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Best Child Leashes of 2022

Keep track of your free-spirited child with one of these handy leashes.

If you’re desperate to keep your busy, curious child safe on outings, you may be considering a child leash — despite all the controversy they seem to conjure.

Our goal is to help you make an informed decision as you consider if using a child leash is right for you. We’ve studied the research and listened to parents, caregivers, and various child experts. We’ll share our findings in this comprehensive guide to help you view the issue from all angles.

We’ve thoroughly compared all the best child leash styles and brands and will offer our reviews of their benefits and drawbacks so you can make the best decision for your situation.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Toddler Leash & Harness for Child Safety - Keep Kids & Babies Close - Padded...
Best Harness Leash
Mommy’s Helper Harness
  • Supports child’s torso
  • Has swivel attachment
  • Super affordable
Product Image of the Skip Hop Toddler Backpack Leash, Zoo, Fox
Best Backpack Leash
Skip Hop Harness Backpack
  • Fun, bright design options
  • Waterproof material
  • Cushioned straps
Product Image of the 2Pack Anti Lost Wrist Link with Magnetic Induction Lock, Zooawa Child Outdoor...
Best Wrist Link Strap
Zooawa Anti-Lost Wrist Link
  • Super-long cord
  • Two-layer Velcro security
  • Materials for sensitive skin
Product Image of the Child Leashes for Toddlers - Toddler Harness with Leash 2 in 1 Wrist to Wrist...
Super Comfortable
Toddler Harness with Leash
  • Focuses on mom and child’s comfort
  • 360-degree attachment
  • Leash extends up to 8.2 feet
Product Image of the Brica by-My-Side Toddler Safety Harness Backpack with Leash, Giraffe, Green
Shock-Absorbing Design
By My Side Backpack
  • Shock-absorbing tether
  • Reflective panels
  • Lots of room for storage
Product Image of the Toddler Backpack with Leash, 9.5' Kids Dinosaur Safety Leashes Removable Tether...
Best for iPads
Agsdon Backpack Leash
  • Large capacity
  • Fun animal design
  • Front and side pockets
Product Image of the Travel Bug Toddler Character 2-in-1 Safety Harness - Monkey
Adorable Design
Animal 2-in-1 Backpack
  • Adorable, friendly design
  • Adjustable safety strap
  • Harness and backpack combined
Product Image of the Toddler Leash Kid Harness Anti Lost Child Walking Safety Harness Baby Travel...
Fun & Simple
Angel Wings Harness
  • Fun design
  • Comes with 2 in the pack
  • Long leash allows movement
Product Image of the DB Dinosaur Toddler mini backpack with leash,children Kids baby harness bookbag...
Best Budget Pick
DB Dinosaur Toddler
  • Very affordable
  • One-year warranty
  • Three designs to choose from
Product Image of the Anti Lost Wrist Link, Dr.meter 2 Pack Toddler Safety Leash with Key Lock,...
Great at Night
Dr. Meter Wrist Link
  • Reflective safety tape
  • Childproof locking system
  • 360-degrees rotating connections

What Are Child Leashes?

When you think of a leash, you probably think of dog leashes. One end of the leash attaches to your dog’s harness or collar. You hold the other end to make sure your dog does not run away.

Child leashes are not much different. They are designed to comfortably attach to your child as you secure the other end. The goal of child leashes is to keep your child within reach and provide safety.

There are three main types of child leashes:

  • Child leash harnesses: This style includes a harness your child wears around their body and a leash that attaches to the harness. The harness maintains your child’s ability to move freely while preventing the leash from becoming tangled.
  • Child leash backpacks: This type of leash is attached to a child-sized backpack your toddler can wear. The leash is often removable.
  • Wrist link straps: Wrist link straps feature wrist cuffs that wrap around your child’s wrist and your wrist. They are made especially for keeping your child within arm’s reach.

As you continue through this article, we hope to help you figure out which type of child leash is best for your specific circumstances.

Why Are Child Leashes So Controversial?

Child leashes are controversial for several reasons:

  • Leashes run the safety risk of causing scrapes and falls when harnessed in and may even be at risk for strangulation.
  • Children’s leashes can be seen as a lazy parenting style, preventing children from learning how to listen and obey rules (1).
  • Using a child leash may humiliate or embarrass children (2).

Mothers may want to consider these factors when using a child leash, but the decision is ultimately a personal one.

What You Need To Know

It is important to note no major pediatric organization, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, has spoken out against child leashes.

Should I Use a Child Leash?

How can you determine if a child leash is right for you and your child to have a safe, enjoyable time outside of the house? Ask yourself these six questions. If you answer yes to one or more of them, a child leash may be right for you.

