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Can I use a harness on my toddler in Italy ?

Can I use a harness on my toddler in Italy ?

Aug 20th, 2002, 06:51 PM
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We are leaving for our third trip with our toddler and our first trip with our 20 month old. We have used a harness many times over there as well as the U.S. We have never had an issue, although once in a long while there will be an obnoxious, non-parent, with a smart mouth comment. Who cares! Our child has always been safe and happy because she can move under her own steam. The harness has given us a lot of comfort in dangerous or crowded situations. Walk in peace and know there will always be people who make comments no matter what you do!
Aug 20th, 2002, 06:51 PM
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Harnesses in any country appall me. And I've NEVER seen anyone in Europe using one. I asked Italian friends of mine recently relocated to the States what they thought, and they were appalled too - that would have been my instinct, given the Italians' love of children.

I see no need for a kids' leash in Italy. We took ours all over Italy in strollers and on foot. Sure, we slowed down the pace of our travels, but we never felt the need to tie them to a leash. Traveling abroad with kids does require constant vigilence - the kind that having kids on a leash won't mitigate for the most part.

It's inhumane and it looks HORRID! Any self-respecting parent will put the kid in a backpack or in a stroller or just decide to walk slowly.

Leashes are for dogs. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you are approached by Italians reprimanding you. The Italians I know would never subject their kids to such treatment.
Aug 20th, 2002, 07:11 PM
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My Mother thinks child car seats are inhumane and look horrid - strap the toddler in, can't move, what do you do if they cry, are hungry. Poor little things. She believes in car travel the way she did it - no seat belts, hold the child in your lap. Doesn't matter how many times we explain to her that they save lives, reduce injuries. She is just set in her ways - old fashioned.

While I personally wouldn't have wanted to use a harness, I can see that in Italy on vacation where drivers drive crazy, streets are narrow, it might come in handy.
Aug 20th, 2002, 07:25 PM
Safety First
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To OhGODNo, why you may think they look horrid, the fact is the child has a lot mroe freedom while walking in a harness than they do being dragged along by their parents hand - not to mention its quite easy for child to pull away from their parents grip which can be quite dangerous near busy Italain roads.
Aug 20th, 2002, 07:59 PM
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Obviously, it's too late for this, but personally, I would never have wasted my money going to Europe dragging my two small children who will gain almost nothing from the experience. Add that to how much it will detract from your good time, and I see a big waste of money. Sorry, JMO.

Our kids will be 5 and 7 next year, and we are just now thinking about taking them to Europe, and even then only because we have friends in England to stay with, and FF miles to get most of us there. Ours have been very happy at home with Aunt Gail and Grammy, while we enjoyed spending our hard earned money and vacation time together as adults in what is mostly an adult destination. Why not just go to a nice beach somewhere?

OK, I'm ready to get flamed.
Aug 20th, 2002, 09:26 PM
Mark From Minnesota
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Mom ([email protected]),

I'm glad that I could help. It is a tough decision that is obviously a heated topic. Do whatever you feel is best.

I'll be pushing my two liitle ones in a stroller all over Italy beginning in a month from now.

All the best to you and your family on your trip.
Aug 21st, 2002, 12:56 AM
anglo saxon living in italy
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it is a great question - the italians who love their children will think it barbaric to see your children on a lease -they wont say anything - at least not in florence where I am based but it will raise a few eye brows..most tourists and Italian mums use strollers and in most Italian cities (not venice though) there is room for strollers
Aug 21st, 2002, 01:06 AM
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Yes some Italians may find it barbaric but most wouldn't bat an eye at a child not in a car seat either. So should we all do as the Italians do or should we do what we can to protect our children? I for one will use a car seat or booster for my children. My children will never go in a car with my in laws or my sister in law because they feel if there is a another person in the car they do not need to use the car seat. Oh, my sister in law is a neurosurgeon. You would think she would know better but it is the Italian way of doing things.

