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A harness for a child that old ?

Posted by
Jo
(happy_father@hotmail.com) on
Fri, May 11, 01 at 17:37

Looking for a safety harness to keep an escapist toddler secured in the stroller, I discovered a site http://www.dandeecorp.com/ that sells a "small safety harness" for children up to 5 years old, and a "large safety harness" for older children. I wrote them an email and they told me that it was for children up to about 8-10 years old, as many parents had asked for it.

Do you really use a safety harness to secure a child that old at home or on outings ?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Only if you want them to run away from home at 16. Because anyone who is that controlling is going to need industrial strength rebelling against. EXCEPT it may be for older special needs children in which case it may be necessary.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Nope, didnt use it for any age.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

There might be conditions that a child could have which could lead an 8 year old or older to have toddler behaviour and/or a toddler-like (or younger) understanding of the world.

Some people probably do, and probably not by 'choice' so much as necessity. Be thankful the very idea feels so foreign and beyond imagining.

I think if people do, they are probably way too busy to answer one way or the other because it would be incredibly difficult to have to supervise an older child who required that much supervision;
-taylor


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I used a harness on my daughter until she was about 3 1/2, but it was when we were in a crowded place such as a mall, airport, etc. I used it as a safety precaution against getting separated, not to control her. My husband still laughs about how she used to lead ME around!

She was a BIG baby & the one that fit "a skinny child up to age 5" had to be altered to fit her at about age 2. I would have liked the option to get one that actually would have fit her.

As far as the larger sizes go, there ARE (what's the politically correct term now?) mentally challenged children who have the bodies of preteens and the mental capacity of a 2 - 3 year old. A larger sized harness would allow the parents to enjoy an outing with their child without having to be holding on to them at every moment.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

No, never. How about holding their hand and not getting distracted? JMIO.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Maybe for children with certain special needs, but not for the typical 8 year old. If I tried to put a harness on either of my older kids, 7 and 4, I can imagine there would be a coup attempt.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

As a parent--I COULD NEVER enjoy an outing while leading my child around on the end of a rope like an animal--no matter what their age or circumstances. My dd was as active as any child, but it was never, ever too much trouble for me to hold her hand to keep her safe while we shopped, did errands, took walks, etc. Perhaps the difference here is that she was always my number 1 priority--over grocery shopping, purchasing new clothes, chatting with other adults, whatever.

As a teacher, may I say that using a leash to tether your children is setting them up for problems as they enter school. Far better they learn self-control, safety, listening---teachers don't have the luxory of tying up their pupils like parents do, so the child is going to be far less safe in the school environment since they haven't learned appropriate behavior from their parents. I know I didn't express that well, but I hope you get my drift.

TEACH not TIE!


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I know there are places where children are tied together for school outings. Look at the link attached and tell us what you think about such a device made for teachers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Group harness tether for pupils


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I would be careful before becoming so judgemental of some parents that use harnesses to get things done when they have to go out. Some kids have no fear and just run off very quickly. Some parents have more than one child to tend to as well as get their shopping done and often they have one child that don't understand how far away is too far. Also, some children have behavioural problems that make keeping them under controll in public near impossible.

If you have children that dont' have these problems, you need to thank God because not everyone is as lucky as you..


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Did ya ever think the kid is telling you he does not want to go in there? If you must put something in a harness or on a leash, get a dog.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Barb from Cr:
I never liked the idea of "holding a toddler's hand" for extended periods of time. Having one's arm stretched up 180 degrees from the way it would normally hang looks rather uncomfortable.

Deena:
A harness & tether, when used correctly and occasionally has no detrimental effect on a child's development. Have you ever seen the look of raw terror on a mother's face when her child has slipped away in a crowded situation?

