|Publication number||US3730587 A|
|Publication date||May 1, 1973|
|Filing date||May 22, 1970|
|Priority date||May 22, 1970|
|Publication number||US 3730587 A, US 3730587A, US-A-3730587, US3730587 A, US3730587A|
|Inventors||S Bloxham, R Haigh|
|Original Assignee||S Bloxham, R Haigh|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (43), Classifications (20)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [1 1 Bloxham et al.
[ 1 May 1,1973
 EXERCISING APPARATUS FOR SMALL CHILDREN  Filed: May 22, 1970  Appl. No.: 39,926
 U.S.Cl ..297/274, 248/435  Int. Cl. ..A47b 13/10  Field of Search ..297/274, 275,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,136,311 6/1964 Lewis ..297/D1G.6 3,447,832 6/1969 Shaw 3,464,664 9/1969 Nugent ..248/435 Primary Examiner-James T. McCall Attorney-Rogers, Bereskin and Parr 57 ABSTRACT A collapsible and portable device for supporting part of the weight of a child to permit the child to jump up and down and to walk about a central upright column. The device includes a collapsible stand for positioning on a floor and a cantilever and resilient suspension mechanism coupled to the stand such that the mechanism may be rotated about the column. A seat is releasably coupled to the suspension mechanism so that when the child is placed in the seat, a proportion of the childs weight is supported by the device and the child is free to jump up and down and to move in a circle about the column.
6 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMAY 11375 3,730,587-
' sum 2 BF 3 -INVENTORS SAMUEL DAWSON BLOXHAM ROBERT LAIRD HAIGH PATENTEDH 11913 3.730.587
SHEET 3 OF 3 FIG. 10
INVENTORS SAMUEL DAWSON BLOXHAM ROBERT LAIRD HAIGH EXERCISING APPARATUS FOR SMALL CHILDREN This invention relates to a device for supporting part of the weight of a small child to permit the child to perform leg exercises.
Devices have been designed which suspend a child from a stationary support to take a proportion of the childs weight off his legs. These devices commonly include a seat suspended from the support by a resilient connection so that the child can use the resilience of the connection to jump up and down off the floor. The.
child is free to turn around and to jump but is unable to move across the floor because the support is stationary. The seat is usually of a canvas construction and has a waistband for placing about the child and a crotch band which is suspended from the belt and passes between the childs leg. Straps or laces are provided to close the waistband and crotch band about the child and to attach the seat to the resilient connection. Because the seat is to be placed about an active child, difficulty is often encountered in fastening the straps properly about the child.
In one particular aspect of the present invention a device is provided which is both collapsable and portable and which is adapted to support part of the weight of a small child so that the child can both jump up and down and walk about a central column. In performing these movements the child strengthens his legs and practices the muscle co-ordination necessary for walking. The device includes a collapsable stand for positioning on a floor or other support surface, and a resilient suspension mechanism is coupled to the stand such that the mechanism may be rotated about an upright axis of the stand. A seat is releasably coupled to the suspension mechanism, so that when a child is placed in the seat, a proportion of the childs weight is supported by the device. The child can jump using the resilience of the suspension mechanism and move in a circle about the upright axis.
In another of its aspects the present invention provides a relatively simple seat structure for placing about a child. The seat includes a waistband and a crotch band attached by one of its ends to the waistband intermediate the ends of the waistband. The other end of the crotch band and the ends of the waistband have VEL- CRO (Registered Trade Mark) fasteners for placing the seat about a child to locate the crotch band and waistband while a safety cord is passed through the waistband and crotch band to ensure that the seat is secure about the child.
Theseand other aspects of the invention will be better understood with the reference to the drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a device according to the invention;
FIG. 2 and 3 are perspective views of parts of the device;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of a locking mechanism for the device;
FIG. Sis a sectional side view on lines 55 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a sectional side view on lines 6--6 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of the parts associated with the attachment ofa seat to a suspension mechanism of the device;
FIG. 8 is a view of the inner surface of a seat laid out flat and preparatory to receiving a child; and
FIG. 9 and 10 are views similar to FIG. 1 showing two alternative forms of suspension mechanism.
Reference is first made to FIG. 1 which shows a portable device 10 having a stand 12 on which is mounted a suspension mechanism 14. A seat 16 for receiving a small child is hung from the suspension mechanism on cords 18.
