US 3759539 A
A bounce restricting brace for a child's bouncer-walker of the type comprising two generally U-shaped frame members pivotally connected at an intermediate position and provided with a pair of spring members mounted between the frame members below the pivot. The restrictive brace which limits the amount of bounce and prevents collapse of the bouncer-walker comprises a strap member having an internal slot which is pivotally mounted to the side of one frame member and slidably mounted to the side of the other frame member.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Goldberg 1 Sept. 18, 1973 BOUNCE-RESTRICTING BRACE FOR 1,721,178 7/1929 Collier 230 41 B  Inventor: Morris 1. Goldberg, 39 Locke Rd., Newton, Mass. 02168 22] Filed: Mar. 16, 1972  Appl. No.: 235,235
[ 52] US. Cl..., 280/87.03, 280/41 B, 297/16  Int. Cl B62b 9/22  Field of Search 280/87.02 R, 87.02 W,
2130/8703, 36 B, 41 A, 41 R, 41 B; 297/16  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,194,577 7/1965 Berlin 280/41 B 3,337,230 8/1967 Golding. 280/87.03 3,083,050 3/1963 Gill 280/36 B 3,172,696 3/1965 De Vos 297/16 CHILD'S BOUNCER-WALKER Primary Examiner-Kenneth H. Betts Assistant Examiner-Terrance L. Siemens Attorney-Robert E. Meyer  ABSTRACT A bounce restricting brace for a childs bouncer-walker of the type comprising two generally U-shaped frame members pivotally connected at an intermediate position and provided with a pair of spring members mounted between the frame members below the pivot. The restrictive brace which limits the amount of bounce and prevents collapse of the bouncer-walker comprises a strap member having an internal slot which is pivotally mounted to the side of one frame member and slidably mounted to the side of the other frame member.
2 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures BOUNCE-RESTRICTING BRACE FOR CHILD'S BOUNCER-WALKER BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In recent years a popular item of children's or infants furniture has been the bouncer-walker. This typically has been formed of two generally U-shaped frame members pivotally connected at an intermediate position and provided with casters at the free ends. A cloth bucket seat provided with a cut-out portion for each of the childs legs is suspended between the cross-bar portion of the frame members at a height such that the feet of a typical small child will touch the ground and the front cross-bar will be in a convenient position to be used as a hand rail. A spring memberconnecting the two frame members is provided on each side beneath the pivot point mounted in a generally horizontal plane.
The presence of the spring members permits the two frame members to move against the force of the spring in a scissors-like movement and to return to a neutral position'as a child jumps up and down in the seat and- /or pushes the forward rail with his arms. The amount of motion and rebound depends upon the strength of the springs, the weight and strength of the child and the degree to which the child jumps up and down. The bouncer-walker is designed primarily for the pretoddler where it helps to develop coordination and muscular tone and strength particularly in the arm and leg muscles. The spring is selected to provide a suitable degree of bouncing motion for a child of this size. The problem is that the bouncer-walker is a fun toy and is likely to be continued to be used long after the child has passed through the toddling stage and is well into the walking stage of development. As the child becomes bigger and stronger the amount. of bounce becomes greater and greater and correspondingly the amount of rebound becomes greater until it is possible even though the legs are formed to be well spread out that the structure will collapse and tip over at the height of a particularly violent rebound. Even if this doesn't occur, it is possible if the bouncing action beber 11 and I7 and 18 in the case of frame member 12,
comes violent enough for the cross-bar members to approach each other during the rebound sufficiently to squeeze the child's body,
It is the purpose of this invention to provide a simple means to limit the amount of bounce and rebound in a positive way and thereby eliminate the possibility that the structure can collapse and tip over.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS DETAILED DESCRIPTION The bouncer-walker indicated generally at 10 comprises two generally -U-shaped frame members 11, 12 formed from a suitable tubular metal stock pivotally joined at an intermediate point as indicated at 13. Each U-shaped frame member 11 and 12 comprises a crossbar portion 14 and 15 respectively, side portions 16 and one not seen in the view in the case of frame memand downwardly extending leg portions 2], 22, 23, 24. The end of each leg portion is provided with a caster 25, 26, 27, 28 which may either be of the swivclling or the non-swivelling type, and a rubber bumper 31, 32, 33 and 34 is mounted on the respective leg portions above the respective casters to prevent any portion of the frame or caster from contacting and possibly marring walls or furniture.
