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Designer Duds Are a Disaster for Kids

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Watch out, Suri Cruise: Researchers have something to say about your designer threads -- and you're not going to like it: Haute couture has no place on the playground.

kids in fancy clothes

Ronda Kaysen: A study published this month in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that kids who were sent to daycare dressed in clothes that were more fashionable than practical were less likely to play outdoors or to get down and dirty with their classmates.

Daycare teachers were reluctant to send well-heeled kids outside to play. What's even more alarming is that researchers found that just one kid wearing flip-flops, an expensive dress, or no coat often kept the entire class inside for the day.

"Even more surprising to our team was the fact that the childcare center staff members said some parents appeared to send children to the centers without coats so they'd have to stay inside," Dr. Kristen Copeland, a pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center who led the study, said in a press release. "We were surprised that some teachers reported that they had seen a few parents intentionally take their child's coat with them to work, so that the child would not be allowed outside."

Copeland said that parents intentionally left coats at home because they didn't want their children running outside and potentially ruining their fancy clothes or getting injured on the playground.

It's outrageous that a parent would intentionally sabotage her child's playtime to protect an overpriced sweater. Have these people never heard of Old Navy? I never understood the concept of dropping oodles of cash on a 2-year-old's wardrobe, but it astounds me that some parents are more concerned with their kid's clothes than they are with his physical health. Kids need to move, they need to play and climb and get dirty. They don't need to sport flip-flops and $300 sweaters.

next: 'Tis the Season
91 comments so far | Post a comment now
Rita November 13, 2009, 5:32 PM

Thank you!!! I’ve been saying this for years! I love fashion, I love to wear nice clothes, and I love my kids to be in nice clothes, but there is a time and place for everything! The playground is not the place for your children to be in high-priced clothes! I’m astounded by the amounts of Stepford Moms who always bring their toddler girls to the playground wearing dresses and Mary Janes! Seriously? Its crazy and stupid.

Anonymous November 13, 2009, 6:38 PM

I used to be the kid in the excessively-fancy clothes and was told not to ever get them dirty, torn, etc. They would later get sold at yard sales in almost perfect condition. In the meantime, I was afraid of everything (in part due to the fear of getting dirty) and obese (perhaps because I couldn’t run very well on the playground in my mary-janes?) I once had to even have a teacher take me back out to the playground after recess to find my hair ribbon, as I knew I’d get into trouble if I’d lost it - when I saw that someone had used it to tie up a bundle of grass and thus got it stained, I was inconsolable. Please, if anyone is reading this, don’t do this to your kid. Fancy clothes for church, special occasions, family portraits - but past that, let your kid be a kid.

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