Are We In a Large, Crowded Area?

Child leashes are best for abnormal circumstances that may be overwhelming for you and your child. This includes a large family vacation to a theme park, a day trip to the beach, or even an outing in a mall. The more crowded and spacious the area, the more useful and appropriate a child leash will be.

Smaller, more contained areas, such as a park, grocery store, or even walking down a quiet street, may be areas for forgoing the leash and trying to teach your children about staying close.

Are You Near Something Dangerous?

You do not want your children to be alone when they are near something they do not know how to behave safely around.

This may include any of the following:

  • The beach.
  • Rocky paths.
  • Cliffs or hills.
  • Busy streets or large parking lots.
  • Campfires or fire pits.

If you plan to spend time in any of these areas, a child leash may be a valuable tool as you teach them how to interact safely in these environments.

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Am I Alone Looking After More Than One Child?

There is nothing like a pack of children running around to stress out an on-the-go mom. It is hard for a single person to carry, hold onto, and keep an eye on several moving bodies.

If you are in a public place with multiple young children, a child leash may be an excellent option for keeping everyone accounted for.

Does My Child Have Special Needs?

Children with special needs, especially those with ADHD or autism, are more prone to wandering off. One study found nearly half of children over the age of 4 with autism spectrum disorder had wandered off or run away. Of these incidents, 65% of the children had endured a “close call” with moving traffic (3).

A leash can help the parent and child feel more confident as they go out into the world.

Can My Child Discern Between Right and Wrong?

As children get older, they need to learn about making decisions. They must begin to understand essential safety rules at a young age.

If your child is old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong and can face the consequences of their decisions, a child leash may not be effective for everyday circumstances.

Do I Avoid Going Out Because of Child-Wrangling Woes?

Socialization is essential for moms and children. If you avoid leaving your house because you are worried and stressed about wrangling your children, consider trying a child leash.

The positives of getting out, running errands, visiting new places, and meeting new people may outweigh some of the downsides of using a child leash.

One of the best ways to ensure you use a child leash safely is to find a high-quality product designed especially with children in mind. After all, not all child leashes are created equal. You want to look for quality materials, child-friendly designs, and high ratings from other moms.

We have broken down the different types of child leashes you can choose from and the best products in every category.

Best Child Leash Harnesses of 2022

Child leash harnesses wrap around your child’s body. Most are designed to go around your child’s shoulders and chest for a secure, comfortable hold. Here are our top four picks for the best child leash harnesses.

1. Mommy’s Helper Kid Keeper Harness

Full Torso Support

Simple is sometimes best. This harness is minimalistic, affordable, and easy to use. It has many features, including adjustable straps and a swivel snap leash attachment. But our favorite feature is the way the harness is designed.

Some child leash harnesses cover and press on the sensitive area of your baby’s stomach.

This harness fully supports your child’s upper torso and stays in the correct position to ensure your little one’s comfort. This makes it a good product for a younger child.

This harness is made of durable nylon with plastic buckles and attachments. The padded shoulder straps are comfortable, and the swivel leash attachment prevents tangling. You can extend the adjustable leash up to 42 inches.


  • Supports your child’s torso.
  • Leash has swivel attachment.
  • Super affordable.


  • Pieces are plastic and can snap or break easily.

2. Ptyuhnn Toddler Harness with Leash

Super Comfortable

Are you planning a large vacation to a theme park or resort? Or maybe you and your family like to go on adventures together. If so, this child leash harness may be right for you.

It features adjustable shoulder straps, a special wrist attachment for parents, and breathable cushions on the harness and wrist attachments. We like these features because it keeps both you and your child comfortable — no matter how much fun you’re having.

We are especially impressed by the breathable cushions because they wick moisture and reduce friction, allowing you to use the harness for longer periods without worrying about your child’s well-being.

The harness is made of durable canvas and cotton with a plastic buckle. The wearable wrist leash is made of uncuttable wire coated in thick, durable plastic.

The wrist attachment goes around the parent’s wrist and has a swivel connector that turns in every direction so your baby doesn’t get stuck or pulled on. The lining is made of cotton.


  • Focuses on parent and child comfort.
  • 360-degree attachment prevents falls.
  • The leash extends up to 8.2 feet for maximum mobility.


  • The front buckle isn’t childproof.
  • It takes time to adjust straps correctly.

3. Angel Wings Harness & Leash

Fun & Simple

Children will love the fun design of this harness, and moms will love its simplicity. The harness goes over your child’s shoulders and around their chest.