Gary:
My daughter NEVER complained about wearing her harness. I explained to her it was to keep her safe. She was given the choice of being carried, a stroller or the harness for about a 1 year period (in crowded situations such as malls or airports). She chose the harness, but got carried whenever she wanted (about 30% of the time). I have a harness & leash for my beagle. It's made for restraint & control, unlike my daughter's was, thank you.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

  • Posted by
    cc
    (cc@aol.com) on
    Tue, May 15, 01 at 20:59

Getting back to the original message: I used a harness for my children, it fit over their arms and zipped up the back and it came with two pieces that attached to the back and had hooks on them so you could hook it to the grocery cart seat, the stroller and even an old fashioned wooden swing my parents held onto from my childhood. I bought it at a department store and I've recently seen them in the baby section at Wal-Mart and Toys R Us. I also bought the "leash" to attach to it when I wanted to take a walk I'd attach one end to their harness and one end to my wrist. I did not feel like I was walking a dog. Most of the time the kids would hold my hand, but when a toddler sees a pretty flower, exciting leaf or cat they rush towards it and this way they could have a little bit of freedom but still be safe. Good luck!


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Have any of you people ever attempted to be the caretaker of a child who has serious developmental disabilities???

Have you ever managed a child with autism? or any number of other things that make their lives different and difficult?

Many of these parents are doing the best they can to keep the child safe, so let not be quite so quick to judge harness for an older or larger child.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Cerebral Palsy is another condition that sometimes prohibits the usual parent/child hand holding. Also, the hyperactive older mentally handicapped child is sometimes quite strong. A harness may be the only answer when taking the child out from the home.

What do you do if you have walking toddler age twins? One in each hand? Pretend you also have to push a stroller with the baby in it. Four arms would be nice. Since that is not an option, I guess the choice is to never go anywhere with them.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I doubt most parents who use the harness use it as you would use a leash on a dog. I have a friend with two children; one is a baby and the other is a toddler. I have been with her when she has taken both kids on errands and put the harness on the toddler (at the time, the kids didn't know me well enough for me to help her either carry the baby or take the toddler's hand). He didn't mind it, and she didn't use it to yank him around. He is one of those kids who is curious and would run down the aisles to look at things. Sure, it would be ideal if she could hold his hand the whole time, but it's impossible to juggle a baby, a toddler, a wallet, and whatever else she was carrying.
Also, what about single parents who need to take their kids on errands because they don't have a partner or babysitter to leave the kids with?
To each his (or her) own - parents who choose to use the harnesses should be given the benefit of the doubt.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I know my mom used the same harness cc mentioned on all three of us (now ages 23, 19 and 7....)and we turned out just fine. The main times I remember her using the harness was in the mall, when we went on train trips to my grandparents' (a train ride from GA to Northern CT, with a stopover in either DC or NYC), or when we were at events that had large crowds. Not only did it give her peace of mind, but it gave us peace of mind, as well. Someone mentioned the terrified look on a mother's face when her child has slipped away - have you ever seen the look on the face of a *child* separated from its mother/father????


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Carlotta

That would be Barb from CT not CR. Where is CR anyway? Frankly, I might feel different if I had more than one child, but I didn't.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

A safety harness for a 10 year old could quite likely be a real safety harness such as an adult would use on a boat in rough weather. We bought one for our 2 year old for sailing, and I made another one for Elizabun, the bunny that came sailing with us. No-one was allowed on deck without a harness (clipped on to the boat) or a lifejacket, and I wore both to set a good example.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

As a single Mom I would do this in a second. Luckily and thankfully, my 2 were not dev. disabled or special needs kids, and I had them 4 years apart so I didn't have two toddlers at the same time.

What I need now is a harness for my 11 yr. old who thinks he is 17. Kidding.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I have never used a harness, but really don't see much wrong with them (just not for a "normal" 8 year old, that's pushing it a bit). I do want say that I absolutely hate the attitude that those who use one treat their children like dogs. We would never dream of strapping a dog down into a stroller. Yet we do it all the time to toddlers. You use a leash on a dog so that it can be free and happy to walk, yet they are safe from cars and their own curiosity. This is the same reason why you would put a toddler on a leash. So why is it a such a great thing for a dog, but such a horrible thing for a toddler? I mean really, a toddler and a dog aren't all that different. I love my 2 year old, but he can sure act like a crazy puppy sometimes, LOL.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I have a 21 year old autistic son whome I have to leash if we go to places with lots of people--he hates you to hold his hand--he doesnt talk and if he got lost it would be quite bad--we use a fancy cat leash on his belt loop in the back--he then just walks along with us all in his own little happy world--yes we get all kinds of looks and comments but until you live in my shoes keep your mouth shut!!Its for his safty and our sanity!!


