Sensitivity to Clothing


Some children are senstive to how things feel on their skin. This means that the simple act of getting dressed in the morning can cause issues. We might think that the causes of these issues are so small that they are insignificant but even the feeling of a label pressing against their skin can feel unbearable to some children. That label might seem normal to us but to a sensitive child it can cause actual physical discomfort.

It is possible to purchase clothes without labels and this would be an appropriate choice if your child is irritated by the feeling of a label against their body. If you buy clothes with labels that cause issues, the labels can be removed. The label should always be cut as close to the material as possible or the label stitching unpicked to remove it.

Seams, especially if raised, can also cause problems for some children. It might simply be that the seams of the child’s socks are misaligned and a simple remedy is to align the socks so that the seams match on both legs. Seamless socks might be a better choice.

Perhaps your child reacts to the itchy feeling triggered by stiff fabrics? Experiment with shirts without collars and avoid clothes with heavier decorations : the decorations may have prickly, irritating attachments or stitching on the inside. Trousers can have elastic waistbands and these avoid rough zips pressed against the skin.

We all have our favourite clothes that we reach for time and time again. We might simply be motivated by the way a shirt looks but a sensitive child is usually seeking the comfort offered by a familiar item of clothing. Older, worn clothes usually feel softer against the skin. Softer clothes are less irritating.

Children that are sensitive to touch may find synthetic clothing materials uncomfortable to wear. Even though these materials are hundreds of times better than they were twenty years ago, they can still feel scratchy and irritate a child’s skin. If possible, try to source natural materials that are softer and breathable. Cotton clothes are readily available. You can even try bamboo.

Socks that slip down into shoes can cause irritation and discomfort. It is possible to buy socks that are guaranteed to stay up. Equally, bras can be bought that don’t slip off the shoulders.

We have all felt irritation when our shirt rides up when sitting in a chair. It is uncomfortable. Imagine if that discomfort were real physical pain. It’s so important to listen to our children when they complain about clothes. It’s not simply that they don’t like an article of clothing. It may be hurting them.

In Mayhem Monday, Jody is very picky about what clothes she wears and she only likes her familiar old clothes and hates the feel of newly washed clothing.