US 3545016 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 8, 1970 D. L.SCHORKEN 3,545,016 v DEVICE FOR SUPPORTING INFANTs Filed June 8, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR DOROTHY L. SCHORKEN BY Wham ATTORNEYS Dec. 8, 1970 D. L. SCHORKEN ,0
7 DEVICE FOR SUPPORTING INFANTS 7 Filed June 8, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR DOROTHY L. SCHORKEN ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,545,016 DEVICE FOR SUPPORTING INFANTS Dorothy L. Schorken, 3629 Frederick Drive, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48105 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 412,781, Nov. 20, 1964. This application June 8, 1967, Ser.
Int. Cl. A47a 3/12 U.S. Cl. 4185 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A device for supporting an infant during bathing in which the infant is strapped to a platform and a head rest is pivotally mounted relative to the platform for movement between an upwardly inclined position for supporting the infants head when the infant is supported on his back on the platform, a downwardly inclined position for supporting the infants head during hair washing, and a substantially horizontal position when the infant is supported on the platform on his stomach. Leg brackets are removably mounted on the device at either end so that the end of the device can be supported in a stabilized position on the partition in a double tub sink so that the device can be used for bathing purposes in the kitchen sink.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No, 412,781, filed Nov. 20, 1964 now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A number of devices are presently available for use in bathing infants. Some of these devices include a bag or receptacle within which the infant is placed for bathing. These devices are usually filled by emptying containers of water into the bathing receptacle or by improvising a temporary hose connection to a faucet. A tube or hose forming a part of the device is used for draining the bath water into a sink or bathtub. The whole process is tedious, time consuming, and the bathing device itself is bulky and difiicult to fold and store after use without dripping water on the floor. Moreover, such a device provides no effective means for holding the infant during bathing and the attendant is therefore unable to use both hands for washing purposes.
The family bathtub is a convenient place for bathing infants, and a number or prior art devices have been advanced for adapting the conventional bathtub to the particular requirements of an infant. However, these devices often lack any means for preventing the infant from rolling off into the water in the bathtub. Another important deficiency of such devices is their inherent inability to accommodate an infant for bathing in either the face-up or face-down positions.
It is also desirable in many instances to be able to use the conventional double tub kitchen sink for infant bathing purposes since it then becomes unnecessary to bend over in order to bathe the infant. U.S. Pat. No. 2,505,252 discloses a device for use in bathing infants at the kitchen sink. However, the device disclosed therein is inadequate in the headrest area because it provides only a fixed rest without any side support. The disclosed device makes no provision for infant comfort, does not provide for turning the infant over and in general does not have the versatility required for fully bathing an infant. Also, U.S. Pat. No. 3,132,897 shows a baby chair bed having a backrest movable to a horizontal position. However, such a device is inadequate for infant bathing purposes in that it does not disclose a headrest movable to a downwardly 3,545,016 Patented Dec. 8, 1970 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The device of this invention includes a pair of substantially vertical side support plates on which a platform is mounted in a substantially horizontal position. Restraining straps are mounted on the platform, and the side plates extend above the platform to prevent an infant from rolling off a supported position on the platform. A headrest pivotally mounted adjacent one end of the platform is movable between an upwardly inclined position, a substantially horizontal position, and a downwardly inclined position. In the first upwardly inclined position of the headrest, it supports the infants head in a comfortable position while the infant is back supported on the platform. In the second position, the headrest is conveniently located when the infant is stomach supported on the platform. In the third position, the headrest provides a support for the infants head while his hair is being washed so that the water can run off the headrest to the drain, A latch assembly on the headrest engages the side plates for firmly supporting the headrest against downward movement in each of these three positions. In either of the two lower positions, however, the latch assembly permits the headrest to be moved upwardly to another position without separately releasing the latch. In addition, restraining brackets are provided so that they can be releasably assembled with either end of the device enabling support of the device on the center partition in a double tub sink. Each restraining bracket has downwardly extending portions which straddle the partition so as to provide a stabilized support of the device on the partition to thus prevent accidental movement of the device while the infant is supported therein.
