Ten large retail outlets have signed up to voluntary guidelines on the design and marketing of children's clothes.

The guidelines are intended to ensure that practical, age-appropriate clothes are provided for children under the age of 12.

They are also meant to ensure the clothes avoid sexually suggestive slogans and imagery, and offer a choice of fabrics and cuts that provide for modesty.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Director of Retail Ireland Stephen Lynam said that the while the code was voluntary, retailers may withdraw garments in response to complaints from consumers.

"If someone believes a garment on sale for kids isn't appropriate for the age of that child... there is a feedback mechanism and there is the prospect of product withdrawal, but we don't think it will get to that point," Mr Lynam said.

Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Clerys, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer, Next, Penneys, Tesco and TK Maxx are signatories to the guidelines, and all ten are members of Retail Ireland.

However, Mr Lynam said that this was just the initial phase in the rollout of the guidelines.

So far no other retailers had been contacted, and that it was hoped that more retailers would sign up, he added.