Finding the right clothing can be difficult for any child, but it is even more challenging for kids with tactile sensitivity. Children with tactile sensitivity (also called tactile defensiveness) have an increased sensitivity to everyday touch experiences. This hypersensitivity can run from mild to severe and can make everyday tasks, like getting dressed, a challenge. For children with sensory problems, clothing textures and fastenings against the skin can be painful. To make getting dressed easier for both parent and child, try these tips when shopping for a sensory sensitive kid.
Look for clothing with:
- no tags: especially in the neck area of shirts, sides of shirts and back of pants. You can cut tags out or look for clothing where the tags are printed directly onto the garment.
- flat seams: certain brands use a special machine or technique for this. The result is a seam that doesn’t “stick out” like a traditional seam. When searching online, try the word “seamless”. This includes socks too!
- covered elastic waist: all pants should have a very stretchy elastic waist and none of the elastic should be exposed (especially for underpants).
- soft fabric: this is very important, no rough fabrics (like denim). Good options include combed cotton, organic cotton and bamboo.
- loose fit/tight fit: for some hypersensitive children loose clothing is an absolute must. Others prefer to have a tight spandex type garment under their clothing providing even pressure. Taking your child shopping with you, at least once, will help you figure out what they prefer.
- simple design: choose a garment without excess decoration (avoid buttons, zippers, bulky pockets and lace trim).
Hopefully, with these tips in mind, your back-to-school shopping experience will go a little more smoothly! If you are the parent of a child with clothing sensitivities, you can check out my line of kids sensory friendly clothing at:
Guest Writer-Alison Edwards is an entrepreneur and mom of two whose eldest son developed sensory sensitivity as a toddler. After years of struggling to find clothing that her son could stand to wear, Alison decided to create Pineapple Pete Kids, a small business which produces sensory friendly clothing for children with skin sensitivities. You can find more information online: www.pineapplepete.ca.