I didn't do everything I could to have kept my child safe.  I have read testimonies of many parents who used to say "I will NEVER use a leash" who are now singing glorious praises about it.
What caught my attention the most is how it's a good tool to have when a young one is learning how to walk. Not only is it good for mummy's back, (bending down holding baby's hand) but it is very helpful for the baby too. Imagine how the poor baby must be feeling having her arms stretched upwards for a long period of time.

I have in my possession a leash which I bought in 2007. I didn't want to take any chances while traveling with my little ones in a foreign land. We went to India with my then, 2 years old and 1 year old. Travelling in Indian trains can be daunting if you are not familiar and fear crowd. The train coaches are very comfortable but not when you are getting off. It's a very overwhelming feeling and you'd feel you are at a mardi gras.

Responsible user.

I think the perception can be changed with the right looking leash and usage. One shouldn't use it as a yanking tool to constantly keep pulling back one's child or use it to discipline a certain behaviour. That is not a sight to see, in fact that's one of the reason why people shy away from child leashes.
I say, use the leash on your daughter (if it is necessary) and still hold her hand. The leash is your insurance to still have a hold on her if she suddenly decides to bolt.

This article was featured in Babytalk Malaysia (July 2013 issue)

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  1. Hmmm...I hv mixed feelings about this..I knw what you use it to teach them to walk or rather a helper..I hv seen European mothers uses them and remembered telling myself I would nvr use tht on my kids. .oh well..

    Like u said. Use it but not to discipline n still hold hands ;-)

    1. Thanks to my new found love-baby wearing, there is no reason for me use the child safety harness now.
      Before baby wearing, it was good when we were traveling in India.

  2. Replies
    1. Missing my baby wrap days. It was a wonderful experience.

  3. just came across this entry...blogwalking , and YES..i agreed with u..despite my husband's protest , i will still buy harness for my baby when she can walk..-- she is now 9 months old . i can't help but remembering the police case where 2 mths old baby was beheaded by the merciless man...goshhh...i even scared to bring my baby anywhere now..:(

    1. Hi there. Thank you for walking over and agreeing. You won't find many people on this side of the world using a safety harness but I am glad you are sticking by your guns and doing what you feel is right.