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Ergonomics_for_children

Humanics Ergonomics

Ergonomics for Children

About the book  |  Order  |  Credit card orders  |  Photos

 

Overview  |  Child development  |  Child health & disabilities  |  Child product design

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Ergonomics for children...
            Designing products & places for toddlers to teens

Ergonomics for children (2008)
Edited by Rani Lueder
and Valerie Berg Rice
Taylor & Francis (London & N.Y.)
ISBN No. 0415304741
Hardcover: 986 pages
Over 1,000 photos, graphics & tables

This is a practical users’ manual about child ergonomics written for people who design for, play with, teach, supervise and protect children.  It is about creating products and environments for toddlers to teenagers that match their capabilities, stimulate their development, promote learning and keep them healthy and safe.

This book is the first of its kind, providing practical guidance based on the latest research about topics from the sensory-motor, physical, cognitive and psychosocial stages of development and its implications for topics such as handwriting, designing toys and warnings, creating child-friendly environments at home, school, playgrounds, public buildings – even in cities and neighborhoods.

Ergonomics for children: Designing products and places for toddlers to teens

A.  Introduction

      1.  Introduction

           Rani Lueder and Valerie Berg Rice

          With thanks to the memory of Cheryl Bennett

B.  Child abilities and health

      2.  Developmental stages of children
           Tina Brown & Melissa Beran (Intertek-RAM)

      3.  Child anthropometry
            Beverley Norris & Stuart A. Smith (University of Nottingham)

      4.  Visual ergonomics for children
            Knut Inge Fostervold & Dennis Ankrum (University of Oslo & Ankrum Assoc.)

      5.  Children and hearing
            Nancy L. Vause (ARL-HRED AMEDD)

      6.  Physical development in children and adolescents and age-related risks
            Rani Lueder (Humanics Ergonomics)

      7.  Physical education and exercise for children
            Barbara H. Boucher (Consultant)

C.  Injuries, health disorders and disabilities

      8.  Injuries and children
            Valerie Berg Rice (General Ergonomics)

      9.  Assistive technologies for children
            Robin Springer (Computer Talk)

      10.  Meeting the needs of disabled children in developing countries
            David Werner (HealthWrights.org)

D.  Children and product design

      11.  Designing products for children
             Valerie Berg Rice & Rani Lueder

   Supplement.  Children’s safety and handguns
   Hal W. Hendrick (Hendrick & Associates)

      12.  Children’s play with toys
             Brenda A. Torres (Intertek-RAM)

      13.  Bookbags for children
              Karen Jacobs, Renee Lockhart, Hsin-Yu Chiang & Mary O’Hara (Boston U.)

      14.  Warnings and children
              Michael J. Kalsher (Rensselaer) & Michael S. Wogalter (North Carolina State)

E.  Children at home

      15.  Stairways for children
                Jake Pauls (Consultant, Building Use)

      16.  Child use of technology at home
              Cheryl L. Bennett (Lawrence Livermore National Labs)

      17.  Children in vehicles
              Rani Lueder (Humanics Ergonomics)

      18.  Preventing musculoskeletal disorders among youth working on farms
              Thomas R. Waters (NIOSH / National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health)

F.  Children and schools

      19.  Preschool and daycare design
              Lorraine E. Maxwell (Cornell University)

      20.  Child and handwriting ergonomics
             Cindy Burt (UCLA) & Mary Benbow (Consultant)

      21.  School furniture for children
              Alan Hedge (Cornell University) & Rani Lueder (Humanics)

      22.  Child-friendly user interfaces in the digital world
              Libby Hanna (Hanna Research)

      23.  Information and communication technologies in school
              Clare Pollock & Leon Straker (Curtin University, Australia)

      24.  Rethinking school design: New directions in child learning
              David Gulland (Hassell, Australia) & Jeff Phillips (Govt. Education & Training, W. Australia)

G.  Children and public spaces

      25.  Designing cities and neighborhoods for children
              Rani Lueder (Humanics Ergonomics)

      26.  Children and wayfinding
              Gary Allen (University South Carolina), Rani Lueder & Valerie Berg Rice

      27.  Designing museum experiences for children
              Jeff Kennedy & Marjorie Prager (Jeff Kennedy Associates)

      28.  Playground safety and ergonomics
              Alison G. Vredenburgh & Ilene B. Zackowitz (Vredenburgh Associates)

Top of page  |  Ursy Potter Photography

A.  Introduction

      1.  Introduction to the book
           Rani Lueder & Valerie Berg Rice
           With thanks to the memory of Cheryl Bennett

This book is an attempt to provide a Practical User’s Manual about ergonomics and children for professionals who design for and work and play with children. As such, it is a different sort of book than others in the field. It cuts across a wide swath of disciplines such as ergonomics, psychology, medicine, rehabilitation, exercise physiology, optometry, education, architecture, urban planning, law and others.

