I'm not a parent, so I never gave much thought to it when I would see a child on a leash in public. Parents should know their kids and what it is they need to do when they're at the mall or elsewhere.
Then, I was at the Chautauqua County Fair last weekend. I was walking behind a man who had his kid on a leash.
The man looked off in the distance as his little boy watched a riveting game of "I Got It." Unfortunately, neither of the two watched the pole the child was heading for, and the little guy ran right into it.
He wasn't hurt; they had been walking pretty slowly. He and his dad just looked at the pole, as if they were wondering, "Where did that come from?"
So, when I got home, I decided to Google "kid leashes" and see what cyberspace had to say about them.
As I expected, most proponents of the devices said they use them to keep their kids safe.
Others, of course, were critical of the leashes. One website posted a gallery called "25 Photos of Kids on Leashes," which I believe was meant to entertain its readers.
I found that several of the stores sell the leashes for about $10, including Wal-Mart. Its website offers the "Child of Mine Monkey Harness," which, as you might expect, consists of a harness for the kid and a stuffed monkey on the back.
The item description says it allows parents to keep their children within reach to ensure safety. If that's what the guy at the fair was going for, I think he might've been better off holding his kid's hand.
I don't think just putting the leash on is enough to keep a child safe. Parents can't just mindlessly cut through crowds while not paying attention to what is happening to their children. It totally defeats the purpose.
If used properly, the harnesses, leashes or whatever you want to call them could allow a single mother to keep track of all four of her small ones while she is shopping for groceries. So, I'm not going to judge if I see someone with their children on leashes in public.
However, those who use leashes as a method to pay no attention to their kids will probably find pictures of themselves on the Internet, and readers will be doing more laughing than praising.