Are high heels for young girls a step too far?

New York Post—May 21, 2010

Forget getting your ears pierced. The latest rite of passage for little girls is getting that first pair of pumps.

When Alex Rodriguez escorted 5-year-old daughter Natasha onto the red carpet at Highbar in Midtown on Saturday night, he said he was “extremely nervous” — because it was her first time wearing heels.

N-Rod, who sported 2-inch strappy sandals by Amiana, is following in the footsteps of another famous daughter: Suri Cruise. The 4-year-old offspring of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes has been wearing heels for the past year and has popularized a trend that is now dividing parents across New York City.

But doctors are worried that hot-to-trot tots will fall over and sprain an ankle. “It can be dangerous,” warns Dr. Rock Positano, director of nonsurgical foot and ankle service at Hospital of Special Surgery on the Upper East Side. “The 2-inch range is where we run into problems. It’s a foot that is in development, and they don’t have the strength or stability [for heels].”

Diane Debrovner, deputy editor of Parents magazine, says her 5-year-old daughter’s friends don’t just play dress-up in heels — they wear them casually on the weekend like sneakers.

But preschool heel hysteria hasn’t reached epidemic levels just yet.

“I’ve never seen them,” said the receptionist who answered the phone at the Little Red School House in Greenwich Village. “The kids here wear jeans and sneakers.”

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