The stand 12 has collapsable tubular legs 20 which are attached at their outer ends to feet 22 for supporting the device off a floor or the like. The legs 20 are pivotally attached at their respective inner ends to a coupling plate 24 which is fixed to an upright tubular column 26. A forked member 28 is rotatably mounted in the upper end of the column 26 and extends upwardly to support a pivot pin 30 on which a tubular cantilever 32 is free to rotate in a generally vertical plane. The cantilever is generally horizontal and has an inner or first end 33 which is coupled to an upper end of an adjustable link 34. The lower end of link 34 is connected to a tension spring 36 on a rotatable coupling 38. The coupling consists of 2 fixed collars 40 which are pinned to the column 26 and a rotatable collar 42 which is free to rotate on the column 26 between the fixed collars 40. Thus as the cantilever 32 rotates about the vertical axis of the column 26, the link 34, spring 36, and collar 42 are free to follow the movements of the cantilever 32.
The legs 20 are maintained in a generally horizontal position off the support surface by a locking mechanism 44 which will be more fully described with reference to FIG. 4. The mechanism 44 permits the legs to fold up into a generally parallel relationship with the column 26 when the device is not in use, and is adapted to lock the legs in the position shown. The legs 20, feet 22 and part of the mechanism 44 is covered by a decorative mat 46 which is attached by straps 48 to the legs 20. When the legs are folded into the upright position, the mat moves with the legs and a tie strap 50 is provided on the underside of the mat for wrapping around the legs and the mat to hold them in the upright position. The strip 50 has any suitable conventional fasteners at its ends for holding the legs in this position.
The outer or second end of the cantilever 32 is pivotally connected to an upper end of a tie bar 52 which is also pivotally connected at itslowerend to the center of a tubular cross-bar 54. The tie bar 52 projects through the cantilever 32 and through the cross-bar 54 in slots which are only slightly larger then the tie bar 52 so that pivotal movement of the cross-bar is limited in relation to the cantilever 32. This limitation prevents excessive tilting of the cross-bar 54 should the child move its weight to one side of the seat 16. End caps 56 are provided for the cross-bar 54 and eye bolts 58 are attached to the cross-bar 54 adjacent the end caps for supporting the seat 16. The cords 18 pass through safety hooks 60 which are in turn releasably engaged in a respective one of the eye bolts 58.
The seat 16 consists of a waistband 62 and a crotch band 64. The ends of band 62 and one end of band 64 are held together at the front of the seat by a cord 66 as will be more fully described with reference to FIG. 8. The suspension cords 18 pass through eyelets 65 in the waistband and through thimbles 67. The ends of the cords 18 are knotted to prevent separation of the cords 18 from respective thimbles 67.
Reference is next made to FIG. 1 and 2 with particular reference to FIG. 2 to describe the adjustable link 34 which permits the height of seat 16 to be changed for accommodating children of different heights and weights. Link 34 consists of an upper member 68 which is attached loosely by a hook 69 to the inner end 33 of cantilever 32 and a lower member 70 which receives an upper hooked end 71 of spring 36 at the lower end of member 70. Member 68 has a plurality of equally spaced holes 72 for receiving a bolt 74 and a stud 76 on the lower member 70. Bolt 74 and stud 76 are permanently attached to the member 70 and spaced apart by a distance equal to the distance between two of the holes 72. To adjust the links 34, the member 70 is positioned relative to the member 68 according to the desired height of the seat 16 and the bolt and stud inserted through the corresponding holes 72. A wing nut 78 is provided for locking the bolt 74 in one of the holes 72. Once in place, the stud 76 prevents rotation of the member 70 and 68 about the bolt 74.
Reference is next made to FIG. 3 to describe the forked member 28 which is adapted to engage in the upper end of the tubular column 26. The member 28 has a pair of spaced apart upright flanges 80, 82 defining respective openings 84, 86 for receiving the transverse pivot pin 30 (FIG. 1). The flanges 80, 82 are integrally attached at their lower ends to an upper cylindrical portion 88 which is in turn attached to the upper end of a lower and longer cylindrical portion 90. Respective upper and lower cylindrical bushs 92, 94 are a relatively tight fit on the member 28 and are made of nylon or other similar material to act as a bearing in the column 26. The lower bush 94 is tapered at its lower end for easy access of the forked member 28 into the column 26 and the upper bush 92 has a flange 95 at its upper end for resting on top of the column 26. The bushs 92, 94 are a relatively loose sliding fit in the column 26 for easy assembly of the device and to permit free rotation of the member 28 in column 26.
