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when our son was young, we went with a small adult pfd, and went to a climbing gear shop, like REI. We purchased an appropriate size, for some reason they have a better selection of sizes, climbing harness and a 15" sewn strap with D rings on either end.

He put on the harness and looped the strap in the D rings of the harness, then put on the PFD and then fed the strap around the front of the PFD and we used a climbing caribiner, real one - not one of the cheap key ring ones. and then used a regular tether on that caribiner.

This allowed him free run as long as he was tethered and still kept the tether mid chest, and outside the PFD, where it should be.
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