In the ongoing debate among parents about the most effective strategies for protecting their children from harm, various measures are considered. These range from installing child safety seats in cars to using outlet covers in the home. However, one safety precaution that has stirred significant discussion is the use of a backpack leash, and one mother, Desiree Hoye, has spoken out in favor of its implementation.

Through the sharing of photographs and personal anecdotes, Hoye has sparked conversations by explaining why she chooses to use a backpack leash with her daughter. Reflecting on her pre-motherhood stance, she acknowledges that she once adamantly declared she would never resort to putting her child on a leash, emphasizing the distinction between children and dogs.

As time passed, Hoye became increasingly aware of a recurring pattern in the news. Each year, stories emerge about incidents that could have been prevented, potentially saving young children from harm, if they hadn’t wandered away from their parents. With data revealing that over 2,000 children go missing every single day, for reasons ranging from accidental animal enclosures to potential kidnappings occurring in mere seconds, Hoye questions whether parents can be faulted for seeking an additional layer of safety for their children.

Hoye justifies her decision to use a leash by highlighting the tendency of young children to wander off and underscoring the significant anxiety associated with a child going missing. She recounts instances where others have made judgmental remarks about her choice, such as saying, “Look at her putting her kid on a leash… What a terrible thing.”

Critics have raised concerns about whether harnesses are suitable for young children. While no concrete data demonstrates that harnesses cause harm when used appropriately, there is also no conclusive evidence that harnesses significantly reduce the amount of injury to children. Often, the debate centers on potential psychological repercussions, especially in cases where children may develop a negative perception of leashes or associate them with dogs.

Parents like Hoye remain steadfast in their belief that leashes are an essential safety measure, despite facing criticism and potential social discomfort. Their priority is the safety of their children, outweighing any judgment or negative comments from others. For Hoye, her decision is rooted in a commitment to ensuring her children’s safety above all else. She would rather endure the discomfort of judgmental stares from strangers than confront the devastating thought of never seeing her child’s adorable face again.

Ultimately, the decision to use a child leash is a personal one, but those considering it should take several factors into account:

Consider the differences between harnesses and backpack leashes, as wrist or hand-hold leashes may require the child’s cooperation, potentially leading to issues.
Ensure you thoroughly read and understand the instructions for proper use to minimize the risk of injury.
Properly adjust the harness or backpack to achieve a balance between comfort and reliability.
Stay informed about any recalls issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Seek input from other parents or guardians who have used the harness or backpack leash you are considering.