Age appropriateness

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Age appropriateness or child-friendly is the progression of behavioral norms largely agreed upon within a society or among sociological and psychological authorities to be appropriate to a child's development of social skills. These behaviors are divided into a number of development stages based upon the child's age.

Lack of exposure to age appropriate activities and experiences is commonly thought to prevent a child from gaining the skills necessary for their current and thus their next stage of development.


In the United States, age determination guidelines for toys and games are suggested by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and consider child development (for children under 12 years of age) and toy characteristics.[1] When considering child development, the CPSC looks at the physical development, cognitive development, emotional development and social development of children.[1] The CPSC guidelines are then separated into four categories which include: play categories, toy subcategories, age groups, and toy characteristics.[1] Another notable factor relating to the age appropriateness of toys is whether or not the toys contain small parts, which can pose a potentially fatal choking hazard to young children, as younger children are more likely to put the small parts in their mouths.

Media and film[edit]

Content ratings often indicate at which age that content is considered by the rating body to be age-appropriate. For example, in the United States, TV-14 indicates that the television program contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years old; it is the equivalent to PG-13 for motion pictures.[2]

While ratings often classify material as inappropriate for children, the term "adult film" most often refers to pornography.

The Canadian Home Video Rating System is voluntary in most provinces of Canada, and the CHV rating system is as follows:[3]

G - Suitable for viewing by all ages. (5)
PG - Parental guidance advised. (4)
14A - Suitable for people 14 years of age or older. Those under 14 should view with an adult. No rental or purchase by those under 14 where prohibited by law. Parents cautioned. May contain violence, coarse language and/or sexually suggestive scenes. (3)
18A - Suitable for people 18 years of age or older. People under 18 should view with an adult. No rental or purchase by those under 18. Parents strongly cautioned. Will likely contain explicit violence, frequent coarse language, sexual activity and/or horror. (2)
R - Restricted to 18 years and older. No rental or purchase by those under 18. Contents not suitable for minors. Contains frequent sexual activity, brutality/graphic violence, intense horror, and/or other disturbing content. (1)
E - Exempt. Contains material not subject to classification, such as documentaries, nature, travel, music, arts and culture, sports and leisure, educational and instructional information.

Similar systems based on age appropriateness include the Korea Media Rating Board,[4][5] the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board of the Philippines,[6] the Office of Film and Literature Classification (New Zealand), the British Board of Film Classification,[7] the Australian Classification Board,[8][9] and the Film Classification and Rating Organization (Eirin) of Japan.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Therrell, James A. (2002-09-01). Smith, Timothy P. (ed.). "AGE DETERMINATION GUIDELINES: Relating Children's Ages To Toy Characteristics and Play Behavior" (PDF). Play Today. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-03. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  2. ^ Both ratings mean "parents strongly cautioned" and set up a similar age recommendation.
  3. ^ The logos and what they mean. Motion Picture Association – Canada. URL: Accessed: 2013-12-05. (Archived by WebCite® at
  4. ^ "Classification: Categories". Seoul: Korea Media Rating Board. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  5. ^ Lee, Claire (7 August 2013). "Media Rating Board OKs Screening of Kim Ki-duk's Controversial 'Moebius'". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Chapter IV – Movie, Television and Trailer Classification". 2004 Implementing Rules and Regulations (PDF). Philippines: Movie and Television Review and Classification Board. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 September 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  7. ^ "U | British Board of Film Classification". Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  8. ^ "Information for Parents: Classification categories explained". Australian Classification Board. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  9. ^ Clare, Jason (Minister for Justice) (10 December 2012). "Guidelines for the Classification of Films 2012". Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 10 May 2015.