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To ask "Whatever happened to reins?"

(65 Posts)
Lucia39 Sun 07-Jun-09 10:45:44

I regularly see very young children roaming, apparently, unattended around large supermarkets and stores, or wandering down busy streets, often several yards behind their parents/carers.

So what has happened to leading reins and harnesses? I remember that just after the Bulger case there was a sudden increase in sales but in recent years they appear to almost non-existent.

Harnesses are also an excellent means of containing young children in the appropriately designed supermarket trolleys, rather than the current trend of letting them sit in large trolleys.

So why don't more parents seem to use them? Or are they now, in our PC obsessed world, viewed as a Human Rights abuse of youngsters?

HumphreyCobbler Sun 07-Jun-09 10:46:58

I use them.

some folk disapprove, I suspect they never gave birth to a bolter

thesockmonsterofdoom Sun 07-Jun-09 10:48:12

I use a back pack thingy with a strap on it, dd will nbot wear reins but loves her little bag.

ThePhantomPlopper Sun 07-Jun-09 10:48:16

I used the backpacks with reins attached with my DS and I fully intend to with DD when she starts walking.

CherryChoc Sun 07-Jun-09 10:50:05

I don't know, I thought you could get "fun" ones now with a backpack for the toddler to wear so that they think it's a fun toy rather than a restraining device (grin).

I've already got some (handed down from somebody) and my DS is only 8 months old! I think we might get some different ones though, I like the backpack type ones.

pjmama Sun 07-Jun-09 10:50:59

With my twins they were an absolute necessity! Otherwise they bolt in opposite directions and you have to decide which one you like best that day... wink

thisisyesterday Sun 07-Jun-09 10:51:23

i don't think it's anything to do with being PC.

some peoiple use them, some people don't.

I had some for ds1 but never needed them because he never ran off, always stayed near me. sometimes he used to walk off ahead of me, sometimes he would be a bit slower, or stop to look at things, but I always kept an eye on him and he was fine.

In my mind it was preferable that he learnt to walk nicely by himself and had a bit of freedom than had the reins on. plus, when i tried them on him he just hung off them and refused to walk lol;

Now, if only I could do the same with ds2! He IS a runner-offer and I do use the reins with him because otherwise he'd be off like a shot lol.
I let him walk freely if it's jus tme and him (no buggy, no ds1 and not heavily pregnant lol) because, as I said before I do think it's nice for them to be able to explore their environment freely. But I wouldn't let him do that at the expense of his safety

smallorange Sun 07-Jun-09 10:53:43

I've never used them but walk everywhere with the kids. Do carry out thorough road training with them as soon as they start walking though.

Harnesses just caused no end of frustration and tantrums.

I think it's far safer to have a child who has been taught to stay close and taught to wait and take your hand when crossing the road.

They are city kids and, aged 2.5 and 5, are pretty good on roads now (I keep the two-year-old within grabbing distance though!)

crokky Sun 07-Jun-09 10:55:57

Both mine (3 and 1) go on reins. I think some people think of them like having children on leads like dogs, but personally, I take the safe option.

My DS is only just 3 and his speech and understanding are like that of a 2yo. He looks like a 5yo as he is massive so I am sure that I get some judgey looks!

SoupDragon Sun 07-Jun-09 10:56:53

smallorange, it depends on the child. You can't teach road safety to a bolter.

Ninkynork Sun 07-Jun-09 10:56:57

I couldn't manage without mine near roads, DS is car-obsessed, thinks they're toys and would be straight under the nearest wheels if I let him.

That said, he adores pushing his pushchair so when we're out in the town centre he looks for all the world like a beautifully obedient toddler and I smugly rejoice in the looks of envy we get. I always wondered with DD what the secret was to getting your child to hold on, now I know.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 07-Jun-09 11:02:30

smallorange my son just runs! I have taught him repeatedly to stay by my side etc but he always needs reminding.

on several occasions he would have escaped into traffic had he not had reins. i dread to think of what might have happened

no reins is an unacceptable risk, especiaaly when out with both children

smallorange Sun 07-Jun-09 11:08:49

Sorry if that sounded a bit smug - I have friends whose kids leg it at the first opportunity and can see the benefit of reins in those circumstances.

