It is the joy of every parent to see their little girl wear party dresses and end up looking like an adorable precious princess in every birthday party she is invited to. Birthday parties happen every year and every year gives every little girl a chance to look and feel like a princess in a pretty party dress. Almost every mom gets all giddy and excited while picking out her little girl’s party dress. All the frills and the lace, and the sparkles. Not to mention the combinations of pastel colors, puffy skirts, and faux fur. Every little girl’s party dress is somewhat made of a mix of every woman’s dream of being a little princess. It is a delightful experience to shop for dresses, but certain precautions must be noted and followed to ensure our little ones’ safety.

Precautions and helpful tips to keep in mind when choosing a little girl’s birthday dress:

1.       Basics of choosing a little girl’s party dress

Time to choose a dress! We should first know the basics. What, When, and Where? What: Does the party have a theme? A dress code?  It is best to read the party’s invitation properly so one can choose the most suitable type of dress to wear to the event. Some parents require their guests to wear a specific color or follow a specific theme for the party. In the invitation, it will also mention where the party will be held. Will it be indoor or outdoor? Slight details such as the venue is also a factor to be considered. If it is outdoor, light-colored and comfortable material such as organic cotton is highly recommended. The option of wearing delicate material to an outdoor event is discouraged.

 2.       Avoid and steer away from choking hazards

Dresses that have too much appliques and embellishments on them such as mini glitter balls, sequins, and other accessories such as heavy beading and pompoms that hang from the dress should be considered a choking hazard. To ensure safety, it is best to double check how it is securely attached to the dress and made sure that it is not easily removed. It is even better to opt for pretty patterned dresses with embroidery rather than dangling accessories. Items that sparkle and dangle may be easily detached and may attract attention to children at kids’ parties causing high possibility of swallowing such small items if it is easily detached from the child’s dress. Parents must constantly be alert and check such clothing to make sure it is secured on the dress.

 3.       Strangling hazards

Detachable ribbons, long shoelaces, and drawstrings that incorporated into the design of the dress are highly considered as strangling hazards that is a major safety concern. This may cause accidentally being caught in certain objects such as: doors, fences, moving objects that may cause serious injury by cutting off the child’s blood flow circulation to certain areas of the body. In some serious cases where this goes unnoticed, this leads to complete loss of blood flow circulation to a certain limb deprived of oxygen that may need to be cut off immediately. It is best to choose a dress that is closed off with Velcro or snap and button instead of ribbons and drawstrings. To ensure a child’s safety, and if the ribbons are inevitable, it is best to cut off the excess length to reduce the possibility of getting caught or tied up to a certain object.

4.       Fit and comfort

It is best to choose loose fitting clothes that will not cause a child to have trouble with breathing. It is best to choose viscose material or natural-fibers for a dress. Stay away from materials such as polyester that may cause a child to get a rash because of the rough material.  The ideal properties of a little girl’s dress material is that it must be: lightweight, breathable, and easy to wash. It is also best to research the about what you are purchasing from to know the lead content of the dyes and phthalates they use and incorporate into children’s dresses. Children’s clothing is now highly regulated and required to meet certain standards that undergo quality control. This is good news and advantage for most parents who are concerned about children’s safety.

 5.       Flammability of Material

Flammability of children’s clothing especially dresses is a major safety concern. In kids’ birthday parties, candles are blown and sparklers are ignited for the celebration. It is in everyone’s best interest that the children will have fun and no accidents or injuries will happen. In this case, some materials may be flammable and might cause burns if the child goes near flame. There are federal regulations that require children’s clothing from 9 months and older must be flame-resistant. This especially includes party dresses and sleepwear. Garment material is considered to be flame-resistant if it not chemically treated. Having undergone quality control, the material ensures the child’s safety because when exposed to flame, it will not spread and continue to burn. It is also another safety reminder that it is better to choose a dress that does not have much flaps and dangling material to prevent high possibilities of getting in contact with flame from birthday party candles or sparklers. It is also best to check the label because most clothing or dresses that have been tested for being flame-resistant will be indicated on the item’s tag.