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Well said, Charity!


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I have never used a harness because i did associate it with pets but i did use a wrist leash. it was about 18 inches long(elasticized)and velcroed around her wrist and mine. it just seemed an extension of holding hands. gave her a little bit more freedom and gave me piece of mind. i usually received a smile and a comment about how nice it was to know your child was safe. also not all business establishments have shopping carts and lugging around a 3 year old and various other items can be difficult. by using the leash my baby girl's safety was still my first priority.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Catalina..i found the wrist leashes a bit dangerous, the harness felt safer (plus both mine liked having both hands free). I love the new leashes that are on a child sized fanny pack


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I have 4 children and I've never used a harness, although there were times when one would have come in handy. I'd much rather see a child (yes, even an 8 year old) harnessed, than seeing a frantic parent searching all over for their child. As long as the harness is being used for safety reasons and not as punishment, I truly see no harm in it. Parents are supposed to protect their children and a harness is a protective device. Some might say "If you have to harness them, then obviously they don't want to go with you." So what if they don't want to be there? Many times in life we all must do things we really don't want to. And believe it or not, not every parent has the resources available to leave their children behind when they venture out in public. To each their own, I say. If you don't like harnesses, don't use them. If you can't stand to see a child harnessed, by all means, God gave you a neck, so use it and look the other way.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I've 3 children 3, 5 and 8 years old and I use a harness on all of them sometimes. I'd rather have my 8 yo in a harness than lost.
Having the children on a harness doesn't mean I just want to lead them around. I also hold their hands when possible, but they are times when you have to release their hands to grab something, and here come the risk if they don't wear a harness as a safety backup.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

When I was a (foolish) teenager I remember seing parents at the mall with their child in a harness and I thought it was horrible. After I grew up and had two kids close together in age I was considering and looking for a harness for both of them (particularly when I took them to the fairs). In the end I ended up not getting one and now they're a bit older...3 and 5. But I wouldn't hesitate to use one now or anytime I felt it was necessary.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I didn't use a harness for my son, but that doesn't mean I am against them. It is up to the parents to decide what is best for their child. I would never judge a parent without the whole story first.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

My aunt has twin 4 year old boys and one is autistic. I sure wouldn't have a problem with her using a harness on her autistic child, it's scary how quickly he can get away.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I looked at that picture on the link above for that group harness. Those kids looked like Alaskan Sled Dogs. It made me want to call my mother and thank her for never using a harness on me. Then again I, nor my sibblings were prone to wandering off.

But it is reasonable to use a harness on an older child with a disability. I understand that the purpose is to keep the child safe.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I decided to look at the group harness after reading the above post. After going on preschool field trips wiht 3 and 4 yr olds I think it is a wonderful idea.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I looked at the same pictures and saw absolutely no resemblence tp Alaskan Sled dogs or any thing of the sort. I saw a very happy child that has a little freedom, but not so much as to worry the parents.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I used to be a preschool teacher, and I would have gladly used a group harness for field trips, if one had been available! It would have been a lot safer for the kids- they sure can get away quickly!


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I have one where one end goes around my son's wrist and the other around my wrist. I use it when we water the flowers out front because we live on a pretty busy residential street. I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I'm sure there are good reasons when a parent uses a harness for an older child.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I didn't read all the posts but I feel if you need a harness to keep track of your kids, then maybe you shouldn't have kids. Hold their hands. If they can't sit still at 5, they are going to have a heck of a time in school.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I would suggest reading the posts before making such a 'blanket' statement such as that.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

And I would suggest anyone that makes such harsh comments, especially when they have not read all the post should not have kids beacuse they would set a horrible example


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Kelli - People should not have children if they plan to use harnesses? Nobody 'plans' to use them. Where is your logic?


