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Publication numberUS20050144703 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/753,154
Publication dateJul 7, 2005
Filing dateJan 7, 2004
Priority dateJan 7, 2004
Publication number10753154, 753154, US 2005/0144703 A1, US 2005/144703 A1, US 20050144703 A1, US 20050144703A1, US 2005144703 A1, US 2005144703A1, US-A1-20050144703, US-A1-2005144703, US2005/0144703A1, US2005/144703A1, US20050144703 A1, US20050144703A1, US2005144703 A1, US2005144703A1
InventorsVicki Hilbert
Original AssigneeHilbert Vicki L.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Slip-resistant stocking
US 20050144703 A1
Abstract
A slip-resistant stocking of the type that is worn by ambulatory hospital patients for walking directly on smooth, hard hospital floors, comprises a stocking, such as a tube sock, having a slip-resistant material applied to the foot portion of the stocking around the periphery of an outside surface thereof, such that slip-resistant material is always positioned under the bottom of the foot of the patient regardless of the rotational orientation of the foot portion of the stocking around the axis of the foot. The slip-resistant material can be on the inside as well as the outside of the stocking, so the stocking also will be slip-resistant when worn inside out. The slip-resistant material can be provided as discreet elements deposited at spaced locations around the stocking. The elements can be formed of recognizable shapes or decorative designs, which will be visible on the top of the stocking.
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Claims(12)
1. A slip-resistant stocking of the type that is worn by ambulatory hospital patients for walking directly on smooth, hard hospital floors, comprising:
a stocking having a foot portion that encompasses a top and bottom of the foot; and
a slip-resistant material applied to the foot portion of the stocking around the periphery of an outside surface thereof, such that a substantially equivalent proportion of slip-resistant material is always positioned under the bottom of the foot of the patient regardless of the rotational orientation of the foot portion of the stocking around the axis of the foot.
2. A slip-resistant stocking as in claim 1 wherein the stocking is a tube stocking that is formed in a tube without an integrally formed heel pocket, the stocking being properly oriented for location of the slip-resistant material under the foot at any rotational orientation of the stocking around the axis of the foot.
3. A slip-resistant stocking as in claim 1 wherein slip-resistant material is positioned around the periphery of both inside and outside surfaces of the foot portion of the stocking, such that a slip-resistant surface is always between the foot portion of the stocking and the floor for providing slip-resistant contact with the floor regardless whether the stockings are put on upside down or inside out.
4. A slip-resistant stocking as in claim 1 wherein the foot portion of the stocking is formed from a knitted fabric and the slip-resistant material is a material having a relatively higher coefficient of friction that is positioned at spaced locations around the periphery of the body of the stocking, the slip-resistant material being deposited in a liquid form so it becomes imbedded in the knitted fabric, the liquid thereafter solidifying to provide a slip-resistant material on the stocking.
5. A slip-resistant stocking as in claim 1 wherein the slip-resistant material is positioned on the foot portion in discreet, spaced elements, the elements being shaped or oriented so as to provide a decorative pattern that is visible to the patient on the top of the foot portion no matter how the stocking is rotationally oriented.
6. A slip-resistant stocking as in claim 5 wherein the elements comprise discreet, decorative designs that are recognizable to the normal user.
7. A slip resistant stocking of the type that is worn on the feet of ambulatory hospital patients for walking directly on smooth, hard hospital floors, comprising:
a stocking having a foot portion that covers a top and bottom of the foot of the patient, the foot portion extending from a heel portion to a toe portion of the foot; and
a slip-resistant material applied to substantially the entire foot portion of the stocking around the periphery of an outside surface thereof, such that slip-resistant material is always positioned under the entire bottom of the foot of the patient, from the heel portion to the toe portion thereof, regardless of the rotational orientation of the foot portion of the stocking around the axis of the foot.
8. A slip-resistant stocking as in claim 7 wherein the stocking is a tube stocking that is formed in a tube without an integrally formed heel pocket, the stocking being properly oriented for location of the slip-resistant material under the foot at any rotational orientation of the stocking around the axis of the foot.
9. A slip-resistant stocking as in claim 7 wherein slip-resistant material is positioned around the periphery of the entire bottom of both inside and outside surfaces of the foot portion of the stocking, such that a slip-resistant surface is always between the foot portion of the stocking and the floor for providing slip-resistant contact with the floor regardless whether the stockings are put on upside down or inside out.
10. A slip-resistant stocking as in claim 7 wherein the foot portion of the stocking is formed from a knitted fabric and the slip-resistant material is a material having a relatively higher coefficient of friction that is positioned at spaced locations around the periphery of the body of the stocking, the slip-resistant material being deposited in a liquid form so it becomes imbedded in the knitted fabric, the liquid therafter solidifying to provide a slip-resistant material on the stocking.
11. A slip-resistant stocking as in claim 7 wherein the slip resistant material is positioned on the foot portion in discreet, spaced elements, the elements being shaped or oriented so as to provide a decorative pattern that is visible to the patient on the top of the foot portion no matter how the stocking is rotationally oriented.
12. A slip-resistant stocking as in claim 11 wherein the elements comprise discreet, decorative designs that are recognizable to the normal user.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In hospitals and other institutional environments, patients are generally clothed in hospital gowns and spend most of their time in bed. Ambulatory patients are permitted to walk around the hospital. Such patients usually are provided with slip-resistant socks or stockings that are used as slippers for walking around the slippery, hard surface floors of the institution. Typical hospital stockings are knit stockings having a slip-resistant material deposited on a portion of the exterior surface of the stocking that is designed to be positioned under the bottom of the foot. Typically such stockings are so called “tube socks” wherein the socks are formed in an elongated tube without a defined heel pocket in the sock. Thus the socks can be oriented normally at any rotational position around the axis of the foot.

