CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This patent application is related to and claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/195,475 filed October 7, 2008.
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates, in general, to skin protection from solar radiation, and, more particularly, this invention relates to sun-blocking arm shields for vehicle drivers and others.
Prior to the conception and development of the present invention, truck and car drivers who like to drive with an arm resting along an open window during warm weather have been in jeopardy of sun burn or other skin damage from solar radiation.
Wearing long sleeves may provide sun protection, but is an unacceptable answer in hot weather.
Several U.S. Patents have disclosed sunburn protection for arms hanging along a window edge, including U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,056,157, 5,357,633, 5,628,062, and 5,974,586. U.S. Publication number 2007/0028345 discloses a driving sleeve. These all provide a flexible fabric sleeve covering various portions of the arm, hand, and shoulder. In U.S. Pat. No. 6,813,779, Williams discloses a tapered tubular sleeve with elastic bands at each end and designed to be cover from the wrist to the center of the user's bicep. All of the above tend to trap heat and moisture within the sleeve and be uncomfortable, and also are cumbersome to put on and take off.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Castillo in U.S. Pat. No. 6,775,844 discloses an arm shade apparatus with end-mounted elastic bands and a special hood for covering the hand. Biggerstaff in U.S. Pat. No. 7,389,544 discloses an adjustable length arm shade for the forearm which includes a special swivel joint for movement of the shade. These features add considerably to the complexity, and hence the manufacturing cost.
- OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a solar radiation arm shield including an elongated C-shaped substantially rigid shell of a preselected material defining first and second end edges and first and second side edges. There is a first releasable attachment strap with separate engageable portions fixedly attached to each of the first and second side edges proximal the first end edge for removable attachment to a user, and at least one additional releasable attachment strap has portions fixedly attached to both the first and second side edges.
It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide an inexpensive arm shield that can conveniently protect drivers from solar radiation. Another object of the present invention is to provide solar protection from the forearms of those who need to be in the sun for extended periods.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide simple yet effective forearm shields which are easy to put on and take off.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an effective shield against the sun's rays on the forearm yet still allowing air circulation around the arm.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In addition to the various objects and advantages of the present invention described with some degree of specificity above, it should be obvious that additional objects and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent to those persons who are skilled in the relevant art from the following more detailed description of the invention, particularly, when such description is taken in conjunction with the attached drawing figures and with the appended claims.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention.
FIG. 2 provides a perspective view of partial attachment to a user's forearm.
FIG. 3 provides a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PRESENTLY PREFERRED AND VARIOUS ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
FIG. 4 provides a perspective view of an alternative attachment method for the present invention.
Prior to proceeding to the more detailed description of the present invention it should be noted that, for the sake of clarity and understanding, identical components which have identical functions have been identified with identical reference numerals throughout the several views illustrated in the drawing figures.
Referring initially to FIG. 1, the present invention 10 is shown in a perspective view. An elongated C-shaped shell 12 is made generally of a substantially rigid plastic to a length about equal to the forearm of a typical adult. The semi-cylindrical shell will encompass about half the circumference of a typical person's arm. The plastic may be opaque, translucent, or tinted transparent, blocking a significant portion of the solar radiation. The plastic shell 12 may optionally be colored; and optionally have logos or other indicia visible on the exterior surface. The relatively thin shell 12 defines two side edges 14 and end edges 16 and 19. The shell 12 is generally C-shaped, but preferably is tapered slightly at one end. In order to facilitate installation and removal on a user's arm, the gap between the two side edges 13 and 14 is spanned by an adjustable releasable attachment means in two parts, 18 and 20. After the shield 10 is placed on the user's forearm, each hook and loop strap 18 is fed through the attachment loop 20 and then doubles back to latch onto the hook/loop part 17 proximate to the edge 14.
FIG. 2 provides a perspective view of the present invention being installed on the forearm 44 of a user. The C-shaped shell 12 is sized to extend from about the elbow 40 to the wrist 42 without totally encompassing the forearm. The shell 12 is substantially rigid, but does flex somewhat to further open the gap between the side edges 13 and 14 to permit the arm to be inserted, or for the shell 12 to otherwise be placed onto the forearm 44. Along one side edge 13 are at least two attachment loops 20. At least two straps 18 are attached along the opposing side edge 14 proximal the end edges 16 and 19. The side of the strap 18 facing out away from the arm is at least partially covered with hook and loop (VelcroŽ) material 17, which engages with at least the hook and loop material 22 on the distal ends of the straps 18. After placement on the arm, the distal ends of the straps 18 are fed through the attachment loops 20 and folded back onto another portion of the hook and loop material 17 to hold the shell 12 in place at whatever tension is desired. The process is reversed for easy and quick removal. Other types of fasteners besides the VelcroŽ could optionally be used, such as elastic bands and studs.
FIG. 3 provides a perspective view of the present invention with an added feature compared to FIG. 1. In addition to what is shown in FIG. 1, at least one longitudinal foam pad 36 is adhered to the inside of the shell 12 extending from adjacent one end 16 to the other end 19. When the arm shield 10 is placed on the user's arm, the foam pad 36 is positioned between the forearm and the top window edge of the vehicle to alleviate uncomfortable pressure from the arm pressing against the narrow hard edge of the window or window sill.
FIG. 4 provides a perspective view of an alternative attachment method for the arm shade 10. In place of the VelcroŽ straps, at least two elastic bands 21 stretch from one edge 14 and loop around studs 23 adjacent the opposing edge 13. Optional indicia 26 are added to the shell 12 to enhance appearance.
While a presently preferred embodiment of the present invention has been described in sufficient detail above to enable a person skilled in the relevant art to make and use the same, it should be obvious that various other adaptations and modifications can be envisioned by those persons skilled in such art without departing from either the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.