October 10, 2005

The Walk-O-Long, (Formerly Known As The Not-A-Leash)

walk-o-long.jpgThe Walk-O-Long was invented by a dad whose daughter started to walk right after he had back surgery. Seems her arms were shorter than the average gibbon (aka human-length), and holding her hands meant bending over in a way that caused excruciating pain.

Me, a year+ of bending over has caused only mild, perpetual pain and a compulsion to do more reverse situps. [note to dads-to-be: do mogul-skiing exercises to help get ready for all the colicky deep knee bends and, later, the stooping.]

Anyway, shorter than any leash (except those used in dog shows, which, it must be said, look eerily similar), the Walk-O-Long is more walking aid than child restraint. It enables parents, &c to stand upright and assist a kid with a little stabilization/lift now and then, as needed. It's padded under-the-arms design was inspired by firemen's evacuation harnesses, and the company's website says it's great for helping special needs or disabled kids increase their mobility.

The only daddy drawback: the fabric options, which range from pink or blue solid to pink or blue Hawaiian print to Leopard or Zebra. Until aftermarket slipcovers become available, I suggest the best color is duct tape.

The Walk-O-Long sells for $24.95 [thewalkolong.com via dt reader ed]


Hmm, very interesting. I like it.

It is also possible to use a sling (normally used for carrying baby) as a leash.

are these things rare in the US? in the UK, these are, unsurprisingly, called "reins" and are really common. over the summer i was in spain with my 18 month old daughter using these and nearly caused a traffic accident when a group of japanese tourists stopped to point, laugh, and take pictures of the little 'un proudly wearing her pink reins. they're great for letting her walk not-quite-unaided whilst stopping her wandering off too much.
bit freaked out by the idea of pictures of her being in some random family's photo album on the other side of the world, mind....

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