kids on leashesWhen I think of a kid on a leash, I am immediately taken to Disney World or some other amusement park. It is scorching hot and people are everywhere — and so are children being lead on a leash by their parents. I do understand the reasoning: the child probably has a penchant for making a run for it or perhaps has special needs. Still, I always feel bad for the child even if the leash they’re wearing has been made to look less restricting in the form of a teddy bear backpack. This is a long debated issue and with a new form of “reins” becoming popular in Britain, the question remains – is leashing your child the “right thing” to do?

The Boomerein — a leash — allows parents to tether their kids to themselves while leaving their hands free.

Inventor Mike Prosser has adapted one of his own creations – a tool belt for people working at height, on roofs or on oil rigs, which prevents tools falling into the sea or hitting co-workers on the head. The Boomerein cord attaches to the “toddler belt” behind the child’s back and winds in and out as they run about, giving them some freedom to roam (up to 90cms) but always within parent control.

The gadget has become popular with some parents but others feel that a good old hand hold and talking to should be able to do the trick. One mother stated:

“Reins remind me of taking a puppy for a walk that needs to be pulled back and taught to keep to heel.“I haven’t had the need to use them myself. It’s much nicer for the child to be holding a hand and therefore learn road safety and about other dangers from their parent or carer walking beside them.”

I am all for prioritizing the safety of children and I’m sure some children really need to be literally reined in. I just hope people stop short of implementing electric fences in their backyards and putting collars on their children. I know fences make good neighbors but do leashes really make good children?

(photo:  rachelbernard / flickr)