Harness or wrist leashes are great for children who are runners. I for one care more about my children's safety than I do about what someone I will never see again in my life would think.
Aug 21st, 2002, 01:21 AM
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I do not want to scare you, but I had a friend some years ago (before we even seemed to have as many threats to children as today)who had a beautiful baby in her stroller as she checked in at Heathrow and in seconds someone grabbed the stroller and ran with it. She chased him and screamed and other people helped to stop him . You need to keep your hand on the stroller at all times, especially in a crowded airport.
Aug 21st, 2002, 04:06 AM
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Toddlers are inquisitive and active. They are certainly healthier if they are allowed to use their legs.
I'd advise taking a back carrier and some kind of harness. Anyone who's actually had children will have had a least one heart-stopping moment when they've been distracted for an instant and the child has wandered off.
In the UK we still remember the murder of James Bulger who was taken away hand in hand with two boys who then killed him. CCTV footage show his mother just letting go of his hand for an instant.
Aug 21st, 2002, 04:34 AM
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I never used harnesses or wrist lines with any of my kids and we travelled all over Europe, but in retrospect it wouldn't have been such a bad idea sometimes. Just be sure that it doesn't make you 'lazy': 'tommy's on the line so it's OK' and he goes off the sidewalk or too close to the revolving door or falls in the fountain... It may give you a false sense of security. Don't worry too much about kidnapping, as the chances are minute and you will not sleep for years if you get obsessed with it, but do have your toddler in a stroller, back carrier, or hand firmly in yours when walking on city streets, in stores, and near water!
Aug 21st, 2002, 04:37 AM
Alice Twain
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you may think that it is inhouman to use a harness on a child, but it is actually a not only a handy solution but it also feels comfortable to the child, who can walk in a n almost complete freedom, withouth beeing dragged around, but at the same time not only under the control of the adult in charge but also beeing kept from falling down (even when not in the crowds). They may be out of fashion, but they are still a great solution for indipendent children who have just started to walk but alread crave the freedom to roam around without being restricted or directly controlled.
Aug 21st, 2002, 10:54 AM
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The first time I ever saw a harness was on a kid was in Europe and I thought "what a fantastic idea". The kid gets to walk unhindered but is still under the parent's control. Do some of these anti harness idiots really believe it is more comfortable do be dragged around by the arm - think about it! And some places do not permit stollers.
A friend of mine got a harness for her child after she had to release her hand for 1 sec and the kid promptly disappeared for a heart stopping 10 minutes. Safety is considerably more important than appearance.
Aug 21st, 2002, 11:11 AM
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I contemplated using a harness when I went to Ireland last fall with my 1 1/2 year old. I didnt bring one, but instead my husband and I took turns pushing him in the buggy or holding him.

I think it is a great idea and I can think of many times we could have used such a device. Most of the tourist traps/sights that we went to were downright hazerdess to toddlers or small children. In fact I am amazed that they are even allowed to enter some of the castles we visited. Very bad idea!

Take your Harness and be proud to use it. It shows that you are a responsible parent.
Aug 21st, 2002, 12:30 PM
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Do they make harnessess for husbands?
My old man is always wandering off...
Aug 21st, 2002, 01:46 PM
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I do not have children, so take this with a grain of salt. . .

I would say you should be able to use a harness if you want, but my personal opinion is that it gives a false sense of security if you're truly worried about your child's safety. I think it would make me be a little more carefree, thinking the child couldn't get lost; however, I think a deviant child thief/molester could cut that rope in a milli-second and be off with your child if you weren't paying very close attention.

On the other hand, if you're comfortable using the harness, and you're sure you'd be just as careful with it, who cares what people will think. This isn't a matter of wearing the right shoes or the right color jeans - this is the life of your child. Imagine if your child were to get lost or, God forbid, taken, you'd never forgive yourself for feeling foolish about the use of a harness.

Good luck, I hope you find the answer you're looking for!
Aug 21st, 2002, 02:35 PM
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To those of you against harnesses: did you ever try to walk with your arm up for 2-3 hours? Just imagine that poor child's arm being constantly pulled up by a parent. How long will the child take it even in familiar surrounding? Harness stops this kind of abuse.
Aug 21st, 2002, 03:08 PM
babies traveling
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Speaking as someone who never traveled internationally until I was a young adult & able to pay my own way... I question taking babies and toddlers to Europe at all. But then again I am a single woman and not a parent.
Aug 21st, 2002, 04:53 PM
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babies travelling,

While you have every right to own and express your opinion, it doesn't answer the question posed or directly relate to the thread as it evolved.

I don't know if you've read much of this forum but raising the "Do Kids Deserve to Be In Europe Interfering with MY Holiday" issue is akin to fueling a brush fire.
Aug 21st, 2002, 05:16 PM
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"Mom" who asked the question was not going on holiday; she was going to a family wedding. Debating the right or wrong of taking a child on vacation misses the point completely.

Two things I have learned as a parent:

1. Every child is different. Each parent figures out what suits each child, depending on the child's activity level and the balance of safety and comfort. One of mine could not bear to be stuck in a stroller but was happy in the freedom of a harness. The other two were fine in the stroller.

2. No matter WHAT you do as a parent, someone, somewhere, will come up to you and squeal that what you are doing "looks horrid" to them. Pay no attention. Your child's happiness and safety come first!

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