Poll: Are Child Harnesses a Smart Parenting Tool -- or an Offensive Leash?

“Ugh, that kid’s on a leash!” Before I became a mom, that was my thought every time I saw a kid in a harness. Fast-forward a few years, though, and my tune changed. “Aww, look at that cute monkey-backpack child harness!” reasoned my mommy brain, desperate to protect her bolting tot from cars and crowds. “You just hold on to the monkey’s tail!”

Sure, it’s a little creepy to use an item typically associated with pets on your kid, but anyone who's had to abandon her luggage in the middle of a busy airport terminal to chase after a loose toddler knows that the idea can grow on you -- even if you previously found it repulsive.

Of course, the judge-y crowd thinks harness-using parents should simply teach their tots to listen (as if!) or keep them strapped in a stroller. But how is that option any better? Kids should be able to walk around, build leg muscles and explore the world around them in a safe way. (Plus, since their little arms are too short to hold your hand comfortably while walking, that little ribbon of fabric saves your aching back!)

What do you think? Are child harnesses a smart safety tool -- or a demeaning device? Take our poll now!


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