US 3522804 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Inventor: Abraham Towbin 18 Inis Circle, West Newton, Mass. 02165 Application No.: 730,866 Filed: May 21, 1968 Patented: Aug. 4, 1970 INFANTS NECK AND HEAD SUPPORT 5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
Primary Examiner Adele M. Eager Attorney-Thomson and Mrose u.s.c1. 128/133, ABSTRACT= A brace for wear by infants to Prevent Spinal 128/520 2/3 injuries of the whip1ash" type due to sudden, extreme move- 1111.131. A611'l3/00 mems the head- The brace is made Of molded rubber and Field ofSearch 128/82, 83, extends Offthe childs Shoulders, back and chest A head P- 87, 88, 9O 33, 1341/1 2, 3 port shaped to conform generally to the child's head extends upward along the back of the infant's neck and head, and is References Cited reinforced by stiffening ribs.
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U.S. PATENT 3,522,804 INFANTS NECK AND HEAD SUPPORT This invention relates to a neck and head support for infants.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There is evidence that some cases of sudden unexplained death of apparently healthy infants are due to a self-inflicted whiplash type of injury resulting from sudden extreme movement of the neck particularly in the backward and forward direction. Such an injury may produce hemorrhagic damage to the cervical spinal structures, which, though not fatal in itself, impairs the function of the spinal cord and results in paralysis of the respiratory system. The young infant is particularly vulnerable to such injuries because the head is large and heavy, about four times as heavy as the head of an adult in proportion to the body, and the neck is relatively weak. Such injuries occur most frequently in infants ten days to four months old.
The object of this invention is to provide a neck and head support, to be worn continuously by an infant during the first four months, which prevents sudden over extension of the neck, while permitting normal movement. Another object is to provide support which can be readily applied and easily cleaned. Other objects, advantages and novel features will be apparent from the following description.
SUMMARY The neck and head support here disclosed is made of fairly stiff rubber or plastic and is molded to fit over the chest. shoulders and upper back of an infant, and extends upward along the back of the neck and the occipital portion of the head. In the region of the back of the neck, the support is stiffened by stays, preferably molded into the rubber. The support is attached to a cloth vest, and the vest and front part of the support are split down the center and fastened with snaps or other suitable fastening means. The entire assembly fits snugly and is made in various sizes to fit infants during the first four months.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings illustrating the invention:
FIGURE 1 is a front view of a head and neck support constructed according to the invention, shown as worn by an infant;
FIGURE 2 is a rear view ofthe support;
FIGURE 3 is a side view ofthe support; and
FIGURE 4 is a cross-section taken along line 4-4 of FIGURE 3.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The neck and head support consists essentially of two main parts, the support proper, generally indicated by the numeral 10, and a vest 11 to which the support is attached and which anchors the support on the infants body. The support has front portions 10a and 10b which extend across the infants chest, a back portion 10c which extends across the upper part of the infants back, shoulder portions 10d and l0e which pass over the infants shoulders and connect the front and rear portions. A head supporting portion l0fextends upward from the back portion along the back ofthe infants neck and the occipital region of the head. As shown in FIGURE 4 the upper part "of portion 10f is rounded to conform to the contour of the infants head. The lower part is similarly rounded to fit the back of the infants neck.
The upper edges of the front and shoulder portions are rounded and define a neck opening 12, which is, larger than the infant's neck and permits some freedom of movement in the sidewise and forward direction.
The vest 11, made of soft cloth, fits around the upper part to the infants body and has short sleeves 11a. The support I0 is attached around its margins to the vest by plastic rivets E3. The front portions 10a and 10b of the support, and the front ed es of the vest are held to ether by snaps 14.
he support IS made 0 rubber or a rubber-like plastic material which is fairly rigid, but flexible enough to permit the front portions 10a and 10b to be spread apart when the support is put on and taken off the infant. In the rear, flat wire stays 15 are embedded in the rubber and extend from the upper part of the back portion 10c upward along the head supporting portion 10f, to stiffen the support in this region. This part of the support is considerably sitffer than the other parts.
The entire support should fit the infant fairly snugly, and supports of different sizes are used as the child grows. The support prevents extreme backward movement of the head, yet permits enough freedom of movement to allow for normal exercise of the neck muscles and allows the infant to use its arms and roll freely. The support also insures against accidental sudden backward movement of the head when the infant is picked up.
1. An infants head and neck support comprising a supporting member formed of stiff material; said member including front and back portions adapted to extend over the infants chest and upper back respectively, shoulder portions connecting said front and back portions and adapted to overly the infants shoulders, and a head and neck receiving portion extending upward from said back portion and adapted to engage the occipital region of the infants head said head and neck receiving portion being internally shaped to fit closely to the infants head and neck.
2. A support as described in Claim 1, having reinforcing members extending from said back portion into said head and neck receiving portions.
3. A support as described in Claim 1, said front and shoulder portions having rounded upper edges defining a neck opening larger than the neck of the infant for which the support is intended.
4. A support as described in Claim 1, said front portion having a central opening and closure means therefor.
5. A support as described in Claim 1, including a vest of soft material to which said support member is attached, both said member and said vest having a front opening and closure means therefor.