#48: Safety harness for young children

It’s a real pain to walk with a small child and it can sometimes also be dangerous to negotiate crowded pavements and road crossings. Rather than use the reins which used to be popular (but which seem somewhat punitive/agricultural) here’s an alternative.

A light, nylon harness clips around the child’s body. An extension strap runs down each of the child’s sleeves. This whole thing is cheap enough to be left inside the child’s coat and doesn’t add to the normal level of difficulty getting them dressed to go out.

When walking, the extension straps each have a plastic clip at the end which attaches to a corresponding attachment on a padded wristband worn by the parent. This reduces the required grip and arm tension for the child, when they are being led by the hand.  The clips can be operated by one hand, but not by the child.

This mechanism helps in getting them to walk in the right direction without bending down every five seconds to pick up some gravel or the ubiquitous dog excrement. It’s also strong enough for a parent to arrest a child before they topple over onto the ground or walk out in front of  a car.  In crowded places, I’d suggest that the parent also wear a thigh strap (with clip buckle) so that they can temporarily tether the youngster to them, whilst using both hands to eg fish for keys or cash.

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