Leashing children in order to keep them from wandering away has sparked quite a debate among parents and the public in general. Take for instance a 28-year-old Jacksonville mother who is adamant about leashing her 2 1/2-year-old son who has a habit of wandering off in public places. She claims her decision is influenced by several kidnappings that happen a year as well as a recent Central Florida disappearance of an 11-year-old girl with Asperger’s syndrome. The girl spent four days in a Florida swamp after disappearing from her home.
This mother says she has received rude messages from other parents, however, she feels those consequences (rude comments and glares) are worth the price or effort of being cautious and safe. Also, this mother does not feel she is treating her child like an animal – a common argument from protesters of the practice.
Many child safety devices are available on the market: GPS devices, leashes, safety stickers, buttons and temporary tattoos embedded with general contact information worn on the child’s body. However, these devices should not be used as a supplement for supervision whether it be parental, teacher, or daycare supervision. Children should be taught and constantly reminded of basic safety measures when talking to or approached by strangers, walking to and from school, or wandering away.