Children are clearly not "little adults", but how do they differ, and how do such differences affect the design of products and places that they use? How can we better help them face new and unique challenges, such as when using new technologies? The questions were simple, but the answers were not.

B.  Child abilities and health

      2.  Developmental stages of children
           Tina Brown & Melissa Beran (Intertek-RAM)

Each child is unique, yet children also undergo universal developmental stages that are affected by their life-experiences and culture.  We can predict when, how and why children do the things they do based on the cognitive, physical, social, emotional and language dimensions of each developmental stage.


      3.  Child anthropometry
           Beverley Norris & Stuart A. Smith (University of Nottingham)

Anthropometry is the scientific measurement of human body sizes, shapes and physical capabilities. Anthropometric data helps us evaluate the fit between children and the products and environments the use.

An understanding of this fit is critical to ensure that children can use (and enjoy) products intended for them. At the same time, it protects them from harm by ensuring that hazards are properly guarded or placed out of reach.  |  More child anthropometrics


      4.  Visual ergonomics for children
           Knut Inge Fostervold & Dennis Ankrum (University of Oslo & Ankrum Assoc.)

Children are exposed to very different visual environments than previous generations. Yet these technologies are often used without regard for the corresponding implications for children’s comfort, health and long-term well-being. Further, children’s visual environments may adversely affect their postures and postural risk. This chapter reviews what we know about the ergonomic implications related to vision and to the use of new technologies.


      5.  Children and hearing
           Nancy L. Vause (ARL-HRED AMEDD)

Loud and distracting noise can damage our hearing, potentially hindering our ability to learn and fully experience our lives. This chapter reviews the literature on the impact of noise on hearing, the nature of hearing loss and its effect on learning in the classroom. It also provides guidance for designing effective classroom environments that will reduce sound distractions and promote hearing.


      6.  Physical development in children and adolescents and age-related risks
           Rani Lueder (Humanics Ergonomics)

Children today must face different demands than with preceding generations. In general, children are also taller, heavier and less fit. Many children (particularly girls) experience puberty earlier than previous generations, increasing the potential for musculoskeletal pain and disorders. Children’s injury risks are also different than those adults commonly experience. This chapter reviews how children’s musculoskeletal systems develop and the corresponding implications for developing back pain and other soft tissue disorders and injury.


      7.  Physical education and exercise for children
           Barbara H. Boucher (Consultant)

Children benefit mentally, physically and socially from physical activity. Exercise is essential for proper development of bones, muscles and joints. It promotes health, improves alertness, self-esteem and outlook. User-centered physical education programs incorporate principles of child development, build on environmental influences and consider the child as a whole. This chapter reviews how children develop physiologically, cognitively and socially between the ages of 5 and 15, and the implications for effective physical activity programs.

C.  Injuries, health disorders and disabilities

      8.  Children and injuries
           Valerie Berg Rice (General Ergonomics)

A child’s "work" is to develop physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. Eliminating all risks would also eliminate challenges essential to children’s growth and development. This chapter focuses on preventing injuries that are most common among children: falls, burns, poison, choking and drowning. It includes design and safety considerations for products, places and tasks to promote effective environments while reducing the potential for injuries.


      9.  Assistive technologies for children
           Robin Springer (Computer Talk)

Assistive technologies enable people with disabilities to participate in activities of daily living, helping to ensure equal opportunities. These items range from high tech to everyday products that include wheelchairs, adapted vans, communication devices and modified computers. This chapter aims to help the reader understand a broad range of assistive technologies and to evaluate their appropriateness for the user. It also reviews considerations for using them effectively.


