Every parents worst nightmare is to lose their child or for them to run off, putting themselves in danger. Parents and carers of children with special needs, such as autism, experience the stresses and worries of this constantly. Children with autism or a learning disability often have no danger awareness, which can be terrifying for parents and those who look after them. Sensory issues can also result in children running off unexpectedly. A child harness (or walking harness as it is sometimes referred to) can be a great help in solving this problem.
One particular harness for special needs children that we love and recommend is the fantastic Adventure Belt.
Perfect for trips out, holidays and every day use, the Adventure Belt is suitable for all stable walkers weighting up to 27kg (approximately age 8). It has an adult belt, which fits a waist/hip of 75cm – 150cm. From this, an elasticated rein is attached, which is adjustable from approximately 40cm – 80cm (relaxed length). The rein attaches to another belt, worn by your child.
This award-winning, mum-designed product is a great harness for autistic children. The elastic bungee that links both belts allows a child to interact with their environment whilst keeping them safe by preventing them from getting lost in big crowds or running away. The adjustable bungee length also means that you don’t have to worry about tangles, as it can be adjusted to the situation.
The belt to belt child harness is a great, modern alternative from wrist to wrist walking reins for special needs children, providing hands-free peace of mind for everyone. It comes with a cute pouch, which children can use to store snacks and important treasures and there are several designs to choose from. The pouch measures approximately 10cm high by 10.5cm wide and can be easily removed, if preferred. It also easily wipes clean with a damp cloth.
Another great feature of this child harness is that it is great for parents of multiples. By wearing two belts on the adult, all children can be safely supervised.
And for those who might worry about a child being able to open the belt of an autism harness, the Adventure Belt connections are child-safe, and require double-action, which is easy for an adult but not for a child.
We know that leaving the house is not always easy if you have a child with special needs. The Adventure Belt can help to make life that little bit easier so that you can ensure your child’s safety, whilst having the freedom of being hands-free – making every day tasks like shopping or pushing a buggy more simple.
Adventure Belts comply with EN71:1-3 and relevant parts of EN31210. They have been tested in an independent UK laboratory. You can purchase an Adventure Belt on the SpecialKids.Company website here.
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Swimming is a fantastic inclusive activity to do with children with special needs. It’s a great sensory experience that is good fun and has positive benefits for both physical and mental health. It is also an activity that can be done all year round and doesn’t have to be weather dependent (depending on where you choose to swim!).