Reference is next made to FIG. 4 which shows the plate 24 and legs pivotally connected to the plate 24. the plate 24 has integral upright webs 96 spaced about the upper surface of a lower cylindrical portion 98. The webs define five equally-spaced channels 100 for receiving the legs 20. One of five pins 102 passes through a respective pair of webs 96 and through one of the legs 20 to pivotally connect a leg 20 to the plate 24. A central upright cylindrical boss 104 is also integrally attached to the cylindrical portion 98 and to the inner ends of the webs 96 to define a cylindrical recess for receiving a lower end of the column 26. A drive pin 106 passes through the boss and through the column 26 to lock the column in place in the plate 24.
As best seen in FIG. 5, the inner ends of each of the legs 20 is curved at 108 about the axis of the pin 102 to permit the leg 20 to fold upwardly as shown in chain dotted outline. The leg may be folded upwardly when recesses 110 (FIG. 1) in a sleeve 112 are in registration with the channels 100 as will be explained.
Returning now to FIG. 4, the sleeve 112 consists ofa generally cylindrical upper portion 114 which is integrally connected by its lower end to a flange 116 to define the recesses 110. The sleeve 112 is free to rotate on the column 26 between a closed position in which the flange 116 is in registration over the channels 100 to prevent upward movement of the legs 20, and an open position in which the recesses are in registration with the channels 100. A stop 118 is provided in the underside of the flange 116 to engage upright webs 96 to locate the sleeve 112 in either the closed or the open position.
A threaded sleeve 120 is attached by a drive pin 122 to the column 26 and a nut 124 is provided for locking the sleeve 112 in either the closed or the open position. The nut-124 has a lower inwardly extending flange 126 to prevent separation of the nut 124 from the threaded sleeve 120 and a handle 128 is pivotally connected by pivot screws 130 (one of which is shown) to the nut 124. The handle 128 normally hangs in the position shown but can be lifted into a generally horizontal position for rotating the nut 124 to tighten the locking mechanism as will be described. A thrust washer 132 is provided between the nut 124 and an upper surface 134 of the sleeve 112 to act as a bearing between the nut 124 and the sleeve 112.
Before the column 26 is assembled in the plate 24, the threaded sleeve 120 is attached to the column by driving the pin 122 through the sleeve 120 and through the column 26. The nut 124 is then slipped over the lower end of the column 26 and threaded onto the sleeve 120. Next the trust washer 132 is slipped onto the column followed by the sleeve 112. Finally the column 26 is entered into the cylindrical recess in plate 24 and the pin 106 is driven through the column and plate 24 to lock the column to the plate. Upon turning the nut 124 so that the nut moves downwardly to lock the mechanism 44, pressure is applied to the sleeve 112 which is transmitted downwardly to engage the lower side of flange 116 against the legs 20. This is evident from FIG. 5 which shows the legs 20 having a diameter such that they project slightly above the upright webs 96. Upon locking the mechanism, the legs are brought into tight engagement with the upper face of the cylindrical portion 98 of the plate 24 so that the plate is elevated off the support surface and the device stands on feet 22. This gives the stand more rigidity because any force applied to overturn the device must rotate the device about the feet 20.
As seen in FIG. 6 each of the feet 20 consists of a lower cylindrical portion 136 and an upwardly extending boss 138 defining a transverse opening 140 for receiving an outer end of a leg 20. The foot is preferably of a plastic material to avoid damage to floors, although any suitable material can be used. Also, if preferred, the boss 138 can be modified to extend inside the tube 20 instead of receiving the end of the tube. The foot is held in place either by friction or by a suitable adhesive.
Reference is next made to FIG. 7 which shows a connection between the cross-bar 54 and one of the cords 18. This connection is typical of both connections to the cross-bar 54. End cap 56 is a push fit over the end of the cross-bar 54 and an opening 142 is provided in the underside of the tubular cross-bar 54 for receiving the eye bolt 58. A nut 144 is positioned inside the cross-bar 54 for threadablyreceiving the eye bolt 58. Safety hook 60 is of any conventional type having a spring gate 146 and an eye 148 for receiving the cord 18. The eye bolt 58 is normally engaged in the nut 144 and the safety hook 60 can be clipped to the eye bolt 58 and removed as required.
