Child-related issues in HFE focuses on the emerging development of a child in the context of product use in varied settings and environments such as home, school, vehicle, and recreation. The topic of children inevitably includes caretakers, which too is a main focus, particularly with respect to their physical and cognitive tasks. Some main topics of interest and research of the TG include injury prevention, communication methods, and satisfaction and comfort of children and their caregivers. Researchers, practitioners, manufacturers, policy makers, caretakers, and HFE students participate in information exchange.
Designing for children requires consideration of changing development and maturational processes while considering individual differences and cultural/ethnic differences. Children mature at different rates and reach different levels at different stages.
Young children are particularly vulnerable in many ways, including the potential for injury from bad product design.
Applying HFE principles, methods and research could be used to improve product designs that reduce injuries. Other important areas of interest are caretakers (parents, day care providers), educators (teachers, those who maintain environments for children such as children’s museums or amusement areas) and designers (of children’s toys, car seats, or playgrounds).
Mental and physical workload, environmental interactions and tasks, up-to-date knowledge on how to nurture physical, social, motivational, and behavioral growth are some of the relevant issues. Basic data on anthropometrics and strength capabilities at different ages and among different cultures are needed.