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If there’s a universal truth about toddlers, it’s that they love to roam! At this young age, many of them have little fear of danger and need constant supervision from their parents and caregivers. But they also have a growing need for independence. If you’ve ever tried to carry a toddler around a supermarket, you’ll know that it’s a recipe for disaster.
Luckily, there are a few products available that keep your little one safe when you’re out and about — in stores, restaurants and walking through your neighborhood — and still let them do some exploring.
Check out the Dr.meter Anti Lost Wrist Lock, which connects your toddler to you by your wrists. It has a stretchy, slinky-link material in between the wrist straps, which feature soft, breathable padding on the inside. It actually comes as a pack of two links, with one that stretches up to 4.92 feet and one that extends up to 8.2 feet, so you can give your child some extra freedom as they get older.
Available on Amazon for $12.99, this product is recommended for ages 2 and up. It comes with a key to lock the wrist strap on your child’s end, ensuring they can’t get out of it.
The product currently has 4.6 stars out of 5, based on more than 3,000 reviews.
“Extremely pleased with the quality of these safety wristbands and have ordered a second set,” reviewer Lou Lou, a parent of twin girls, wrote. “The girls don’t seem to mind them at all. They are comfortable and allows them a little bit of freedom without me worrying about them running off or someone taking them, especially due to the fact that no one can just come up and cut the cord. Great buy.”
User Lulu noted that her child always runs off and won’t hold hands, making this a necessary purchase.
“I love that it came with a long one and a short one,” the reviewer said. “I use the long one when we walk in open areas with fewer people as it gives her enough space to run around all while she securely attached to me. The short one I will be using it if we go to crowded places because it will keep her close to me. The lock system works great, and overall, I’m very happy with the quality of this wristband.”
Other products offer variations on the same idea. For instance, the Blisstime 2 in 1 Toddler Leash, which costs $12.99 on Amazon has a stretchy, lockable wrist strap and a harness with adjustable shoulder straps. This means you can attach one end of the strap to your wrist, and the other to the harness on your child’s back. It also comes with rave reviews and a 4.6 star out of 5 rating.
“Too often we hear on the news of children with autism going missing after running off from the parents. I have an autistic son who is a flight risk,” parent reviewer Max wrote. “This toddler leash has made it possible for us to go to places we couldn’t go before: lakes, hiking, camping, etc. It is very comfortable and easy to use. It locks in place easily which gives you a sense of security. The keys are attached to your wrist at all times so there is no worry of losing them. The cushions under the armpit make it so my son isn’t rubbing against the harness. All in all this is a wonderful product. I couldn’t be happier.”
If you want a truly multitasking product, a toddler safety backpack might do the trick. The DB Dinosaur Toddler mini backpack with leash, available on Amazon for $13.99, comes in a range of colors with a cute dinosaur print. However, the leash isn’t flexible, meaning you have to stay pretty close to your child at all times.
As with all child safety products, it’s important to read the reviews, be aware of the instructions for use, and remember that what works for one child might not work for another.