Red shirting: the pros and cons of holding your child back

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Reporter - Scott McGee
Photojournalist - Mike Spissinger

PADUCAH — Childhood is tough on kids and in many ways tougher on parents constantly looking to give their children every advantage they can.

One of those potential advantages starts before they even get to school.

It's known as "red shirting" or "holding back" and it's when a parent starts their child in kindergarten at age 6 instead of when most kids start at age 5.

It's a growing trend. In 1997, 9 percent of children were starting school at age 6.

By 2011, 18 percent were starting a year later.

Those numbers break down like this: 75-percent of caucasian kids were red-shirted and 64 percent of those children were boys.

The big question for all parents is, does it actually help a child succeed?

That's where the science gets a little fuzzy.

But in the end it's up to a parent to decide.

Watch the video for more on this trend and what it means for your family.

And for more information on red shirting, click here, here and here.

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