      10.  Meeting the needs of disabled children in developing countries
              David Werner (HealthWrights.org)

Helping disabled children in developing villages requires working with them to create solutions that provide a "goodness of fit" with their life circumstances.  Adapting simple, locally made equipment while involving the disabled child and their family helps them fit in their community.  Even rehabilitation exercises can isolate a child from their community and emphasize how they differ from their peers; work-based therapeutic activities can help them build on strengths rather than limitations.

D.  Children and product design

      11.  Designing products for children
             Valerie Berg Rice & Rani Lueder

This chapter reviews the ergonomic considerations for designing products for children to encourage their proper use, safety and fun. It also summarizes the research and provides guidelines for evaluating a range of products, from baby cribs and strollers to youth recreation.  |  More children and products


      Supplement: Children’s safety and handguns
          Hal W. Hendrick (Hendrick & Associates)

Children, handgun design and safety.


      12.  Children’s play with toys
              Brenda Torres (Intertek-RAM)

Today, the focus on ergonomics in toy design has broadened beyond safety and comfort to designing toys to fit the child user. Today’s consumers also expect products to be easy to use, functional, pleasurable and to contribute to growth and development. This requires an understanding of children’s developmental stages.


      13.  Bookbags for children
             Karen Jacobs, Renee Lockhart, Hsin-Yu Chiang & Mary O’Hara (Boston U.)

Backpacks are a practical way to transport schoolwork. Even so, research indicates that the design of the Bookbags and how it is used influence the risk of developing musculoskeletal injuries.


      14.  Warnings and children
              Michael J. Kalsher (Rensselaer) & Michael S. Wogalter (NC State)

Young children do not have the cognitive abilities to recognize and avoid risks.  This chapter reviews the range of issues surrounding how best to inform children and caregivers of hazards. It considers the roles of manufacturers and caregivers in protecting children by designing out the hazard, guarding against the hazard and warnings.

E.  Children at home

      15.  Stairways for children
            Jake Pauls (Consultant, Building Use)

Climbing and descending stairs requires a combination of strength, balance, timing and equilibrium. It takes coordinated effort to avoid missteps, falls and injury.  This chapter focuses on design factors that contribute to ease-of-use and safety for children on stairs. Important considerations include stairway visibility, step dimensions and handholds.


      16.  Child use of technology at home
              Cheryl L. Bennett (Lawrence Livermore Labs)

New technologies are increasingly common in the home. These must do more than accommodate children’s physical and mental abilities; it is important for child users to understand basic principles of posture, body mechanics and the risks and benefits associated with using computers and other electronic devices.  Imparting an awareness of the importance of position, posture and comfort to children at an early age can establish habits that will empower them throughout their lives.


      17.  Children in vehicles
              Rani Lueder (Humanics Ergonomics)

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death and serious injuries in children at every age after their first birthday. Children’s injuries are also more severe than those of adults; their small size and developing bones and muscles make them more susceptible to injury in car crashes if not properly restrained. Many of these deaths could have been avoided, such as by proper design and use of child restraints that are appropriate for the child’s age, positioning in the vehicle and many other factors.

 


 

      18.  Preventing musculoskeletal disorders among youth working on farms
              Thomas R. Waters (NIOSH / National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health)

              right_arrow second_right_arrow 3rdright_arrow  Download pdf Download Dr. Water's chapter, Preventing Work-related MSDs for youth on farms
                                     (courtesy of Dr. Tom Waters of The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health)

Farms are one of the most hazardous places for anyone to work. Children and adolescents on family farms begin helping at very young ages, often performing physically demand-in jobs designed for adults. These jobs may exceed children´s capabilities and lead to acute or chronic musculoskeletal disorders. The jobs include lifting and moving materials, operating farm equipment and performing other tasks that re-quire strength and coordination.

This chapter describes the ergonomic risks for children that are associated with farming tasks and provides guidelines for avoiding hazards.

More about preventing musculoskeletal disorders in youth working on farms

About the "Ergonomics for Children" book

 

F.  Children and schools

      19.  Preschool and daycare design
              Lorraine E. Maxwell (Cornell University)

Physical preschool environments play a critical role on children’s cognitive, social, physical and emotional development.  Stimulating and well-organized childcare settings help children develop their vocabularies, attention and memory skills and social interactions with peers.