As seen in FIG. 8 the seat 16 is generally T-shaped and has the top of the T formed by the waistband 62 and the upright formed by the crotch band 64. The band 64 is attached by one of its ends to the waistband 62 generally at the center of the waistband 62 and the opposite end of the crotch band 64 has the safety cord 66 attached to it. VELCRO fasteners are provided for positioning the seat about a child. Each fastener is in two parts, 150, 150' and 152,152 respectively. The fastener parts 150,150 are at respective ends of the waist band 62 with the part 150 on the inner surface and the part 150' on the outer surface of the seat so that when ends of the waistband 62 are overlapped, the parts 150, 150' are overlapped in locking engagement. Similarly, the part 152 is on the inner surface of the waistband adjacent an end of the band and the part 152 is on the outer surfaceof the crotch band 64. When the seat is to be positioned about a child, the child is first laid over the seat as drawn in FIG. 8 and then the crotch band 64 is positioned between the childs legs. The part 152 of the VELCRO fastener is then brought into engagement with the other part 152. Next the fastener part 150 is brought into engagement with the other part 150' to complete the positioning of the parts. The VELCRO fasteners are relatively simple to assemble even if the child is very active while the seat is being positioned. When assembled, first and second pairs of openings 154 and 156 are in approximate registration and the cord 66 can be passed through these openings to lock the crotch band 64 and the ends of the waistband 62 together thereby preventing accidental separation. A child does not then rely simply on the VELCRO fasteners but also on the cord 66 to support him. Padding 158 is provided in the crotch band 64 to make the seat more comfortable.
Once the child is positioned in the seat, the seat and 7 child are picked up using the cords 18 and the safety hooks 60 are entered in the eye bolts 58 to suspend the child from the cross-bar 54. Should it be required, the adjustable link 34 can be moved either with the child suspended from the cross-bar or before the assembly is completed.
For more advanced children it may be desirable to place the child in the seat such that the seat fasteners are at his back. This will make it more difficult for a child to reach the cord 66 so that the child can not release the seat.
The child is supported but has his feet on the mat 46 so that he can bounce as if he were jumping without damaging his legs. Also he is free to learn to walk around the post 26 because the suspension mechanism 14 will follow him and permit him to move around. However the child cannot turn around without walking because the cross-bar 54 is located by the tie bar 52 and cantilever 32 to prevent rotation. Thus if the child wants to see something behind him, he must learn to walk and turn the device through 180 until he is facing in the other direction. This encourages him to learn to walk.
One of the features of the mat 46 is that if another child should approach the device with the intention of pushing the device over, he must stand on the mat to push the column 26. Consequently if he attempts to push it his own weight will prevent him from toppling the device.
To assemble the device, the tie strip 50 is undone so that the legs 20 are free to pivot downwardly. The sleeve 112 of the locking mechanism 44 is rotated into the closed position and the handle 128 is used to tighten nut 124 thereby locking the legs in place with the feet 22 on the support surface. Next the forked member 28 is slipped into the upper end of the column 26 and the spring 36 is hooked onto the movable collar 42 of the rotatable coupling 38.
After suitable adjustment of the link 34 the seat and child are suspended from the crossbar 54 by attaching safety hooks to respective eye bolts 58.
The device is disassembled by reversing the assembly procedure.
Reference is now made to FIGS. 9 and 10 which show alternative forms of suspension mechanism. Parts similar to these described with reference to FIG. 1 are given primed numerals in FIG. 9 and double primed numerals in FIG. 10.
As seen in FIG. 9 a column 26' is pivotally and rotatably connected by a rotatable coupling 38 to an inner end of a cantilever 32. A forked member 28 in the top of column 26 is free to rotate in column 26 and is pivotally connected to a first end of an adjustable link 34'. The opposite ends of link 34 is coupled to a tension spring 36 which is also attached by a clip 158 to the cantilever 32 intermediate the ends of the cantilever. This arrangement of suspension mechanism results in a device having a greater overall height than that shown in FIG. 1 but has the advantage that the moving parts are remote from the child.
As seen in FIG. 10 a column 26" is coupled by a forked member 28" to a cantilever and by a rotatable coupling 38" to a rod 160. The rod enters a casing 162 which is attached to an end of an adjustable link 34 and a compression spring is housed in casing 162. An end of rod is in contact with the spring so that the spring is compressed when a child is placed in the seat 16 (FIG. 1). The other end of link 34" is pivotally attached by clip 164 to cantilever 32".
In general, any cantilever suspension mechanism can be used for supporting the child provided that the mechanism is mounted on a suitable stand. The cantilever may take many forms such as these illustrated in (FIGS. 1, 9 and 10) provided that it is pivotally connected to the stand to permit the child to move up and down. However if the device is to be used simply to aid the child in walking, then the spring can be replaced with a suitable link to hold the cantilever in fixed vertical position while permitting it to rotate on the stand.
