Crossing safety barriers: Influence of children's morphological and functional variables

Faculty of Human Kinetics - Technical University of Lisbon, Department of Health and Sport Sciences, Estrada da Costa, 1495-688 Cruz Quebrada, Portugal.
Applied ergonomics (Impact Factor: 2.02). 08/2011; 43(3):515-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2011.08.003
Source: PubMed


Thirty-three children between 3 and 6 years of age were asked to climb four different types of safety barriers. Morphological and functional variables of the children, which were expected to influence climbing or passing through skills, were collected. The influence of those variables on children's success rate and time to cross was tested. No barrier offered a total restraining efficacy. The horizontal bars barrier was crossed by 97% of the children. In the group of children that succeeded in crossing the four barriers, mean time to cross the most difficult barrier was 15 s. Age was the best predictor for success in crossing most barriers but morphology and strength were important predictors of time to cross. The influence of anthropometric variables in time to cross was dependent upon the characteristics of the barrier. A good design of safety barriers should consider children's age, morphology and strength.

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