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They Say: Designer Duds Bad for Baby

kid-on-playgroundParents who dress their kids in expensive clothes are being blamed for hampering the kids’ ability to develop through play. The designer duds, researchers say, are bad for baby.

The study also looked at kids sent to daycare centers dressed in clothing inappropriate for the weather or events planned (no coats during the winter months or flip flops which are hard to run in).

Researchers in Cincinnati found clothing was a “direct impediment” to outdoor physical play, even as researchers have been making more urgent calls for kids to get outside and play MORE to fight childhood obesity and enhance creativity and socialization.

The inappropriate attire should be fairly obvious – at least in terms of the missing coat on a cold day – but the designer clothing issue cropped up when the researchers looked at whether outfits were considered “too nice” for going outside to play. Kids were afraid to ruin their clothes, and daycare providers were reluctant to send them outside to play. Often something that simple could keep the entire class inside.

It would stand to reason an outfit that “nice” would be a problem inside a daycare setting as well. Who wants to set a child up with a nice pot of fingerpaint if they’re afraid Mom is going to come back and scream that a $300 sweater now has green paint on the sleeves? We don’t have $300 for a sweater anyway, but there are “going to pre-school clothes,” “play clothes” and “going out to dinner clothes” in our house. I’m not sending her near macaroni and glue in a fabric that can’t handle it.

The researchers put this down to a problem between caregiver and the parents – a miscommunication or lack of strict enough guidelines. But what is a parent thinking if they send their kids to an environment meant for play and messes in clothes that can’t be dirtied?

Image: denzil~ via flickr

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