Website: Children's Harnesses by Elaine, Inc.
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and parenting my 2 boys: My Boys Can...

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Stroller Safety Strap

(My niece with her Stroller Safety Strap from 

The other day my niece was visiting with her new baby and when we were heading out for a walk I was surprised to see that her (extremely high-end) stroller was not equipped with a safety strap for her to loop around her wrist.


I asked her if she would like me to make one for her and before I could even finish my question she was saying "YES!".

When my own boys were small I had a jogger for them and I'm pretty sure that all joggers come with a wrist strap. It's a critical piece of safety equipment and gives you the confidence to take your hands off the jogger without worrying it - with your children - will roll away on you. I was accustomed to that feeling of safety and I must tell you, when I was pushing the stroller the other day while my niece walked with her husband I found it nerve-racking not having the feeling of that safety strap around my wrist. I didn't have the confidence to take either of my hands off the stroller and I was terrified that a bump on the sidewalk with dislodge my fingers. I'm sure I permanently dented the cushioning on the push bar, my grip was so tight.

That night I made her a wrist strap and sent it off to her but that got me thinking - are these things available? If so, what do they look like? Now, keep in mind that I've been working with webbing and sliders and d-rings and rectangle rings for many years now, so I do feel I'm justified in expressing an opinion about someone else's quality..... 

Here's what I found; 
1. the safety strap made with a metal d-ring
This thing looks great. Cushioned strap so it's comfortable on your wrist, nice and thick, looks durable. So what's the problem? 
i) See where the material is sewn around the straight edge of the d-ring? Believe it or not, over time, the d-ring can cut through that material. It may take a while to happen but unless I had seen it with my own d-rings and webbing, I wouldn't believe it. 
ii) The strap is waaaaay too short. You'd have to remove it from your wrist to reach your baby in the stroller and anyone walking a baby knows how often you're reaching inside to adjust soothers and blankets.

Ok, moving on; 
2. the safety strap made with a plastic slip lock
i) This makes me very nervous because a slip lock is not meant to be used in this way; it is meant to keep 2 layers of webbing together so the webbing is kept neat and tidy. That's their purpose. Here, the slip lock is being used to take tension and stress (i.e. to hold the weight of the stroller if it drifts away from you), and that's not smart. Slip locks can crack a lot easier than you'd think when they are used incorrectly.
ii) It's also waaaay too short and it would ALSO have to be removed from your wrist to reach your baby inside the stroller.

There were other variations of these safety straps on the market and if cheap prices are your thing, you could get one for just a few dollars. Let's put aside the fact that you may have to rely on this safety strap to keep your baby from rolling off the sidewalk, but anyway, some people go for the lowest price regardless. 

For me, I've always been a stickler for quality. I have to be able to TRUST the product I'm using, especially when it came to my kids. And it has to be functional. The safety wrist strap that came with my jogger was too short and had single row box stitching which I didn't think was enough. The last thing I wanted to have to remember is to inspect my safety strap when I had everything else to do to get the kids ready for an outing. 