It is an object of this invention, therefore, to provide an improved device for supporting infants during bathing.
Further objects, features and advantages of this invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description, and appended claims, and the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the device of this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged plan view of the device of this invention;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal sectional view of the device of this invention as seen from substantially the line 3-3 of FIG. 2, showing the headrest in its upper position in solid lines and illustrating the intermediate and lower positions thereof in broken lines; I
FIG. 4 is an end view of one end of the device of this invention, with some parts broken away and other parts shown in section for fully illustrating the latch mechanism and showing the stabilizing brackets applied;
FIG. 5 is an elevational view showing the device of this invention with the stabilizing brackets applied to one end of the device so as to provide for the support of the device on the partition in a double tub sink; and
FIG. 6 is a view like FIG. 1 showing the brackets on the opposite end of the device.
With reference to the drawing, the device of this invention, indicated generally at 10, is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 as including a pair of side members 14, illustrated as being of flat generally upright shape. A platform 16 which is substantially horizontal is secured to the side members 14 between the top and bottom edges 12 and 13 thereof. An integral leg rest 18 is fixed to the side members 14 and forms an upwardly inclined extension of the platform 16 at one end of the platform 16. A headrest 20 at the other end of the platform 16 is pivotally mounted so that it is movable along an arc designated generally by the arrowed line 22 in FIG. 3. A latch assembly 24 coacts with the headrest 20 and the side members 14 to releasably fix the headrest 20 in a desired one of the three positions illustrated in FIG. 3.
Each of the side members 14 is preferably made of relatively thin rigid plate or sheet material such as plastic and is of a length sufiicient to accommodate the infants body from head to toe. The side members 14 are generally vertically oriented each having a higher head portion which affords constraint against lateral or sideways movement of the infant, in any position of the headrest 20. The platform 16 is'substantially rectangular in configuration and is fabricated from a similar plate or sheet plastic material. The positioning of the platform 16 between the top and bottom edges 12 and 13 of the side members 14 permits the upper portions of the side members 14 to extend above the platform 16 to prevent the infant from rolling off the platform 16. A plurality of drain openings 28 are formed in the platform 16 to allow the washing water which has been applied to the infant to drain away.
The leg rest is rectangular in configuration and is also made of plate or sheet plastic material. The slope of the leg rest 18 relative to the platform 16 facilitates drainage of water from the leg rest 18 to the drain openings 28. The headrest 20 is also generally rectangular in configuration, having upturned edges 21 for directing water thereon toward the ends of the headrest, and is preferably made of plate or sheet plastic material.
The headrest 20 constitutes a longitudinal continuation of the platform 16 and is mounted for pivotal movement about a horizontal axis located substantially at the adjacent end of the platform 16. As best appears in FIG. 4, a pair of bearing blocks 30 are secured to the under side of the headrest 20 adjacent the platform 16 and are provided with lateral openings which receive the shank portions of a pair of bolts 32. The bolts 32 extend through the side members 14 and are secured in position by nuts 34. The headrest 20 is thus pivotal about the shank portions of the bolts 32 which constitute the horizontal axis referred to above. At its side edges, the headrest 20 is slightly spaced from the side members 14, as shown in FIG. 2, so that the side members 14 will not impede free pivotal movement of the headrest 20.
The latch assembly 24 for adjusting the pivotal position of the headrest 20 includes an elongated flexible rod or wire 36 having a U-shaped center portion 38. The wire 36 is slidably supported in brackets 40 secured to the under side of the headrest 20. Each end 42 of the wire is attached to the bottom end of a flexible L-shaped bracket 44 secured to the under side of the headrest 40. Each bracket 44 terminates in a cam member 46 which extends toward the adjacent side member 14. As shown in FIG. 4, each cam member 46 has inclined top edge 48 and a substantially horizontally disposed bottom edge 50.
