Children’s physical, perceptual, cognitive, and behavioral patterns change substantially from birth through adulthood. Each stage in development presents unique concerns for child safety and considerations in product design, product use, and child supervision. Exponent Human Factors scientists understand the developmental changes that occur over the lifespan, how these affect the capabilities and limitations of perception, cognition, and behavior, and how children’s interactions with the world and products around them relate to their safety.
As part of our work, Exponent scientists analyze the physical and cognitive development of children, the ways these factors interact to impact how children engage in activities and use products, and how caregivers respond to children’s needs and safety concerns in different environments. Exponent scientists have studied US and international data regarding hazards that predominantly or uniquely impact children (e.g., choking, suffocation, drowning, poisoning) and the effectiveness of strategies intended to reduce or eliminate such injuries. In addition, Exponent scientists conduct experimental and observational studies involving children and their parents to examine the ways in which they interact with a variety of products, including those intended for children (e.g., high chairs, car seats, and toys) and those not intended for children (e.g., lighters and motor vehicles), and the impact this has on safe and effective product use.
Our services include:
- Design, conduct, and analyze child-product interaction studies
- Advise as to recall of child products
- Conduct hazard analysis for child safety-related scenarios
- Evaluate child-resistance in packaging and product design
- Review and analyze consumer complaints
- Assess developmental and age appropriateness of products or activities
- Evaluate caregiver supervision
- Review and analyze child injury and fatality data to identify behavior patterns associated with accidents
- Use risk analysis to quantify safety of a product or activity
- Measure child performance and abilities (e.g., motor skills, strength)