Which brings me back to the Stroller Safety Strap that I made for my niece
    1. The Safety Strap has a small loop at one end and a large hand-loop at the other. Choose a place on the stroller where you want to attach the Safety Strap. Feed the BIG loop through the SMALL loop, pull the webbing through then put the BIG loop over your wrist. 
    2. Two seams of reinforced zigzag stitching as seen in this picture of the small loop end of the Safety Strap
    3. Two seams of reinforced zigzag stitching and a velcro strip at the big loop end of the Safety Strap, as seen in this picture;
    The velcro strip is used to bundle the strap so it can stay attached to the stroller.
    4. The Safety Strap finished length was approximately 30 inches long. There are a number of reasons why the strap MUST have some length to it!! 
    i) You must have options to attach the strap anywhere on the stroller. If the strap is very short, you can only attach it to the top push bar, assuming your stroller has a top push bar (some models don't). 
    ii) The Safety Strap is long enough for you to reach forward and touch your baby inside the stroller WITHOUT having to remove it from your wrist. This is just plain common sense. There are many times during a walk when you have to check your baby or adjust their blankets or help them with their soother or sippy cup (when they are older). Having a short strap that restricts you from using both hands isn't practical, and having to remove the strap to use your hand isn't safe.
    iii) Which also means the Safety Strap is long enough for you to reach up and touch your face when the strap is over your wrist/forearm. Why? To eat! To drink! To put on your sunglasses! To take off your sunglasses! To wipe your nose! To get the hair out of your face! To zip up your jacket. To unzip your jacket. The other wrist straps on the market are about 12-14 inches long, and if you're a Mom who is 4 ft tall, it will work great for you. For the rest of us, it's too short, too restricting, and too annoying. Just use your other hand you say? True, but for me, everything I needed seemed to be always on the left side of the stroller or in my left pocket. Regardless, I didn't want either of my hands to be restricted in movement.
    iv) When your little one is older, use the Safety Strap as something for them to hold onto when they walk with you. Having a bit of length is GREAT for your child - they can walk close to you but still have some space to explore; something that a 12 inch strap would not allow.

So this is now my new mission: to offer Moms a HIGH QUALITY and FUNCTIONAL Stroller Safety Strap to attach to their stroller, to use now as well as later when their little one is walking.
* reasonable price + shipping. Remember, ya get what ya pay for so if you want something for $5.49 off ya go to Amazon!
* available in Black, Navy Blue, Pacific blue (pictured), Red, Purple (made for my niece)
* any length you like, though I would recommend 30 inches finished length for practical purposes

Contact me through my website, or, and put "Stroller Safety Strap" in the subject heading.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Sweatshirt to wear over our Special Needs Safety Harness, $19.99

New to our product line, we are now selling Sweatshirts, $19.99, that your child can wear over their Special Needs Safety Harness

Rather than adjust their harness to fit over another layer of clothing each time you need to go out, simply put the Sweatshirt on over their Harness and attach the lead through the slot at the back of the Sweatshirt. 

Headed to the park? Going for your walk? Maybe you're off to the doctor's office or you need to do some shopping at the mall. Wherever you're headed, your child will be wearing their Harness, and having one of our Sweatshirts gives you the flexibility to quickly add a cosy layer of clothing to keep them warm when they are outside. Once you've reached your destination or if they get too hot when playing it's a simple matter to remove the Sweatshirt so they are comfortable. Their Special Needs Harness does not need to be removed or adjusted. 

Our Sweatshirts are top quality, heavy blend, 50% cotton 50% polyester pre-shrunk crew neck garments with rich colour and a soft brushed interior. With plenty of room through the body and lots of length in the sleeve, your child will get (almost) as many years use from their Sweatshirt as they will from their Special Needs Safety Harness.

Our model is 10 years old and has a 27 inch chest. He is wearing a Pacific Blue Special Needs Safety Harness made with a Permanent Handle and a Navy Blue Medium Sweatshirt.

1. Put the Harness on as usual 2. Put the Sweatshirt on over top 3. Attach the lead to the back through the slot 

4. Pull the Handle through the slot 5. Use the Handle as normal 6. The lead and Handle together

Our Sweatshirts are ideal for making the Special Needs Safety Harness a discreet addition to your child's wardrobe. If you feel self-conscious using your Harness in public, one of our Sweatshirts may help. The Harness will be essentially hidden by the Sweatshirt. Use the Permanent Handle to keep your child by your side, or one of our Hands-free Parent Tethers

Our Sweatshirts are available in Navy Blue, Black, and Red. We currently carry Youth sizes in Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large. The Youth size Small will comfortably fit our youngest customers, and the generous sizing of the Large and Extra Large will fit the majority of our older customers. However, if an Adult size or Ladies size Sweatshirt is required, these can be quickly and easily ordered separately. 

