Children's Walking Harnesses / Reins -- Switzerland

Figure 1.--

A reader reports that i Switzerland that toy harnesses were popular play items. He also reports that parents cocernd about security have bgan using them as safty walking hanesses.

He tell us, "I saw your page about harnesses and read about your missing information on the child play with the harness. Such harness could still be bought in toy store for kindergardens or therapies supplies here. I grown up in Switzerland and I can remember my kindergarten time, where we had such harnesses too (about 1978). They were of some belt material, like canvas. There was no opening or buckle and the reins were fix sewn to it, you have to tow it over your head and slip your arms in it. I think, this was that no one could be put in the harness involuntarily. We had only a few of this harnesses and it seems that everyone likes them, as they were the first thing we got out of the toy box when we were allowed to play outside. We were running through the yard, one pulling and the other holding the reins. I got a harness of other style later which has one of this plastic buckles, detachable reins, colorful nylon belts and is adjustable from small Child to Teen. I really liked the horse playing when I was a child. We call it "Pony spiele" in our dialect which will be best translated with playing pony. [HBC might translate it a "playing horsey". I still own this Toy. I also attach a picture of a locking buckle. I saw such a harness about 20 years ago in a department store. I rember thinking of what type of person invented such things, and how can they be sold? I noticed, that around 10-15 years ago, there were harnesses to find in any child department in Switzerland. Today, they only available from specialised baby stores. But I noticed recently that you can see more and more Parents with toddler on reins. Not as much as for 15 years. I don't know what reason let them vanish for about 10 years, but think it was the thinking of freedom for all and liberate Politics. Today it is the search for more security for the own Family, that let Parents harness their children again. Fear of abduction and child molester, incapable drivers and so on."


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Created: July 30, 2003
Last updated: July 30, 2003