Retailers and brands selling what are deemed to be sexualised products to young children may face restrictions under a government review.
A government inquiry will launch today to consider whether new rules are needed regarding the production of items such as T-shirts with suggestive slogans, lap-dancing kits, high heels and padded bras to pre-teens.
Reg Bailey, chief executive of Christian charity Mothers’ Union, will lead the inquiry.
Children’s Minister Sarah Teather told the Sunday Times: “There are huge pressures on children to grow up too quickly and to buy stuff, some of which is completely unsuitable.
“I know when I walk down the high street there is one shop after another marketing highly sexualised clothes to young children: short, tight dresses; T-shirts with unsuitable slogans.”
Earlier this year value retailer Primark was caught selling a £4 padded bikini top for children. It later withdrew the range and apologised.
A follow-up investigation by The Sun found a £10 low-cut padded diamanté bikini for 8-year olds at Tammy, a brightly coloured padded bra in size 28AA in Tesco, and padded bras in the girls’ sections of Next and Peacocks.