Am about to have no.3 so may find myself purchasing some reins this time next year!

onagar Sun 07-Jun-09 11:11:42

I loved reins. It lets them have some freedom of movement in situations where otherwise you'd be yanking them along by the hand.

If they never tried to wander off and explore I'd be a bit worried. Especially in a shop full of new and exciting things.

Lucia39 Sun 07-Jun-09 11:16:19

So there is a slight PC element here - hence these new back-packs which, from what has been described, appear to be reins but in a different guise? Neither can I believe that a young child is dictating and won't wear reins - I'd just make her or refuse to take her out!

I always found reins excellent for a young child because if he stumbled I could prevent him falling flat on his face. They were also a very good deterrent for poor behaviour "Behave or I'll make you wear the reins"!

burningupinspeed Sun 07-Jun-09 11:19:24

I use them (normal reins) if remotely near a road, traffic etc. Otherwise DS is very good at holding hands and doesn't leave my side, nevermind leave my sight. Or, he is in a pushchair/trolley at the shops. Would not dream of letting him wander freely, far too PFB for that

StealthPolarBear Sun 07-Jun-09 11:24:32

well we lost ours for a month or so - that's what happened to ours
Not sure if DS will accept them again but going to give them a go this afternoon

TrillianAstra Sun 07-Jun-09 11:54:47

Some people think it is chavvy. (heard it expressed on here before)

"Neither can I believe that a young child is dictating and won't wear reins - I'd just make her or refuse to take her out!"

But if you have a choice of reins-that-look-like-reins and a screaming wiggling fighing child, vs reins-that-look-like-a-backpack and a (relatively) compliant child, which would you pick?

Meglet Sun 07-Jun-09 12:03:05

We have the backpack reins for ds and will get some for dd soon. I wouldn't even walk across a supermarket car park without them. He has been told about road safety a million times, but as he's 2.6 he's not going to understand it just yet.

And he carries a drink, snack, nappy + couple of wipes in his backpack grin.

ABetaDad Sun 07-Jun-09 12:04:02

YANBU - I think they wre essential with DS1 and DS2. It is impossible to give 100% attention to a 4 yr old and a toddler, a pram, shopping and so on.

It just takes moment to lose them or find them wandering behind a reversing car.

Describing them as chavvy is ridiculous - wanting to keep a child safe is just being a good parent. I see too many parents keeping older children in pushchairs to stop them wandering which is far worse. They need the excercise - reins are a good compromise.

Backpacks sound fun too, what about wrist straps if reins are not acceptable?

bronze Sun 07-Jun-09 12:04:25

I've used them and will again if needs be jut don't have one who needs them at the moment

makipuppy Sun 07-Jun-09 12:05:48

Perhaps bizarrely, I remember my reins with great fondness. It was a baby blue leather chest harness with a furry lining and a sheep on the front. I can't wait to buy some for my bump.

Much nicer than holding my mother's hand, which was always high, a bit grippy and very fast-moving. And if I tripped she would lift up the reins and I would surf the puddle! Lovely.

Why ever not?

Linnet Sun 07-Jun-09 12:07:22

For my dd1 I never needed reins as she always held someones hand and walked beside us, never ran away.

Dd2 was totally different. We bought reins for her when she was 16 months becase we were going to Florida on holiday and knew that she would want out of the buggy to roam but worried about losing her in the crowds as she didn't like to hold hands. they worked brilliantly, she didn't mind them and so many people asked us where we had got them and told us what a good idea they were. I don't think they have them in the states as we didn't see anyone else with a pair the whole time we were there.

I don't see the problem with them personally, I think others see them as treating children like animals and keeing them chained up in a way, but to me it's a matter of safety.

pinkstarfish Sun 07-Jun-09 12:09:39

I totally agree Lucia39, it is something that you tend not see so much of anymore, and I also hate it when I see very young children lagging behind their parents, often on pavements by busy roads shock

I don't leave the house without the reins for my DC smile

LeonieSoSleepy Sun 07-Jun-09 12:11:36

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