My job at ShuttleBee is to consider the simple. Of course we want kids to hold hands while crossing the street, we just do.
Take, for example, that time you decided to play Super Parent and bring a few friends to the park. To get ice cream. To walk anywhere together -- an ambition that may have seemed otherwise innocuous.
Then you invite my daughter -- who once outpaced an Olympic track contender -- and all hell breaks loose. Leashes were useless, as A debut her stroller-harness-popping skill midway through a double-lane intersection. And as if darting into traffic wasn't scary enough, my daughter started randomizing her adherence to my high-decibel pleas for compliance.
Sometimes A listened, which almost made things worse. I dare you to try and look sane as a parent, while calculating in your head the probability of "sometimes."
Feeling exceptionally qualified to write protocol on walking safety in groups, we started to disect the details for ShutttleBee. If kids hold hands while crossing the street, and if an adult can logistically hold two maybe three sets of hands effectively at once, these kids are forming a giant Kid Chain which tail-to-tail is not only ineffective, but offers a false sense of security.
We ask kids to hold hands because "walk together in a small dense cluster so that no child is farther than an arms length away from the rest of the group" just doesn't roll off the tongue.
But maybe it should.