Retailers selling "inappropriate" products for children such as such as padded bras, high heels and T-shirts with suggestive slogans, could face new restrictions under plans being mulled by the British government.

Responding to concerns that children are being pressured into growing up too quickly, a review of the commercialisation and sexualisation of children was launched today (6 December).

Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers' Union, has been tasked with carrying out the investigation, and is due to report back with recommendations in May 2011.

"We've all read the headlines about high-street shops selling inappropriate products for children and many of us are worried about some of the marketing practices that are being used specifically to target children," explains Children's Minister Sarah Teather.

"By reviewing commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood we want to better understand not only how we can help parents resist these things, but also how we encourage all businesses to take their responsibilities as seriously as the best ones already do."

Earlier this year, UK supermarket retailer Asda was forced to withdraw padded bras for children, while Marks & Spencer was criticised for selling a crop top that looked like a bra for girls as young as six.

Concerns have also been levelled at an underwear line on sale at Primark; padded bras on sale at Tesco, and online at Next and Peacocks; and a padded bikini sold by Tammy, part of Bhs.