 6.       Other safety concerns

There are many other minor safety concerns that we must take note of. No parents would wish upon their child any pain may it be a small scrape or scratch. When it comes to zippers, best quality ones are safe.  Otherwise children’s skin may get in zippers and cause a wound to the little girl. Metal objects such as studs should be avoided. It is important to prioritize safety over style most especially in children. Metal embellishments in the event of a fire or long exposure under the sun will absorb heat and become hot causing burns on the child. Heating units such as dryers and radiators may also cause metal accessories to heat up.

 How to Maintain Little Girls’ Party Dresses

1.       Avoid harsh chemicals

For little girl’s dresses, made with all the exquisite design and delicate material, must be handled with care. Harsh chemicals may damage the dress material and may also be hazard to the child wearing it because it may cause an itchy rash or an allergic reaction on the skin. There are detergents and fabric conditioners that are especially made for children’s clothing that are free from certain chemicals that may trigger an allergic reaction to the child who has sensitive skin.

 2.       Carefully read and follow the clothing label attached

One of the biggest factors on how to maintain a dress is how it is cleaned and taken care of. Almost all dresses most probably have a clothing label attached to it with instructions and symbols of how to clean and what not to do. Some dresses will require certain water temperatures in which it is to be washed in to retain the size of the dress and prevent it from shrinking. Some dresses are not allowed to be machine washed and must be exclusively hand washed because of the material it is made of. Some dresses require for it to be hanged flat to dry and not dried in the spinning dryer. Some dresses should not be iron-pressed and is in need of steaming to maintain the texture and consistency of its material. Some dresses should not be washed with fabric conditioner as this may cause the material to weaken and become thin. Some dresses, because of their color is not recommended to be washed along with other clothes as the color might spill over on the first wash. It’s better to be careful than ruin the dress on the first wash, use a gentle detergent that is recommended for children’s clothing and gently hand wash the dress. There are different instructions for different types of dresses and these should be followed if one desires to maintain the overall integrity of the material of the dress.

 3.       Know how to deal with specific stains

Children are made to be messy.

Children are messy and will be messy especially in kids parties. The possibilities are endless when answering the question as to what can stain your little girl’s party dress. Every parent must know, bleach is not the answer to removing all stains. It may even worsen the stain or damage the material. It is a must to know what stained the dress and go from there as to how to remove it. There are many approaches to different stains. Some are removed easier in cold water, some are removed faster with warm water. It is best to deal with the stain using spot treatment as we are trying to remove the stain without the possibility of it spreading to the other parts of the dress surround the stain.

 4.       Proper care and handling of the dress

One of the main things to do to keep the dress in tip-top shape is to prevent damage to the dress. It is best to secure the buttons and beads embedded on the dress. Check for threads that are threshing or running and address it accordingly because this might cause the thread to continue running and eventually destroying the dress permanently. To avoid discoloration, it is best to avoid the dress from getting stained or spilled on. And if in case that happens, it is a must to address the remove the stain immediately with water before it dries up and hardens on the dress material. Double checking the state of the dress before the event is a preventive measure of making sure that nothing that can be prevented will happen during the event such as: sudden removal of beads because of a loose thread or removal of accessories from the dress because it is not stitched to the dress properly. Securing the embellishments and avoiding possible stains are the best way to retain the color and design of the dress. It is easier to maintain and keep something in perfect condition rather than ruining it and trying to fix it back to its original state.

 5.       Storage of the dress

Besides the laundry care of the dress, storage is equally important as to preserving the quality and design of the dress. It is not recommended for the dress to be stored in humid areas as well as areas that are constantly exposed to the sun because this will cause growth of molds and mildew eventually leading to permanent discoloration. Keep the dress in a dry place away from environmental factors such as the sun. Keep the area dry by placing a pouch of silica gel in a corner.

It would also be great if it is stored inside a dry cloth bag before placed in a certain area to prevent mites from eating it or the accumulation of dust. Every now and then, it must be aired out to prevent a certain odor from sticking to the material of the dress. For dresses with form, it is best to be stored inside a garment bag and hanged with a proper hanger for its size that will retain its form instead of ruining the shape of the dress.

 Now that you are equipped with adequate information on how to mindfully choose and pick the perfect dress for your little girl, as well as how to deal with most stains and care for the dress. It is now time to buy your little girl a dress that would make her feel like a real-life princess.