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A Reasonable Dress Code?

April 22, 2010

As you know, I’m against telling people what to wear, how to wear it, and when it’s appropriate, as a rule.  But the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity just came out with a study that makes a very good case for a dress code.

The study concluded that inappropriate clothing can really get in the way of a child’s ability to play outside.  Playing outside obviously helps with physical health and maintaining a healthy body weight, but also aids other types of healthy development, like having good, long-term eye sight, or fighting vitamin D deficiencies.

Inappropriate clothing included:

  • lack of weather-appropriate outdoor clothing
  • inappropriate shoes (flip flops, etc.)
  • fancy outfits that could be ruined with outdoor play

(Baby heels are a definite “no no.”)

All of this might seem pretty obvious to the majority of people who value outdoor play, but the worst part was that the study noted that even if one child in a class or group was inappropriately dress it would affect the whole group’s ability to play outside.

The only thing worse that being told what not to wear is being told what not to do.  So, in the interest of letting kids do what they want, let’s set aside the lace and velvet dresses with matching patent-leather shoes and jump in some mud puddles!

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