A fabric bucket seat 41 is dependingly supported at one end on front cross-bar portion 14 and at the other end on rear cross-bar portion 15. Seat 41 is provided with a front portion 42, a rear portion 43, side portions 44 and 45, a seat portion 46, cut-out portions 47 and 48 at the intersection of front portion 42 and side portions 44 and 45 respectively, permitting the egress of the leg of the child sitting in the seat and a crotch strap portion 49 intermediate the two cut-out portions to retain the child in the seat. Seat portion 46 is preferably provided with a stiffening element (not shown) which optionally may also include a cushioning element to assure that front portion 42 and rear portion 43 of seat 41 will pull downwardly on cross-bar portions 14 and 15 when a child is sitting in a seat. Front cross-bar portion 14 is preferably provided with a padding and cushioning member as indicated at 51.
The two pivotally connected U-shaped frame members 11 and 12 are connected by spring members 52 and 53. Spring member 52 which comprises brace or strap 54 and coil spring 55, connects side frame elements l6 and 17 and spring member 53 which comprises brace or strap 56 and coil spring 57, connects side frame element 18 with the far side frame element of frame member 11 which is hidden from view in the drawings. Bot-h spring members 52 and 53 are mounted horizontally below pivot 13 and slightly above the level of the bottom 46 of bucket seat 41 with strap member 54, 56, adjacent leg openings 47 and 48, to minimize the possibility of any contact of any portion of the childs body with the coil spring elements 55 and 57 while at the same time obtaining as much mechanical advantage as possible.
Downward pressure on seat member 41 causes crossbar elements 14 and 15 and likewise leg members 21, 22, and 23, 24 to spread apart extending coil spring members 55, 57 from their neutral position. Upon release of the downward force spring members 55 and 57 return to the neutral position raising the seat member and returning the cross-bar elements and the leg members towards their initial starting position. This provides a bouncing motion.
As pointed out above, the amount of said bouncing motion depends on the size, the weight and the strength of the child sitting in the seat. A bouncer-walker is designed primarily for a pre-toddler and the spring load is such that such a child can develop a satisfying amount of bounce. As the child becomes older and heavier and stronger he can cause the spring to extend more and more. Of course as the springs extend more and more, the rebound becomes stronger and faster. This increases the possibility that the cross-bar elements and correspondingly the respective leg members will return well past the neutral position. Even though the leg members are well spread out to insure that the center of gravity will remain within the area defined by the legs, there is the possibility that if the child induces an excessive amount of bounce the bouncer-walker may tip and collapse.
The purpose of this invention is to provide simple means whereby overbouncc and the resulting possibility of tipping and collapsing ofa child's bouncer-walker can be completely prevented. This is accomplished by providing a restricting brace 61 between U-shaped frame member 11 and U-shaped frame member 12. Brace 61 comprises a strap member 62 provided at one end with an aperture 63. Strap member 62 is pivotally mounted to the inside of that portion of side member 17 of frame member 12 above pivot 13 and about midway between pivot 13 and cross-bar member 15 by means of bolt 64 which passes through aperture 62 and lock nut 65. A spacer 66 is provided to align the outside face of strap 62 with the inside of tubular U-shaped frame member 11. The other end of strap member 62 is provided with a longitudinally extending slot 67. This end of strap 62 is fastened to side member 16 below pivot 13 at a point substantially vertically below bolt 64 by means of rivet 68 which passes through slot 67 in sliding relation thereto. Normally slot 67 is about threefourths in. plus the diameter of the shank of rivet 68 long to limit the degree of bounce at this position to about three-fourths inch.
Restricting brace 61 is preferably so proportioned and mounted-that rivet 68 is adjacent the bottom end of slot 67 when the bouncer-walker is in its normal neutral position so that the relative movement of the crossbars is limited to separation and any closing motion of the cross-bar members substantially beyond the neutral position is prevented.
1. ln a child's bouncer-walker of the type comprising two generally U-shaped members pivotally connected at an intermediate position and provided with a pair of spring members mounted between the frame members below said pivot, a restrictive brace which limits the amount of bounce and prevents collapse comprising an elongated strap member provided with an aperture adjacent one end and a longitudinally extending internal slot adjacent the other end, said strap member pivotally mounted to the side of one said frame member by mounting means passing through said aperture and slidably mounted to the side of the other said frame member by mounting means passing through said internal slot, the two said mounting means being located one substantially above the other on the respective said frame members to orient said strap member substantially vertically.
2. A bounce restrictive brace as claimed in claim 1 wherein the said mounting means associated with said internal slot is located near the end of said slot remote from said aperture when said bouncer-walker is in its neutral position.