Each of the side members 14 is provided with three slots 52 disposed on the arc traveled by the latch members 46 during pivotal movement of the headrest 20 between the positions illustrated in FIG. 3. The L-shaped brackets 44 are stressed so that they normally urge the latch members 46 toward the side members 14 and into one pair of horizontally aligned slots 52. The latch members 46 can be withdrawn from any pair of slots 52 by manually grasping the U-shaped wire portion 38 so as to pull the wire ends 42 toward each other as shown in broken lines in FIG. 4. Thus, to move the headrest 20 from an upper to a lower position, it is necessary to first withdraw the latch members 46 from a pair of slots 52, then move the headrest 20 to a position in which the latch members 46 are aligned with the next desired pair of slots 52, and release the wire portion 38. When the latch members 46 extend into a pair of slots, they positively lock the headrest 20 against downward movement by virtue of the substantially horizontal position of the lower edges 50 of the latch members 46. Thus, in any position, the infant is firmly supported against falling. However, the headrest 20 can be conveniently raised by merely lifting the free edge of the headrest. When the headrest is raised, the inclined latch member edges 48 cam against the side members 14 at the upper ends of the slots 52 so that the latch members 46 are automatically urged inwardly against the pressure of the brackets 44. During upward pivotal movement of the headrest 20, the latch members 46 ride on the inner sides of the side members 14 until they are aligned with the next pair of slots 52.
A waist strap 50 is secured by rivets or the like to the platform 16 adjacent the side members 14 so that the strap is adapted to overlie the infant and prevent lateral or sideways movement of the infant. A conventional buckle '56 on the strap 50 facilitates its attachment about the infant. In addition, a longitudinally oriented crotch strap 58 is secured at one end to the legrest 18 by a rivet or the like and is connected at its opposite end to the strap 50 by means of a loop which receives the middle portion of the strap 50. The strap 58 is also adapted to overlie the infant and prevent longitudinal movement of the infant particularly when the infant is supported in a semi-seated position such as when the headrest 20 is in its solid line position shown in FIG. 3. A waterproof pad 60 is illustrated mounted on the headrest 20.
The device 10 can be placed directly in the bathtub 62, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 3, after which the tub is filled with water to a level slightly below the horizontal plane of the platform 16. This provides an adequate amount of water for bathing the baby and also allows for drainage of water from the baby through the drain openings 28. The infant is placed on the platform 16 in either a face-up or face-down position and secured with the straps 50 and 52. The movable headrest 20 allows the baby to be back supported in a semi-seated position in which the baby is most comfortable. If desired, the headrest 20 may be moved to its intermediate position in which the baby is comfortable in both back and stomach supported positions. The strap 50 is buckled to secure the infant so that the attendants hands are both free for washing purposes.
When it is desired to wash the infants hair, the headrest 20 is moved to its downwardly inclined position shown in FIG. 3 so that the infants head is slightly inclined downwardly away from the platform 16 on which his body is secured. When the infants head is washed, the headrest 20 provides for a flow of water away from the infants head thus preventing soapy water from getting into the infants eyes. Thus, regardless of the infants position, his head is safely supported on the headrest 20 at one end and running water is drained away from his face. After the infant has been bathed, the unitary device 10 can be raised from the bathtub 62 with the infant securely retained therein by the strap 50. The infant is thus fully supported for drying so that at no time is the attendant required to struggle with a wriggling, soapy child. The device 10 can then be wiped dry for convenient storage.
As shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, the device 10 is also equipped with removable stabilizing brackets 70 arranged in pairs at either end of the device 10, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, each bracket 70 consists of a length of rod or wire bent to form prongs 72 at its ends which extend substantially horizontally, and downwardly extending horizontally spaced projections 74 connected at their upper ends by a cross brace 76. Pairs of holes 78 are formed in each side' support 14 adjacent its ends.