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

So sorry, I have seen tonnes of people in the mall with harness. Not watching their children and getting tangled up.
As far as group harnesses, I would never put my child in a preschool/daycare that did not have a safe parent/child ratio for outings.
I have 2 very active children and never used a harness. They know they have to stay near me, my youngest is always holding my hand. If they don't stay with me, we leave.
I feel if you use a harness, you don't teach the child anything. This is my opinion.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I would like to point a few things out about holding a young child's hand.For one, I have a friend in the medical field,he tells me he sees quite a few people with young childern who have dislocated the child's arm.When asked how it happend,they say they were just walking holding hands when the child tripped or tried to run.The child's arm twisted and it was pulled out.And they are always surprised at how fast and easy it happend.I have seen this many times my self.Parents who have childern in hand and the child's arm twisted because they were pulling them up a curb or pulling them back from a run or whatever.One other point childern like to be able to use thier hands to explore.With a harness you still have them linked to you and they are free to use both hands.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

No one I know uses a harness and none of their children have had dislocated body parts due to hand holding.
I think if children have both hands free to explore, chances are they will find something they aren't supposed to touch. I personally know someone who almost got his finger cut off because his mom wasn't watching where his hands were.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Kelli,

My BIL dislocated his shoulder TWICE as a kid this way.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Keli--read my other post--I use a leash on my 21 yr old autistic child--if I didnt we would never go anywhere-- itis very dangerous for him if we dont--he is a runner--he doesnt talk--if he got lost what then--we use it for his own safty--dont make blanket statements you know nothing of!!


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I know of 2 children who have dislocated their elbows that way, when it happens to the elbow it is called nursemaids elbow and is very common.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

All I said was "I" didn't know anyone that had harmed their child by holding their hands. As for Charity's autistic child, that is completely different. My friend also has an autistic child, although mildly, she is not on a leash, but as you said your child was a runner, my friend's is not. My opinion is my own, obviously. I would not put my child on a leash, my dog, yes, my child, no.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

As far as the hand holding thing, I have a 2 year old and a 6 month old and if we go somewhere - walking into a store for example, my DH carries the baby and I hold the 2 year old's hand. There are times when he says "ow mommy" because I am holding his hand too tight, or I feel like I am going to twist his arm off b/c he spins around to look at another kid or a car coming. We usually use our double stroller if we go anywhere, but I can certainly see why a harness would come in handy, especially if you are out w/ more than one kid alone!


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

If you think about it, isn't a parent's hand just a shorter leash? Don't get me wrong, I love holding my 2-year old son's hand or holding him in my arms, but sometimes he doesn't want that. Childhood is a time of learning to be independent and free-thinking. I would ruin that (and undermine my child's growth and self-esteem) if I forced him to stay constantly pinned to my side. One of the wonderful things about toddlers is their curiosity to explore and discover the world around them. If I were to tether him to my side or in a stroller all the time, then I would squash that wonderful curiosity. If you ask me, harnesses actually give children freedom. And it gives parents peace of mind. It's a wonderful balance between what the parent wants and what the child wants. Isn't that what parenting is all about?


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I have been noticing lately, due to this post, people who have their children on harnesses. The parents aren't really watching their child. They know the child can't go anywhere but the child on the leash is touching things and getting in to trouble and the parent just lets it happen. The children run ahead and cut people off and the leash gets in the way. I haven't seen anyone use the leash responsibly. I guess to me it is like those long retractable leashes dog owners use so they can walk on the side walk while their dog does his job in everyone's yards.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I have a harness for my both 7 years old twin daugthers that I use each time we go shopping.
It's for their safety, not because I don't want to watch them.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

If a parent chooses to use a harness it's no one else's business. If parents use them to be able to NOT watch their own children then that's their problem. It all boils down to a safety issue. If there are parents who won't watch their own kids then the harness is probably a good idea in one respect. I think in this day and age where kidnapping, etc are all around a harness on a small or disabled child is a godsend otherwise we would all end up locking ourselves in our homes or doing nothing but watching every step our children take for fear they will be snatched away or put into danger by their curiousity.
To each his own on what parents think is best for their own children.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

We have 2 kids. Blake who is 14, and Brandyn who is 13. We have seen the child harnesses (like the one at www.dandeecorp.com), and would never use one of these on any of our kids.