It is easier to use a child leash when your little one enjoys what they are wearing. The full back panel of this harness sports a pair of angel wings. You can detach the leash with the special clip if needed.

The harness fastens in the front with an adjustable buckle and strap. If you are looking for a simple child leash that still has a bit of flair, this is a good option.

The Angel Wings Harness & Leash is made of high-quality cotton and nylon. The back loop and leash clip are both made of metal. The unadjustable leash is 63 inches long.


  • Fun design will delight children.
  • Comes with two in the pack.
  • Long leash allows movement.


  • The leash isn’t adjustable.
  • It lacks padding, meaning it might rub on your child’s skin.

Best Child Leash Backpacks of 2022

Many parents struggle with child leashes because they feel they are tugging their child along like an animal. Child leash backpacks help alleviate that problem. Children strap on a fun backpack that can hold snacks, drinks, or toys and has a leash that clips to the back for parents to hold on to.

Here are some of our favorite child leash backpacks.

4. Skip Hop Toddler Leash and Harness Backpack

Easy Peasy Cleaning

We love these adorable cartoon backpacks, and we bet your child will too! The miniature size is perfect for toddlers, and there are multiple cartoon animals and creatures to pick from. The detachable leash on the bottom is discreet, making it easy to use only when necessary.

One feature we appreciate is the waterproof material. Water stays out, but so does a host of other things. You can allow your child to explore, knowing it is ok if the juice cup spills, the popsicle drips, or they splash in puddles.

Even though your child may need to be restricted with a leash backpack, helping them find their freedom within those bounds can make the experience so much more pleasant for everyone involved. The fun of this backpack may be a great distraction for a child struggling to understand why they need to wear it in the first place.

Each mini backpack is 3.2 inches by 7.5 inches by 9 inches. The material is neoprene, a type of soft, synthetic rubber fabric.

The number of compartments varies by style. Most have one main compartment inside the backpack with one zippered pocket in front. Plus, all feature cushioning in the back and on the shoulder straps.

The leash, which is 38.5 inches long, attaches to the bottom of the backpack with a metal clasp.


  • Fun, bright design options.
  • Waterproof material.
  • Cushioned straps.


  • Varied features by style.

5. By My Side Safety Harness Backpack

Shock-Absorbent Design

This backpack is small and compact but has a lot of compartments for your child’s toys and snacks. We love this option for moms who are taking their children on longer excursions and need to pack more essentials with them.

Our favorite feature is the shock-absorbing tether cord. If your child should stumble or fall, it absorbs some of the strain and prevents discomfort. This is a good fit for moms with children who do not know when to stop running farther than the leash allows.

Each bag is made of multiple materials, including reflective fabric panels and mesh. The tether attaches to the bottom of the backpack with a swivel clip.

Other features include an adjustable chest clip, a large backpack compartment, a large front mesh pocket, and a mesh side pocket.


  • Shock-absorbing tether.
  • Reflective panels.
  • Lots of room for storage.


  • Lack of padding.
  • Very small size.

6. Travel Bug 2-in-1 Animal Harness Backpack

Adorable Design

Wearing this backpack is like getting a hug from a cuddly animal. It combines the best features of a harness and a backpack. Two strong front clips allow you to keep the backpack on your active child while retaining the helpful storage features of a bag.

The animal design makes it super friendly for your child. We especially love the cuddly, plush style for children who struggle to wear other types of child leashes. With this backpack, the child leash becomes another friend to keep them safe.

Each furry critter harness is 5.9 inches by 4.5 inches by 12.6 inches and is made of cotton materials. It comes in three different styles — a monkey, a dog, or an elephant. The leash attaches to the bottom of the backpack and is 36 inches long.


  • Adorable, friendly design.
  • Harness and backpack combined.


  • Minimal storage space.
  • Hard to adjust the straps.

7. DB Dinosaur Toddler

Best Budget Pick

This tiny backpack is ideal for a tiny child! As any mom will tell you, everything changes once your baby is mobile. Many backpacks are designed for older toddlers, but this one is great for younger children.

With four colors to choose from, this affordable backpack will be one your child will want to use later on without the leash.

This bag measures 10.6 inches by 9 inches by 4.3 inches and is made of cloth fabric.


  • Very affordable.
  • Center leash clasp.
  • Cute design.
  • One-year warranty.


  • Might be too small for bigger toddlers.

8. Agsdon Toddler Backpack Leash

Best Backpack for iPads

This dragon backpack is a high-quality and budget-friendly backpack that keeps your kids safe. But it’s also more discreet since it looks less like a leash. If you want something that adds a bit of fun and style to safety, this is the way to go.