What we claim as our invention is:
1. An exercising device for children comprising:
a stand adapted to be positioned on a generally horizontal support surface;
a cantilever suspension mechanism including resilient means for partially balancing the weight of the child;
means for coupling the suspension mechanism to the stand;
a seat adapted to fit relatively closely about the child to support the child;
means for attaching the seat to the suspension mechanism such that the child is partially supported and energy is stored in the resilient means whereby the child may jump up and down; and
. An exercising device for children comprising:
means for coupling the suspension mechanism to the means for attaching the seat to the suspension having upwardly extending flanges; a pivot pin passing generally horizontally through the flanges whereby the cantilever suspension mechanism is pivotally mounted on the forked member; and bearing means coupled to the forked member and adapted to slidably engage an upper end of the column for rotation of the suspension mechanism relative to the column.
stand adapted to be positioned on a generally horizontal support surface;
cantilever suspension mechanism including resilient means for partially balancing the weight ofthe child;
a seat adapted to fit relatively closely about the child to su ort the child;
mechanism such that the child is partially supported and energy is stored in the resilient means whereby the child may jump up and down; and
in which the seat comprises: a waistband having first and second ends and defining two pairs of openings which are in registration when the ends of the waistband are overlapped; a crotch band attached by one of its ends to the waistband intermediate the ends of the waistband, and including means for releasably fastening the other end of the crotch band to the ends-of the waistband in overlapping relationship, said fastening means comprising VELCRO crotch and waistband fasteners, each of the VELCRO fasteners comprising first and second parts, the first and second parts of the crotch fastener being attached respectively to the other end of the crotch band on the outside of the seat and to the first end of the waistband on the inside of the seat, and the first and second parts of the waistband fastener being attached respectively to the first end of the waistband on the inside of the seat and to the second end of the waistband on the outside of the seat, the seat being fastened by overlapping said first end over said other end and then overlapping said second end over said first end, and said seat further comprising a cord at the other of said ends and adapted to pass through the holes to be fastened such that the said waistband ends and said other end cannot separate without first unfastening the cord.
3. An exercising device for children comprising: a stand adapted to be positioned on a generally horizontal support surface;
cantilever suspension mechanism including resilient means for partially balancing the weight of the child;
means for coupling the suspension mechanism to the stand;
. a seat adapted to fit relatively closely about the child to support the child; means for attaching the seat to the suspension mechanism such that the child is partially supported and energy is stored in the resilient means whereby the child may 'um up and down; the stand comprising: a p ura ity of legs, each of the legs having a foot at an outer end thereof; an
upright column and means pivotally connecting the legs to the column so that the legs can be pivoted between a generally horizontal position for erecting the device and a generally upright position for storing the device; and
the exercising device further comprising locking means coupled to the upright column whereby the legs may be locked in the horizontal position such that the device is supported on the feet; the locking means comprising: a fixed sleeve attached to the column; a nut threadably engaged on the fixed sleeve for axial movement relative to the fixed sleeve; a movable sleeve journalled on the columns between said fixed sleeve and said pivotal connection for axial and rotational movement thereon; and in which the leg connecting means further comprises; a coupling plate having pairs of upright webs defining channels, each of the channels being adapted to receive a corresponding one of the legs, each said pivotal connections comprising a pivot pin passing generally horizontally through one pair of the webs and the corresponding leg whereby the leg is free to move about the axis of the pin between the upright and horizontal positions, the movable sleeve being adapted to rotate between a closed position for locking the legs in the horizontal position and an open position to provide clearance for the legs to move into the upright position, the nut being operable to force the movable sleeve downwardly into tight engagement with the legs to lock the legs in the horizontal position.
4. An exercising device as claimed in claim 2 in which the crotch band is padded intermediate its ends.
5. An exercising device as claimed in claim 3 in which the movable sleeve comprises: a cylindrical upper portion and a flange portion extending radially outwards from a lower end of the cylindrical portion, the flange portion defining a plurality of radial recesses for accommodating the legs in the upright position; the recesses being in registration with the legs when the movable sleeve is in the open position and out of registration with the legs in the closed position whereby the legs are locked in the horizontal position upon moving the nut downwardly.
6. An exercising device as claimed in claim 5 in which the device further comprises a generally circular cover having a central opening for passing the cover over the column to rest on the legs whereby the legs are hidden from view.
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|U.S. Classification||297/274, 482/69, 248/435|
|International Classification||A47D13/10, A61H3/00, A47D13/04, A63G11/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A47D13/105, A47D13/046, A61H2201/0192, A61H2201/1633, A61H2201/0134, A47D13/107, A63G11/00, A61H3/008|
|European Classification||A47D13/10F, A63G11/00, A61H3/00H, A47D13/10D, A47D13/04D|