In order to avoid slipping on the hospital floor, it is necessary to orient the slip-resistant portion of the stocking between the stocking and the floor. While this is an easy enough task for most people, hospital patients, particularly those suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia, frequently have difficulties with some of the simplest tasks. It is, therefore, sometimes necessary for hospital personnel to assist such persons in making sure that the stockings are oriented properly on their feet. Otherwise, the slippery knit material of the stocking can easily cause a serious slip and fall injury to the patient.

An object of the present invention is to provide an improved slip-resistant stocking that overcomes the foregoing difficulties.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, a slip-resistant stocking of the type that is worn by ambulatory hospital patients comprises a stocking having a foot portion that fits over the foot of the patient, with a slip-resistant material being applied to the foot portion of the stocking around the periphery of an outside surface thereof, such that slip-resistant material is always positioned under the bottom of the foot regardless of the rotational orientation of the foot portion of the stocking around the axis of the foot.

The slip-resistant material can be any of a number of different types of slip-resistant material and preferably is of the type of material that is deposited in liquid form at spaced locations around the stocking, with the liquid material becoming embedded in the knitted portion of the stocking and thereafter solidifying. The solidified material has a coefficient of friction that is greater than the foot portion of the stocking.

The slip-resistant material can be deposited in spaced elements around the periphery of the stocking. The elements can be designed and oriented in order to provide a pleasing appearance, which will be visible on top of the stocking to the patient. The elements can be shaped as discreet recognizable designs that can be recognized by the patient, such as paw prints, faces, or seasonal decorations such as Christmas trees, bells, or other appropriate designs. The decorative designs will appear at the top of the stockings as well as the bottom and can be functional.

A number of existing methods are presently available for making slip-resistant stockings and these are believed to be within the scope of the present invention. This slip-resistant technology disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,822,884, 6,209,227, 4,149,274 and 4,651,354 is incorporated herein by reference.

The application of the slip-resistant material around the exterior portion of the stocking eliminates the possibility that the patient would put the stocking on upside down and risk a dangerous fall on the slippery floors of the hospital. Because the stocking cannot be put on incorrectly, it is unnecessary for hospitals personnel to invest a substantial amount of time in checking each patient's stockings when they put them on before walking around the hospital.

While, for the most part, the stocking construction is such that a patient will be likely to put a stocking on with the exterior side facing outwardly, in the event that there exists a possibility that the patient will put a stocking on inside out, the slip-resistant material can also be placed around the periphery of the inside surface of the stocking so that the patient will always have a slip-resistant material on the bottom exterior surface of the stocking, regardless whether the stocking is put on upside down or inside out.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a slip-resistant stocking constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the stocking of FIG. 1, with a portion of the stocking being cut away and folded out to show the interior surface of the stocking;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 2, showing a second embodiment of the present invention, wherein a slip-resistant material is provided on the inside surface of the stocking as well as the outside surface;

FIGS. 4 a-4 c are plan views of stockings constructed in accordance with FIGS. 1-3 showing the use of slip-resistant material in different design configurations on the exterior of the stocking.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings, a slip-resistant stocking 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention comprises a foot portion 12 and a leg or ankle portion 14. A toe 16 of the foot portion is closed, and the upper end 18 of the ankle portion is open for insertion of the foot. Upper end 18 includes an elastic welt 20 that extends around the periphery of the upper end of the stocking. The stocking is formed of conventional material, which is typically a knitted fabric.

Stocking 10 is shown mounted on the foot of a user 22, which typically will be a patient in a hospital or other institutional environment where slippery hard floors are often employed. The heel 24 of the user forms a heel in the stocking because of natural elasticity of the knitted fabric. While it is possible to knit a heel pocket into the fabric, in most hospitals where the stockings are provided to the patients, so called “tube socks” are generally employed. In a tube sock, the stockings are formed in tube without a heel pocket. Thus, there is no heel pocket to determine the proper rotational orientation of the stocking on the foot of the user.

