Ten high street retailers have backed new guidelines to prevent the sale and marketing of provocative and sexually-suggestive children's clothing in Ireland.
 
The retailers include Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Clerys, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Next, Penneys, Tesco and TK Maxx.

The 'Responsible Retailing: Retail Ireland Childrenswear Guidelines' are designed to ensure clothing, footwear and accessories designed for children under the age of 12 years are "age appropriate."

The new code suggests slogans and imagery must be age appropriate and not sexually suggestive, demeaning or derogative; the choice of fabrics and cut should provide for modesty; footwear heels should be less than 2.5cm; and children's underwear should be clearly differentiated from adult lingerie.

"These new guidelines provide extra reassurance for parents that retailers are just as concerned as they are about what their children wear," said Stephen Lynam, director at Retail Ireland, which launched the guidelines.

Similar 'good practice' guidelines for stores selling children's clothing were launched in the UK last year.