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Criteria for designing safer and more ergonomic children's products

The IBV initiates a campaign of foot and hand measurement to more than one thousand students to adapt the design of products for the child population of sectors such as toys or childcare

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With the aim of generating anthropometric data bases for children, the Institute of Biomechanics (IBV by its acronym in Spanish) has started a campaign of foot and hand measurements for schoolchildren aged 4 to 12 in order to obtain criteria for the design of safer children's products and ergonomic. Thus, the Eurohandfeet R&D project coordinated by the IBV, supported by the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE), and with the collaboration of the Technological Institute for Children and Leisure Products (AIJU), will transfer the information obtained to the companies of the Comunitat Valenciana so that they can adapt their products to the dimensions of the child population. In this way, 1,050 schoolchildren from seven schools in the Comunitat are being taken hand and foot measures. Results that, as stated by Juan Carlos González, Director of Innovation in of the IBV, will be applied to more than 300 types of children's products in sectors such as toys, childcare, footwear, fashion, sports and social welfare.

Thus, the measures and proportions of the children vary according to the country, also presenting changes in their measures and proportions from one generation to another. As the IBV points out, it is necessary to integrate all this data and to generate a European anthropometric database to serve as a guide for the industrial sector. The average height of the Portuguese child population of 7 years is 125.8 centimeters while the Swedish height reaches 129.2 centimeters at that same age.

Another relevant fact that reinforces the need to update the anthropometric knowledge about the child population is that in the last 150 years the population of children between 5 and 7 years has increased its height by one centimeter per decade, while in the case of children from 10 to 14 years has varied by 2 or 3 centimeters.

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