When we are out somewhere, we like to keep our kids with us; so if we are at a grocery store, my husband and I each take a shopping cart, and we put Blake in the seat on one, and Brandyn in the seat of the other one. We have also purchased a Baby Jogger Twinner II stroller a few years ago, and have been using that when we are in a store that does not have shopping carts, or if only one of us is out with the kids. The Baby Jogger is the perfect stroller for older kids. It has large, comfortable seats, and also has 5 point harnesses (2 shoulder straps, a waist strap, and a strap that goes between their legs).

Blake is very cooperative, and as soon as we get the stroller out of the trunk, he will jump in, and strap himself in, and I just pull his harness tight on him. Although he can strap himself in, he cannot unfasten the harness, which is a great thing! Brandyn, on the other hand, has to be picked up, sat in the stroller, and held in the seat until the harness is fastened on him. He was always getting out of the last stroller that we had, but once he is strapped in the Twinner, he cant get out.

I think that you should get a stroller for your 8 year old instead of a leash/harness.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Wow, what a loaded topic! I used a harness for my 2 year old son when we went out to the mall which was rare. At the same time I had my infant daughter to take care of as well. My son is ADHD and was always very lively, he would run and hide under the clothes racks, etc. He seemed to like his harness and would kind of lean on it and rest sometimes. He never fought me when I put it on him. I tried the wrist tether but he hated it because he liked having his hands free.

My husband NEVER shopped with me, hated it. Leaving the children with him when they were little just invited disaster. The house would be totaled when I got home because he would let them do anything they wanted and no one cleaned up. I took the kids with me out of self defense. I had a double stroller but it was just too big to use in stores.

My daughter rarely strayed from my side so she never needed the harness and I never even considered it for her. Different kids, different needs. The harness was never a punitive thing, in fact the only time it was in use was to go someplace fun like the mall so I expect that it had a positive association attached to it.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Now I'm confused... you use a stroller for 13 and 14 year old kids? How exactly is that any better than a harness?


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

the post about a 13 and 14 yr old in a stroller has to be a joke. I know I had a hard time finding a stroller that will hold a child over 40 lbs so I seriously doubt that there is one out there that would hold 2 teenage boys. I also doubt that any teenage boy would sit in a stroller. If it is true then it is very said that those 2 boys are being abused in such a way.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

A "stroller" for a 13-14 year old would cease to be a stroller, I think. Calling it a wheelchair would be more appropriate.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Sha lyn, I wondered if that poster left out information about her sons' disabilities that would have explained why they are still in a stroller.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Talley Sue... if her sons were disabled don't you think they would be in a wheel chair?
Like I said before I really think it is a joke since they do not even make strollers that would hold one much less 2 teenagers. The only other thing I can think of is that she did not mean 13 and 14 but that she has one 4 yr old and one 3 yr old. She also said she puts them is the grocery carts. Still if she really only made a msitake and doesn't have teenagers wouldn't she correct the mistake?


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

13 AND 14? That just does not seem right. I have an 8 year old daughter, and a 10 year old son, and they have not rode in a stroller every time that we would go out since they were 3. Even at age 3, they knew how to unfasten the straps, and climb out.

I also could not picture a 14 year old in a grocery cart. Sometimes when we are at the store, my 10 year old will want to ride in the cart so he can play his Game Boy while I shop. He is small for his age, only weighing about 50 Lbs, and his legs barely fit through the leg holes on the cart. I do not know how a 14 year old could even come close to fitting in those small seats.

I would have to believe that it is either a typing mistake (she may have ment 1-3 year old (as in one 3 year old) and the same for 1-4 year old).