      20.  Children and handwriting ergonomics
              Cindy Burt (UCLA) & Mary Benbow (Consultant)

Many of us take children’s ability to learn to write for granted. Yet handwriting is physically and intellectually demanding. Postural instability, paper and pencil positioning and limited gripping ability are correlated with poor handwriting performance. Creating effective child environments for writing requires more than simply supplying a place for children to copy letters. Effective learning environments must be directive, supportive and intriguing for children as they develop this new way to communicate. Children need appropriate writing tasks and tools and must be developmentally ready to write.


      21.  School furniture and children
              Alan Hedge (Cornell University) and Rani Lueder (Humanics Ergonomics)

Research indicates that many schoolchildren sit in furniture that does not fit them properly. Schoolchildren who sit in awkward postures for long durations can experience musculoskeletal symptom that worsen with time. Yet common assumptions about what is ergonomically "proper" for adults may not be appropriate for children.  This chapter reviews ergonomic design considerations for classroom furniture and summarizes worldwide ergonomics research into the design of comfortable school furniture.


      22.  Child-friendly user interfaces in the digital world
              Libby Hanna (Hanna Research)

Children, like adults, need ergonomic "user friendly" interfaces in the broad range of electronic media they use on a regular basis.

Ergonomic design guidelines can set the stage for children’s initial interactions with a product, enabling them to use products intuitively and fluidly. The products should be easy to use and geared to their particular developmental stages in hand-eye coordination and cognitive skills.  Children also need media content that offers opportunities for growth. Ergonomic guidelines can stimulate and nurture development by providing electronic media that enrich children’s lives.


      23.  Information and communication technologies in schools
              Clare Pollock & Leon Straker (Curtin University)

This chapter reviews the ergonomic implications of using information and communication technologies in schools.  It also provides guidelines for implementing and using these technologies to promote child learning and well-being.


      24.  Rethinking school design: New directions in child learning
              David Gulland (Hassell, Australia) & Jeff Phillips (Govt. Educ. & Training, W Australia)

The quality of learning environments can enhance learning outcomes, as learners respond positively to stimulating spaces. Poor school designs create barriers to learning by physically isolating students from each other and hindering the sense of belonging, ownership or engagement with the space. This chapter compares traditional schools with innovative new schools that reflect a paradigm shift on environmental influences on learning.

G.  Children and public spaces

      25.  Designing cities and neighborhoods for children
              Rani Lueder (Humanics Ergonomics)

The design of children’s neighborhoods is central to their physical, emotional and cognitive development, their physical activities and perceived and actual safety.  This chapter reviews the design of streets and neighborhoods to encourage outdoor play and physical activity while protecting them from traffic; discourage behaviors that lead to crime through design and many other topics for creating livable cities and neighborhoods for children.


      26.  Children and wayfinding
              Gary Allen (Univ. South Carolina), Rani Lueder & Valerie Berg Rice

Children are explorers by nature, and their wayfinding skills improve dramatically with age and practice. Further, individual children vary greatly in their wayfinding abilities.  This chapter identifies wayfinding strategies and reviews methods to enhance children’s wayfinding skills. It also provides guidelines for design that will help children orient themselves.


      27.  Designing museum experiences for children
              Jeff Kennedy & Marjorie Prager (Jeff Kennedy Associates, Inc.)

The last twenty-five years has seen a boom in museum experiences for children. Museums of all kinds – science centers, art and history museums, zoos, aquariums and nature centers – offer experiences that engage and entertain children. This chapter reviews ergonomic implications for accommodating children and their caregivers in these environments.


      28.  Playground safety and ergonomics
              Alison G. Vredenburgh & Ilene B. Zackowitz (Vredenburgh & Associates)

Playgrounds enable children to develop physical and social skills in fun and stimulating environments. Playgrounds provide children with "work" activities that help them develop skills such as eye-hand coordination and balance.

The fit between the child user and their environments is critical in playgrounds. Children need challenge in safe environments. Improper playground design or maintenance can contribute to injuries. This chapter focuses on safety issues that help reduce children’s exposure to danger and reviews common playground hazards, child user requirements and design guidelines.


Photography by Ursy Potter Photography

 

More ergonomics research and design for children and adolescents

Child anthropometrics  |  Products  |  Spaces  |  Schoolchildren  |  Laws  |  Noise

Development  |  Safety  |  Vehicles  |  Pediatrics  |  Disabled  |  Farms  |  Media

Children  |  Ergonomics  |  Disabled  |  Medical  |  Science  |  Places  |  Humor

 


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