Back when I was a kid, parents took charge of their kids. For instance, in stores. If we were small, we were secured in the cart or stroller. As we grew older, we had to keep in constant contact with either the cart, a parent, or an older sibling. When we got too old for that, we had to walk directly behind our parents the whole time. Wandering off was not permitted unless it was a small store where the parent could easily keep an eye on us all the time. If we broke the rule, we got sent to the car with either an older sibling or a parent.
Another thing we had to do was keep quiet. Kids were to be seen and not heard. We could ask or speak but in softer tones. No shouting, yelling, tantrums, or other forms of loud speaking. Again, breaking this rule resulted in going to the car to wait.
Today, it seams, few parents impose such rules in public places. I work at a retail store and see kids all the time running wild. Sometimes they go to the toy section and ride around on bikes, throw balls around, or do other destructive things but sometimes they are very young.
I remember one case in particular. The mother had just set their 5 yr old kid on the ground and he took off into the store. To locate him, she found a member of store staff who called a code ADAM. The good part of a code ADAM is it gets the child back to the parent to help prevent anything from happening to the child like abduction. The bad thing is, it requires all member of staff to stop what they are doing to help locate the child. I have helped on numerous code ADAM's. Some, like the one I mentioned, are just found running up and down the aisles were other have decided to start their own game of hide and seek. One child I found hiding behind a clothing display among some pants that were hanging.
If your one of the parents who do not have proper control of you young kids, a leash is a good option but I could see parents being required if it becomes a problem. Because some kids can become loud and obnoxious, I could even see having other measures done to stop that as well.
I think it's okay to have your child on a leash. They are great for kids who are prone to run off when your distracted for even a second. Or when going to an unfamiliar place where there may be large crowds or things to get into. But only the child's parent can really make a good judgement about what's best. However, I do believe some parents may use child leashes as an abusive tool. Like tying them to a fence or a nearby pole so they don't have to take their child with them everywhere while they go off and mingle or talk to a nearby friend. That being said, I've never witnessed these types of situations in my life, only seen pictures and heard stories. So do you think child leashes are a helpful tool to have, or are they unnecessary?
Let's say you have 2 kids, one 7, the other 5. The seven year old runs off. You chase after the 7, but 5 is dragging you down.
Of course, how old is too old is a matter of opinion, only the parents know what's the best way to raise a kid...
The only time this would ever be acceptable is if your child had a condition that would make it necessary (like ADHD or something.)
Any parent wouldn't need a leash to keep track of their child, and it is humiliating. You could just as easily hold their hand or carry them if you are so concerned to make sure they don't run off.
Children could just as easily run into trouble or cause problems on the leash as well.
Putting your child on a leash is just what a helicopter parent would do.
Also to AngelBBDanielle, no, parents don't usually know best. There are many abusive and inattentive parents that would rather give their child an i-pad than a hug. Just because they gave birth to a baby doesn't mean they understand how to raise one.