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Hi.
I don't have an opinion here nor there since my children are not "harness-aged", and I mean no disrepect to parents of children with disabilities but . . . . .
whenever I read these posts I just keep thinking of that Saturday Night Live episode with Mike Myers portraying a hyperactive child. He is in a harness chained to the jungle gym. In the skit he states that "one time, the car broke down so my mom gave me a Coke and a Snickers and I towed it home!"
I'll probably take some heat for this but I'm sure some will appreciate!


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Beaner, I saw that skit. It was hilarious. My brother (now almost 32) was a hyperactive child, and so were many of my friends. We see the humor and are not offended.
I agree with what was said before about different children having different needs. My mother sometimes wishes she had had a harness for my oldest brother because he was ADHD, had no fear, and just loved to run off to other people. Even today, he loves to strike up a friendly conversation with anyone he sees. He was kept under control once he was told to hold hands with my other brother (now 30) who wouldn't leave mom's side. Then, when I came along (I'm 23), I wasn't the type that was comfortable if mom or dad weren't in my sight. Plus, I had 2 older brothers watching.
It all depends on the child. To each his own.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

The 13 and 14 year old story IS a joke! For one reason you could never get a 13 or 14 year old to sit in a seat and stay. And for another they would not fit in a seat made for young children :o)
The person that wrote about the 13 and 14 year old said nothing about the boys having any sort of disabilities.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I'm wondering if these kids are maybe 13 and 14 months old.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I think she was pretty clear on the ages 13 and 14... I am wondering if she meant when they were smaller that is what she used but her wording seems to indicate she means that she uses them now. It could be just a fake post though too. Unless they are disabled there is no reason to have a 13 or 14 year old is a stroller.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I think it is 13 & 14 years old, because first when you have children, or they are the same age, or their is at least 9 months between them.

Strollers for children that old exist. Look at the link.

I've already seen a 12 or 13 years old child with a broken leg, harnessed in this stroller with the 5 points harness

Here is a link that might be useful: maclaren major 2000


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Well, if she was serious about them being 13 or 14 years old, it seems that she would have pointed out that there was a special reason for the kids to be in the stroller - I mean, what are the chances that BOTH boys had broken legs and were harnessed in a stroller? If such a case existed, I'm pretty sure the parent would have said why the boys were harnessed in it.

As far as the boys being 13 and 14 months, unless one of them was adopted it seems kinda fishy to me too. I think the poster was just trying to put one over on everyone.

Pam


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

french_papa that link you posted clearly stated it is designed for children with special needs. Remember she also said both children ride in the seats in shopping carts. This would be impossible for a teenager to do unless they were very small due to health problems, dwarfism (sp?) or something like that.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

Yes! As a mother of a disabled child that has trouble staying with an adult this is wonderful!! If you have never had one like this you don't know what us that do have go through. The prices that we have to pay for these type of children are really high and it is hard to find things like these. I'm so thankful that there are those that do thank of us that have these type of kids to love. Yes, we teach them to walk and stay close by but some of these kids don't understand everything no matter how old they are. As one person has said, don't say anything unless you have walked a "mile" in our shoes. You can't group everyone in one pile and say that because we have to use these type of items we are bad parents. We know our child and know that for their safety and others these type of things are needed.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

c'mon... why bring up a post that is SEVEN YEARS OLD?


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

My neighbor had a harness for her son. He was 'wild'. At age 6, he wriggled out of his booster seat/seat belt and crawled to the front of the car and started yanking on the stick shift--while she was going 65 down I75.

Another time, he was cooking dinner and thought he was watching tv in the next room, until a neighbor called saying her son was on the roof.

He'd also run in parking lots and there were a number of near misses. She always had trouble putting groceries in the car. If she put kept him by her side, he'd run off; if she had him put the bags in the car, he'd spill one and run off; if she put him in first, he'd wriggle out of the car and run off. Not to be malicious, just to be funny, it was a game.

SHe got a harness.

A year or so later, he was screened for lead poisoning. He was off the charts in danger so full of lead was his brain. They have no idea how he got it in a middle class Richmond VA suburb, his sister was clean, but he was full of lead. He had blood chelation. It helped.