The stockings of the present invention employ a slip-resistant material 26 on the exterior surface of the foot portion of the stocking. The application of the slip-resistant material to the exterior of the sole or bottom of a stocking is known, and the same slip-resistant materials can be employed in the present invention. Typically, the slip-resistant material is applied to the exterior of the foot portion of the stocking as spaced elements 28. These elements can be of any desired design in order to increase traction. In this case, the elements also can provide an attractive ornamental appearance on the top of the stocking. Typically, the slip-resistant material will be applied to the stocking in liquid form so that it penetrates and becomes embedded into the stocking. The material then solidifies either by curing or by hardening, so that the material forms elements of increased coefficient of friction across the surface of the stocking. As shown in the drawings, the elements 28 are positioned around the entire circumferential periphery of the stocking, so that the elements are present on both the top and the bottom of the stocking. Regardless of the rotational orientation of the stocking around the axis of the foot, the bottom of the foot will be covered by slip-resistant elements 28. The elements desirably are separated from each other, so the stocking can retain its elasticity and stretch to conform with the shape of the foot.

Several designs of spaced elements are shown in FIGS. 4 a, 4 b, and 4 c. The designs can be abstract, as shown by designs 30 and 34 in FIGS. 4 a and 4 c, or the designs can be recognizable designs, such as the footprint design 32 in FIG. 4 b.

Other designs are contemplated. For example, for holiday seasons, an appropriate design for the season could be employed. For a person in the hospital during Christmas time, a stocking with a Christmas tree or Santa Claus or bell design or other design appropriate to the patient, might be pleasing.

Another feature of the present invention is shown in FIG. 3. While the stocking of FIG. 2 has slip resistant elements only on the outside of the stocking and the inside 36 is plain fabric, stocking 10′ of FIG. 3 is provided with slip-resistant material 38 around the circumferential periphery of the inside of the stocking, as well as on the outside of the stocking. The slip-resistant material on the inside of the stocking ensures that the patient will always have slip-resistant material between the stocking and a slippery floor, even when the patient puts the stocking on upside down or inside out. The slip-resistant material on the inside can be applied the same way the material is applied on the outside, or it can be in a different pattern, or it can be integrated in the weave of the fabric, as can the exterior slip-resistant material.

In operation, when a patient is given a pair of the stockings of the present invention, the patient cannot put the stockings on wrong, so there is no possibility that a stocking induced slip and fall injury will occur to this patient. This frees up the time of hospital personnel from the necessity of making sure that patient's stockings are on right side out and oriented correctly, which is the case with present hospital stockings. Not only does this avoid a substantial amount of time and effort and concern on behalf of the hospital personnel, but it eliminates an potentially expensive hazard that hospitals have been dealing with for quite a long time.

It should be understood that the foregoing is merely exemplary of the preferred practice of the present invention and that various changes and modifications in the embodiments disclosed herein may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7107626 *Oct 8, 2003Sep 19, 2006Andrews Elizabeth MYoga socks
US7346935 *Jul 12, 2005Mar 25, 2008Toesox, Inc.Stretchable high friction socks
US8230525 *Aug 30, 2006Jul 31, 2012X-Technology Swiss GmbhSock
US20070016999 *Jun 20, 2005Jan 25, 2007Nike, Inc.Visual stimulus management
US20110023215 *Feb 7, 2008Feb 3, 2011Davidda Pty LtdSock
US20110083246 *Oct 8, 2010Apr 14, 2011Ranil Kirthi VitaranaGarment with Elastomeric Coating
US20110113530 *Nov 19, 2010May 19, 2011Ballard Rebecca LArticle to be worn on the foot in conjunction with sandals
US20110185467 *Feb 4, 2010Aug 4, 2011Loretta SuarezLeg Warmers for Crawling Babies
US20110185475 *Feb 3, 2010Aug 4, 2011Sameth May-RetallackFoot Grips
US20120054945 *Sep 7, 2011Mar 8, 2012Tammy GrubishaProtective Half Sock For Use In Multi-Stage Recovery
US20120090077 *Oct 15, 2010Apr 19, 2012Ben BrownSole Coated Toe Sock
WO2008006525A1 *Jul 7, 2007Jan 17, 2008Falke KgaaItem of clothing for the foot
WO2008027359A2 *Aug 28, 2007Mar 6, 2008Peeky Internat LlcMultipurpose open-toed stocking
WO2012138569A1 *Mar 30, 2012Oct 11, 2012Absolute Innovations LlcApparatus and method for fabricating and using non-slip garments
WO2013003434A1 *Jun 27, 2012Jan 3, 2013David GellisFoot covering
WO2014064445A1 *Oct 23, 2013May 1, 2014Innover LimitedProtective clothing
WO2014134722A1 *Mar 3, 2014Sep 12, 2014MACDONALD, JovanaSlip-resistant hosiery
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/239
International ClassificationA41B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationA41B11/008
European ClassificationA41B11/00T