Plus, it is the perfect size for an iPad Air. This is an excellent option if your child likes to keep a tablet nearby to combat boredom.

The backpack also has a side pocket perfect for snacks and a water bottle. So whether your child gets bored, hungry, or thirsty — this is a superb choice.

It also comes in several other styles, including a butterfly, dinosaur, unicorn, or mermaid, so there’s bound to be an option to please any child.


  • Large capacity, perfect for iPads.
  • Fun designs.
  • Front pocket and side pockets for snacks.
  • Suitable for kids aged 1 to 3.


  • The strap attachment is flimsy and may fall off.
  • The leash is short.

Best Wrist Link Straps of 2022

Wrist link straps have come a long way. In the past, attaching a cord between your wrist and your baby’s wrist was dangerous and a big no-no. One wrong pull could topple your baby or dislocate their shoulder.

Plus, the rubbing and chaffing could leave a rash on your child’s wrist.

Luckily, wrist link straps have been updated to suit the needs of modern moms. Here are our top two picks.

9. Zoowa Anti-Lost Wrist Link

Long and Secure

A secure coil keeps your child close while still fostering their independence. The elastic rope is made of stainless steel wrapped with PU.

The adjustable wrist cuffs feature environmentally friendly materials that won’t irritate the skin. Inside each cuff is a layer of padding for comfort.

We especially appreciate the two layers of Velcro for added security. It is easy for a child to pull at anything placed on their wrist. If you are worried about your child tugging off the wrist cuff, know that these two layers of Velcro make it hard for little hands to manage an escape.

Each wrist strap comes with two wrist cuffs. You can attach the cord to the cuffs with a rotating piece for flexible movement.


  • Two straps in each package.
  • Two-layer Velcro security.
  • Materials for sensitive skin.


  • Takes extra time to put on and remove.

10. Dr. Meter Wrist Link

Great At Night

This wrist link strap with reflective tape aims to keep parents and toddlers safe from motor vehicles and other night hazards.

The coil and wristband both feature reflective tape. If you find yourself traveling consistently with your children when it is dark outside, this wrist link strap may be the most useful.

We like the unique lock system on this strap. The adult wristband contains a key, and once the wrist cuff is on your child, they can’t take it off without unlocking it. This is a great option for parents of special needs children who struggle to keep their wrist cuffs on.

The cord between the two wrist cuffs is made of stainless steel covered in PU plastic and striped with reflective paint. The cord can extend up to 4.92 feet or 8.2 feet, depending on the leash color.

The cuffs are made of breathable mesh and Velcro and move comfortably on the wrist.


  • Reflective safety tape.
  • Childproof locking system.
  • 360-degrees rotating connections.


  • Shorter cord length.
  • Hard to get on and off.

How To Use Child Leashes Safely

If you decide to use a child leash, do all you can to use it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Doing so will help avoid potential risks and hazards.

We have gathered four safety tips you should consider before strapping your safety leash onto your child:

  • Do not fasten the leash too tightly: If the leash is not secured correctly, it can rub uncomfortably on your child’s skin or constrict blood flow if placed too tightly. Talk with your child about how they feel when their leash is attached.
  • Do not leave children unattended: Never leave your child unattended when using a leash. This includes attaching your end of the leash to something else and walking away. The leash can easily become a strangulation hazard.
  • Teach children how to move with the leash: Toddlers can struggle with staying on balance. One of the most common risks for using a child leash is spills or falls. Work with your child on how to behave and act when they are on the leash to avoid falling. Don’t pull your child. Try to keep the leash slack. It should only be taut if your child bolts or tries to escape.
  • Practice using your leash at home: Before using it for the first time during a large outing, make sure you introduce your leash at home. The last thing you want is for you or your child to become stressed if the child leash you have chosen doesn’t work the way you thought it did or your child isn’t able to wear it comfortably.
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The Bottom Line

After careful review, our top pick for the best child leash is the Mommy’s Helper Kid Keeper. It is easy to use and affordable, and it keeps your child safe and comfortable. It secures your child practically without a lot of extra bells and whistles.

However, each parent should make a personal decision about what works for them and their child. Your needs are different from those of other parents.

You may just need a simple leash for a particularly active day. If you prefer having an option with storage, a backpack may work better.

Take Note

No matter how you feel about leashes, please refrain from judging others. Parents should always support one another as we work to keep our children safe.
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Headshot of Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC

Reviewed by

Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC

Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC is a cardiology nurse and freelance medical writer. Katelyn has 8 years of nursing experience inpatient and outpatient, primarily medical-surgical and cardiac. After having two children she has a passion for Women’s Health and Lactation teaching and support.