I have never used a safety restraint on any of my children.


But then again, I have never felt that I've had to. 


I was one of those people who would have turned my nose up at the idea BEFORE I had children. 'They are children, not dogs', I would think to myself as I imagined my perfect future children walking nicely beside me as we strolled through meadows hand in hand. 


Three children later, I totally get it and I've had to eat my words. Nobody tells you that you will spend 99% of your time stopping your toddler from killing themselves.


These wiggly little bundles of fun are unpredictable and prone to sudden outbursts of hide and seek. Our family circumstances mean that we have never really ventured anywhere that may have merited a safety harness (or 'reins' as many call them), however, I can completely see how in many circumstances they are very useful. 


This dad agrees. His post on Facebook went viral recently as he defended his choice to use one. Clint Edwards, from the US, said he put his three-year-old daughter Aspen on a leash while visiting the farmer's market last week. He said he was blown away by the number of dirty looks he received:


"I've no shame. She's a wild child, and this thing has already kept her out of the road and from sticking her hand in an ice cream machine, along with keeping me sane. The real difficulty with having a wild child is that you are damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Because the fact is, if I didn't put Aspen on a leash while at amusement parks, the zoo, a crowded mall, or the farmers market, she'd be the lost child announced over the intercom. She'd be the kid popping up in every Facebook feed for wandering into a shopping centre parking lot, unattended. She could be the child climbing into the tiger cage. Because I can't, for the life of me, keep her from moving."



But many have judged him harshly for his stance on the issue. 


I can understand why it is extremely important to allow your child to learn self-control, rather than being pulled back whenever they make off towards the sweet shop, but equally on a busy road when they are at an age when jumping under a car seems like massive fun - there is a place for it. 


Other times when safety is of more concern than simply teaching them a lesson include, travelling in busy airports or in new cities. Obviously, the decision to use one should also age-related - seeing a six-year-old trailing along on a lead is hardly a positive thing for their development of impulse control (or their confidence)


But enough of the judging - we are all just doing the best that we can!


What do you think mums - do you use a safety harness on your child? We would love to hear your views.