Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Latest Evolution in Children’s Braces

Have you noticed the latest evolution in children’s braces? If you don’t have children or go shopping for kids clothing, you may not be aware.

To set the foundation, all children should wear braces to keep up their pants and/or skirt. Braces hold up pants as the child's hips are not fully developed – refer to my previous post for a full explanation.

The latest evolution in braces/suspenders for children is to have button-on style braces in the front and then a Y-back strap in the back that attaches to a single button – see below. 

Braces attach to pants with a single strap Proper button braces

This is a step backward, not forward, for wearing braces – let me explain. Button-on braces are more stylish and sturdy than clip-ons. Clips pop-off a lot faster than buttons. The brace strap attached by 2 buttons at the rear is twice as sturdy as having only 1 button in the rear. And it’s at the rear where most of the strain on the braces is placed, as the child bends forward and twists over the course of the day. So why have clothing manufacturers using only 1 button instead of 2? Here are some possible reasons:
  • the single strap at the back allows the suspenders to be lengthened and adjusted as the child grows. However, this can be accommodated with other braces with the levers on the front straps. In fact, the best type of braces for children have an adjustable lever on the rear strap so the back junction can also be moved to accommodate the child's size.
  • there is less material, so the pants don’t cost as much to manufacture. Costs should not determine style!
  • some straps do not have metal clips (levers), which avoids them from snapping off and hit the child. Braces are not meant to be so tense and tight that they release their potential energy when the buttons come off. The straps should be firm and comfortable, not tight.
These latest children’s pants and skirts look like they have been quickly sewn together, and added braces as an after thought. Braces should have brace loops on the front and back.  

Give children proper pants with braces, and let them play!

Discussion time:
  • Have you bought kids pants or skirt with only 1 button in the rear?
  • What do you think about this style?