You can order your Sweatshirt when you order your Special Needs Safety Harness.

If you already have one of our Special Needs Safety Harnesses and you would like one of our Sweatshirts for your child, place your order through our Contact Us page. Let us know the size and colour you would like, best to confirm your mailing address as well.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Hands-free Parent-to-Child Tether

hands-free parent tether
Lately I've had a lot of requests from parents for a means to keep their child with special needs close to them while they are pushing a stroller with a younger sibling. 

Other situations would be when the parent wanted to have their hands free to do things like carry groceries through the parking lot. 

In these cases, I have made a separate belt for the parent to wear and a separate tether with a snap hook at each end for them to connect themselves to their child with special needs.

The hands-free parent-to-child tether has an O-ring on it that can easily move around their waist. One end of the tether is connected to the O-ring on the parent belt, the other end is connected to the O-ring on the back of the Special Needs Safety Harness

The tether between parent and child is about 2 1/2 feet long.

As with all my products, strength and durability are a priority. The buckle on the parent belt is the strongest I have; American made ITW Nexus Classic with a 200 pound break strength. The O-ring on the parent belt is the same quality as the O-ring on the Child-to-Adult Harness (500 pound weight capacity), and the snap hooks on the tether are also the same heavy duty snap hooks that I use on my leads (same snap hooks that are used on horse tack).

The hands-free parent-to-child tether costs $30 and is available in black, navy, red, purple or pink.   

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Waist Belt Tether to Autism Service Dog

New to are two Waist Belt Tether Systems that you can use to tether your child to their autism service dog. Tethering is used when the child is unable or unwilling to always hold the lead to the dog during their outings and when the dog has been trained as an anchor for the child. The parent/caregiver holds the lead to the dog when the child is tethered.

regular waist belt tether system
The Regular Waist Belt Tether ($24) is an adjustable belt with a 3 1/2 foot tether to the dog.

The length of the tether allows your child to walk on either side OR DIRECTLY BEHIND their service dog. Adjust the waist belt loosely on your child. The tether loops over the waist belt and can slide around the belt as the child moves around the dog. 

The Weighted Waist Belt Tether ($27) has a metal O-ring that hangs from the child's waist belt. The metal ring serves a number of purposes; 
dark denim weighted tether

  • the weight of the ring gives your child a physical sense of wearing the belt
  • the weight helps your child orient themselves to the dog, even when the tether is not under tension. For example, if the child always walks with the dog on their right, position the metal O-ring on the child's right side to give them a sense of 'sameness' each time they are tethered to their dog.
  • any comfort toy that your child routinely takes on their outings can be clipped to the metal O-ring on their belt
As with the Regular Waist Belt Tether, the Weighted Waist Belt Tether System has a 3 1/2 foot tether to the dog that allows your child to freely move around their companion. Your child will know their dog is always 'in the same place' as the O-ring on their belt.

Each Waist Belt Tether System comes with a black stuff sack for easy transport and to keep the belt contained when in the washing machine.

Available in black, dark denim blue, red, purple and pink. 


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Removable lead attached to a backpack

Temporary lead on his backpack will keep us together in the crowds
This weekend I'm taking my 8 yr old to The Royal Winter Fair. Last year I took the older one and gosh was it crowded on the Saturday! I'm expecting the same this year so in preparation I made this lead that I've put around the handle at the top of his backpack. It's a slip-knot attachment so it's easy to remove when we get home. It's about 4 feet long so enough for us to walk comfortably together and give him some freedom but not so long that it takes me a while to bundle up (like when we're waiting for the train on the subway platform). 

The backpack closes with a buckle across his chest. This was something that I had to add to the backpack right at the beginning of the school year. Not being the most organized of households, we were frequently sprinting down the street to the school and as they ran, they had to hold onto the shoulder straps of their backpacks so they didn't leave them behind on the sidewalk. Rather than be more organized in the mornings, I added the buckle closure to hold the shoulder straps together and give the backpack a secure fit. And no, we aren't running to school EVERY day.....