In FIG. 5, the prongs 72 are shown extended through the openings 78 at the end of the device 10 adjacent the legrest 18. This enables the end of the device 10 at which the legrest 18 is provided to be supported on the center partition 80 in a double tub sink assembly 82. In this position of the device 10, the drain openings 28 are above one of the tubs 84 for convenient draining. The projections 74 on the brackets 70 straddle the partition 80 so as to positively prevent shifting of the device 10.
As illustrated in FIG. 6, the brackets 70 can also be mounted on the opposite end of the device and supported on the platform 80 so that the headrest will incline toward the tub 84 when the infants head is being washed. The assembly of the brackets 70 with the device 10 enhances the versatility of the device 10 because they enable its safe use With a double tub sink assembly 82 in bathing an infant. This is advantageous in that it often enables infant bathing without stooping on the part of the attendant. It is to be understood that while the brackets 70 are designed for assembly with the partition 80 in a double tub sink assembly 82, they may be used with other similar partitions.
From the above description it is seen that this invention provides an improved infant supporting device in which the infant is firmly supported in a variety of positions necessary for complete bathing by virtue of pivotally movable headrest 20. The device can be used in a variety of environments, and the stabilizing brackets 70 cooperate with the movable headrest 20 to enable bathing at lo cations such as the double tub sink assembly 82.
It will be understood that the device for supporting an infant during bathing which is herein disclosed and described is presented for purposes of explanation and illustration and is not intended to indicate limits of the invention, the scope of which is defined by the following claims.
1. A device for supporting an infant during bathing comprising:
a pair of horizontally spaced-apart side support members,
a platform having a pair of ends and being provided with drain openings, said platform being secured to said side support members in a substantially horizontal position and in spaced relationship to the top and bottom edges of said side members so that the portions of said side members above said platform prevent an infant supported on said platform from rolling off said platform and the lower portions of said side members spacing said platform above a supporting surface,
a headrest mounted on one end of said platform for pivotal movement about a substantially horizontal axis between a first position inclined upwardly with respect to said platform and a second position inclined downwardly with respect to said platform, and
coacting releasable latch means on said headrest and said side members defining said two headrest positions. 2. A device for supporting an infant according to claim 1 wherein said coacting releasable latch means also defines a third position of said headrest intermediate said first and second positions and substantially aligned with said platform.
3. A device for supporting an infant according to claim 1 wherein said latch means includes:
cam-shaped latch members having straight bottom sides and inclined top sides, means resiliently mounting said latch means on said headrest and urging said cam members toward said side members, and means forming slots in said side members at positions aligned with said cam members in said inclined positions of said headrest. 4. A device for supporting an infant according to claim 1 further including stabilizing brackets removably mounted on said side members adjacent one end thereof, each of said brackets having downwardly extending horizontally spaced portions adapted to straddle a partition on which said end of said side members is supported.
5. A device for supporting an infant according to claim 1 wherein said headrest is of generally flat plate shape having upturned edges located adjacent to and spaced from said side support members.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 279,241 5/1883 Krill 297355X 1,702,284 2/1929 Thien et al 297355 2,203,223 6/1940 Kennedy 4177UX 2,285,900 6/1942 Chapman 4185U 2,463,049 3/1949 Onsa 4-159 2,495,482 1/1950 Rogatz 4-185UX 2,760,208 1/ 1956 Mussells 4'177UX 2,771,124 11/1956 Borsani 297337X 2,928,457 3/1960 Welsh 297322 2,947,350 8/1960 Davis 297355 2,978,013 4/1961 McIntyre 297355 3,049,376 8/ 1962 Rosenthal 297322X 3,235,306 2/1966 Chernivsky 4185UX 3,252,734 5/1966 Berlin 297322X LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner D. B. MASSENBERG, Assistant Examiner