US 2536633 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 2, 1951 R, F, FlTCH 2,536,633
ANTITHUMB SUCKING DEVICE Filed March l5, 1948- INVENTOR.
thumb to the rst index finger.
Patented Jan. 2, 1951 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE Robert F. Fitch, Glendale, Calif.
Application March 15, 1948, Serial No. 14,865
My invention relates to a thumb guard for use by or on infants and small children to prevent or break a habit of thumb-sucking.
It has long been recognized that thumb-sucking if continued for too long a period results in malformation of a childs mouth and other serious psychological disturbances. Satisfactory methods for preventing such habits have long been sought.
Numerous devices have been patented and manufactured with such a purpose in mind. Such endeavors have taken the form of unpleasant tasting liquids applied to the thumb or metal, and plastic or fabric guards put over the thumb of the infant and tied around the infants wrist.
Such mechanical devices are based on the theory that if it is impossible for the child to form a substantial vacuum between his thumb and lips, he will not suck his thumb. Such devices have proven unsatisfactory in that the infant either soon learns to remove the objectionable device or transfers his sucking tendencies from the It is, therefore, one of the objects of my invention to provide a thumb-sucking guard which is impossible for small infants to remove and which prevents suck@ ing of both the thumb and the first index finger.
It has been recognized by eminent child psye chologists that awkward devices attached to the hand prevent proper development of the use of the hand and may be as serious in its consequences to the personality development of the child as unabated thumb-sucking. It is also among the objects of my invention to provide a mechanical guard adapted to prevent sucking of either thumb or index nger which permits substantial freedom of movement of the infants hand so that development of its use will not be retarded.
Other and further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from the drawings and the specifications relative thereto.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is an isomeric View of a thumb guard embodying the principles of my invention andv illustrating its use.
Figure 2 is a partial cut-away side View of the device shown in Figure 1.
Figure 3 is a view taken on line 3 3 of Figure 2.
My invention comprises essentially an index finger envelope Il! and a thumb envelope Il. As shown in Figure l, the envelopes l and Il are tubular in form and are joined together at l2. The method of joining is optional in that the parts may be made integral, such as by injec- 2 tion molding of plastics, or can be made by joining independent tubes or envelopes with cement or suitable adhesive, the important feature being that the two tubes are secured together so that the thumb envelope Il cannot be pulled off the thumb without also removing the index envelope l0 from the index linger. As will become apparent later, the removal of the index envelope lil is substantially mo-re difficult than the re moval of the thumb guard Il.
The top I5 of the index envelope I0 and the top I6 of the thumb envelope ll are illustrated as being substantially flat and square with respect to the axis of the tubular members. The configuration of this top is not especially important. vIt will be noted, however, that the bottoms I1 and I8 are cut on an angle oblique to the axis of the tubular members. This is necessary for the following reasons. The index tube IU should be short enough that a portion of the index finger extends therethrough, and the thumb envelope Il should also be short enough so that a portion of the thumb may extend therethrough'. It isl a matter of common knowledge that on an infants hand if the thumb is to extend through the thumb envelope, the top of the thumb envelope will be below the juncture of the index linger and the palm of the hand. Therefore, in order to join the thumb and index envelopes, a portion of the index envelope must extend below the juncture of that finger. The opposite side, of course, cannot extend downwardly to this position without cutting into the hand between the index and middle fingers.
If the thumb envelope Il did not extend downwardly below the joint of the thumb, it would be relatively easy for the child to slip a small ring or guard oif the thumb.
Whereas, the preferred embodiment of my invention permits the extension of the index finger and thumb through the tubular members, such is necessary only if it is desired to permit some use of the thumb and index finger. The most important feature of the invention resides in the fact that the index linger and thumb guard are joined together so that the infant is prevented from removing either, thereby preventing sucking of the thumb or index finger, and I would consider a longer envelope which completely encloses the index linger and thumb a substantial equivalent of this objective.
The lower extremity of the thumb envelope is formed with a slot 20 through which is uisposed a ribbon 2l. The ribbon 2| is adapted to be tied around the infants wrist to prevent removal of the thumb guard. As was pointed out earlier, mechanical thumb guards which are used alone have proven unsatisfactory because even though a ribbon, such as 2l, is tied around the infants Wrist, the infant has still been able to remove the guard from his thumb.
To prevent this, the upper extremity of the vbottom portion I1 is formed with a slot 22 through which a ribbon 23 is inserted. After the ribbonZil s tied around the fintants'waist, the ribbon "23 I"extends down the back of the infants hand and ties under the loop of the ribbon 2|. It, therefore, becomes practically impossible for the infant to remove the thumbg-:uard
In order to provide or to permit a freer use of the infants fingers and thumb and to-if-urther avoid the possibility of cuttingrinto the linfants hand, I have provided a modified form, as is shown in Figures 4 and 5. The form, las Yi-llustrated, comprises a thumb envelope 30 and an index nger envelope :3| vformed (las shown in Figure 5)y cf a continuous sheet efr'fiexible plastic yEwingtheel-rter end-margins 3`6a'and'-3-la fold-ed "inwardly=andeecured to lthe centerline, 'thereby -iform-ing :the envelopes. ,-can- ,be either by stitching, v:cementifng or welding.
The means of securing FThe#envelopes are pierced 1on the center line 'to fioi-'mnar-slotlZ through IWhicha Wrist band inserted. The wrist--=band 33 vis .formed with a snap fastener having cooperating ,parts `34 and "fas newanjd ldesire'to secureby Letters "Paten-tis:
f 1. An anti=thumfbsucking device v:comprising a rpairf"of:surbstanti1ally parallel relatively rigid tubes :adapted to .-zbe :fitted :over l"the thumb and 'tubular members adapted to receive in relatively loose engagement the thumb and index nnger of an infants hand, said tubes being secured to- -gethei-"toform an integral unit and each of said -tnbes having `a lower edge defining together a substantially continuous unbroken curve, each of saidtubes being substantially less in length than the digit member adapted to be encased, thereby permitting relativ-ely free movement of said rthe top of said thumb `tube 'terminating substantially short ofvth-e'top of said indexiinger tube, each .of said tubes being `formed with'an aperture through vthe Wall thereof oppcsitely .-disposed, vand being adapted -to receive :means rforsecuring saidtube to the hand of 'the infant User. A
` ROBERT AF. FITGH.
REFERENCES v.(fITED The following references are ci record in the le of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS- Number Name Date 1,733,933 Beltz Oct. 29, `19:?9 .2,429,553 fPalutZke Oct. 2l, 1947 FOREIGN YPATENTS Number Country Date `392,504 -Great Britain May 18 1933