Both my boys are neurotypical and whereas the older one will stay by my side (and talk my ear off) whenever we go out together, this one is much more curious and MUCH more independent. He'd have no problem taking off to explore hither and yon if he felt like it, which is rather stressful for me because I would then have to spend all my time staring at the top of his head rather than looking at the booths and displays. Having the lead to keep us together is the difference between not going at all and having an enjoyable afternoon in the city, just me and my youngest. 

And we can still hold hands if he wants too.    

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Universal medical symbol tag ($1.75 each) for your child's clothing

The Universal Medical Symbol tag is 3/4 inch x 5 inch
Over the past few years, I have had a number of parents ask me if there was a label that could be attached to their new Child-to-Adult Harness so anyone seeing their older child in public wearing a harness would know their child had autism.

I mulled this problem over for a long time before finally coming up with the idea of a small cloth tag that could be attached to the harness, or anything else the child is wearing. I chose the American Medical Association's universal medical symbol for my tag because not all my customers have autism and I wanted something easily recognizable by everyone.  The tag measures 3/4 inch x 5 inches and is made of the same high-quality durable cloth material that I use for my labels.

The tag can be attached anywhere on the harness
The AMA's symbol on the tag lets people know that the person with the tag has a medical issue. The tag closes with velcro around, for example, the shoulder strap on the harness, a belt loop, the handle on their backpack, anything. Write what you like on the inside of the tag using a pen or black Sharpie; your cell phone number, allergies, any critical information pertaining to your child. The tag is small and discreet and not intended to record your child's entire medical history, just the essentials.

I'm selling my tags for $1.75 each. You can read more about them and order through my website ( at Universal Medical Symbol tag. Thanks for stopping by. Elaine

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Autism, Special Needs car window sign

"Child with Autism on Board, medical details OVER"
About 2 weeks ago, my sister asked me to make a sign for Mom's front door that said "No soliciting, No flyers". Many houses in her home town had these signs but she didn't see any around here. I got on the internet to find something locally and after not having any luck, I made one myself to hang on Mom's door. 

My sister's request got me thinking about signs for seniors. Then I started thinking about signs for my customers. Would they like to have a sign for their car (think "Baby on Board") that said there was a child with special needs in the vehicle? That type of sign might be helpful. I did another internet search and the only items I could find on the market were car decals for Autism Awareness. Hmmm. No signs at all that tell other drivers this car has a passenger with special needs.

Now, the most amazing thing about my business is the amazing parents and amazing children I have as customers. A quick question posted on my Facebook fan page and I had my answer - a sign for the car was a good idea. In less than a day I put pen to paper, took my draft to the sign shop and put the process in motion. As with many things in my head, the ideas continued to evolve and I decided on 2 signs; one for Autism and one for Special Needs that would hopefully appeal to my many customers who have other diagnoses.  My signs are UV protected laminate and measure 8 inches x 4 5/8 inches. They attach to the interior car window with 2 velcro adhesive circles. Each sign comes with 4 circles; use the extra for another vehicle or keep them in reserve. If your car has tinted windows, the sign can be placed on the dashboard like a wheelchair parking permit. On the back of the sign, use a permanent marker to write on the plastic laminate important information about your child. If this makes you uncomfortable, write instructions instead, for example, "See medical details in glove box", or "See info packet under driver's seat". In the event of an accident where the driver is incapacitated, police, firemen and medical personnel will be able to learn critical information about your child that you may not be in any condition to relate yourself.

I'm selling my signs for $7 each. The stamp for the envelope will set you back another $1.79 and there will be taxes applied if you're in Canada. You can read more about them (and hopefully) place your order at Autism, Special Needs Car Window Sign. Thanks for your interest, and thanks especially for your input that encouraged me to develop this exciting new and unique product. Elaine