The harness likely kept him alive. It certainly saved his mother's sanity.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I have a 10 year old son that is very determined to explore by running off. He is autistic and very curious and very fast. He is also hard to keep next to you. Recently he got away from me and I had the whole store looking for him, the police found him at a McDonald restaurant with his shoes off and coat off 4 blocks away. He was only out of my site for a moment and was able to get away and do his thing very quickly.
I know this sounds very bad on my part, but I am a responsible parent and take good care of him I was frantic and in tears that he had disappeared so quickly! I found this site when I searched for a harness to fit him. But now I see that some people think that it just is not necessary and is cruel and inhumane, but it will keep him alive and safe next to me. He is forceful and determined and now that he is older I see no other solution to the problem other then daycare and too me daycare will take a necessary life experience away from him and isolate him even more so I struggle with that idea, but want the best for him. Writing on his T-Shirt my cell phone number and to call me if seen by himself was another solution I thought of, but I fear this would be a creep magnet. So far the leash is the best option that I can tell.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

I have a 5 year old autistic son. I think harnesses for children with special needs, and children who are runners are wondeful. My son has gotten away from me three times. Everyone of those times I had been holding his hand. One was when I was walking him out to the car, one was at the park and one was in CVS. Do you have any idea how heartbreaking it is to not even be able to take your child to the park to play or to the zoo or anywhere else for that matter because if you let go of him for a even second he will bolt? If you have ever been around an sutistic child you know how strong and fast they are. My son does not understand, "stop and wait". To make matters worse, I have a bad leg so I can not run after him. If anyone ever makes any ugly comments to me about using a harness on my son, I ask them if they have ever raised an autistic child. These are the same people who blame parents when an autistic or special needs child gets hurt or lost. If you have never had to use a harness on your child, then count youself lucky. Some of us gave birth to children aren't perfectly developed. I am sorry. I am just so sick of people who are so judgemental. Each one of you should be made to be incharge of a special needs child for a week 24/7. I am sure you will change your opionion on how hard it is for some people to raise their child and keep them safe. Get off your high horses people.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

It's so easy for someone who doesn't have a child with special needs, especially autism, to be so judgemental. I read someone's post that commented, "how about just holding their hand and not being distracted" What? You can be holding their hand, not be distracted and they can easily pull away from you, especially if they are older and they are not aware or have understanding of how this could be dangerous for them. Some children with autism, no matter how bright they are, and they are bright, have low impulse control, no natural fear of getting hurt and if they are older and strong, can easily escape their parents grasp of their hand. I know, my son has done it before. I am taking him to Disney and I don't care how many people stare at me for having a harness on him. I would rather have that, have us both enjoy our time, then he be lost, snatched or dead because he got into some machinery there. Read the news and see how many kids with autism are wandering risks and then be judgemental about how parents with special needs kids do these things to keep their kids safe.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

A 7 year old autistic boy just wandered off into the woods in my area this weekend, when his dad turned his back on him for a few seconds when they were in their back yard. Luckily there was a massive manhunt and they found him the next morning, cold and wet in 50 degree weather, but otherwise OK.

While I think the concept of a "child harness" is absolutely insane for a non special-needs kid, hey who are we to tell anyone with an autistic child how to keep their child safe? I can only imagine how hard it must be, without having uninformed people passing judgement on you for something they have no freaking clue about.


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RE: A harness for a child that old ?

For a kid without special needs (autism, extreme ADHD, lead poisoning), I think using a harness may qualify as lazy or paranoid. Children without special needs can (and need to) learn how to control their own behavior to the point where they can be safely taken to a variety of ordinary public places.

But like Mkroopy said -- Kids with special needs are a whole 'nother ballgame. Fortunately, my autistic son was not a runner; and my ADHD son was a low-risk kid who never strayed far. But for those kids who *are* runners -- and I've seen more than a few -- a harness is about the only way (certainly the most humane way) to take these kids anywhere.

And 'lazy' is a word that simply has no place in the vocabulary of a special needs parent. We might *dearly want* to be lazy for an afternoon, but we know it will never, ever be possible...


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