|Publication number||US3773256 A|
|Publication date||Nov 20, 1973|
|Filing date||Jun 14, 1972|
|Priority date||Jun 14, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3773256 A, US 3773256A, US-A-3773256, US3773256 A, US3773256A|
|Original Assignee||Wright K|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (27), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 11 1 Wright 1451 Nov. 20, 1973 [5 METHOD OF TEACHING USE OF 1,762,517 6/1930 Larson 137 150 x DRINKING STRAW 1,941,859 1 1934 Hall 137 150 2,063,803 12/1936 Gildersleeve.... 35 1 UX Inventor: Kenneth 0- g M1SS10n,TeX- 2,414,697 1 1947 Pettersson 35 29 E UX 2,811,808 11 1957 Briese 239/33 x  June 1972 2,882,729 4 1959 Weiser 35/29 E x 21] Appl. No.: 262,597
Related US. Application Data Continuation of Ser. No. 68,922, Sept. 2, 1970, abandoned.
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l/l878 Sutton 137/150 X 6/1906 Foster 137/150 6/1921 Schreiner.. 137/150 4/1926 Helander 137/150 X 6/1926 Pritchett 137/150 Primary ExaminerR0bert S. Ward, Jr. Attorney-Jerry A. Thiebeau [5 7 ABSTRACT This invention relates to apparatus for teaching infants and young children to use a drinking straw or tube. In particular, it relates to a bifurcated tube in which one leg is placed in an open liquid container and the other terminates in a liquid forcing means e.g., a squeeze bulb. The common leg of the tubing is a delivery leg which conducts liquid to the mouth of a child. In use, the squeeze bulb and its leg are filled with liquid so that a slight pressure on it will inject a small amount of liquid into the childs mouth. Upon swallowing, a suction action will occur and this will cause liquid to be drawn from the container through the liquid leg.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures Pmminuuvm I975 3,773,256
d- III I INVENTOR- KE/v/vE TH 0 WRIGHT gmw ATTORNEYs METHOD OF TEACHING USE OF DRINKING STRAW This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 68,922, filed Sept. 2, 1970, and now abandoned.
Often it is desirable that ill children use a drinking tube but they cannot be taught its use without a harmful emotional upset, and sometimes the child will refuse the taking of the liquid entirely. Also it is desirable that healthy children use a straw because drinking directly from a container is often difficult for a small child and it will spill its contents. Not only liquids such as water or milk can be fed with this device, but also medicines can be added to the liquid.
Thus the primary object of this invention is to provide means to assist a child in drinking from a straw or the like, and to teach the child the normal functions of drinking in this manner.
A further object is to provide a device adapted for the foregoing purposes, wherein the device is convenient and safe to operate, simple and economical to manufacture, and durable in use.
These and other objects will be apparent from the following specification, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation showing the device as a whole and its manner of use;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view along the line 33 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken at the juncture of the delivery leg with the bifurcated portion of the tubing.
Referring to FIG. 1, the apparatus includes tubing comprising a first or squeeze-bulb leg section 10, connected at its outer end to a liquid-forcing means such as the flexible closed squeeze bulb 12, a second or feedleg section 14, which in use leads to a liquid container 16, and a third or dispensing-leg section 18, which is open at its distal end to supply liquid to the mouth of an infant or child. The tubing sections and 14 are connected by sleeves and 22 to each of two legs 24 and 26 of the bifurcated connector piece having a common leg 28 connected to dispensing tube section 18. The tubing leg sections, sleeves and connector piece sections may be manufactured as an integral structure, but the structure shown is preferred because the parts may be disassembled or sold as a kit for packaging purposes or for greater ease of cleansing or sterilization. In this connection the tubing and sleeves are formed of transparent flexible plastic material which can, without harm, be elevated to sterlizing temperatures or cleansed with detergents, e.g., certain selected polyethylenes or polyvinylchlorides or the like, all well known to those skilled in the art.
The inlet end of tubing section 14 is provided with a ball check valve fitting 30 which contains a ball 32 and fingers 34 which define a cage for the ball. The bottom surface of the fitting has projections 36 which prevent the said surface from resting flat on the bottom of a receptacle so as to cut off liquid flow.
In use, squeeze bulb 12 and tubing sections 10, 14 and 18 are filled with liquid. This can be conveniently done by collapsing and releasing the squeeze bulb while selectively pinching off or otherwise closing the discharge end of dispensing leg 18 and while inserting the ball-check valve end of the tubing section into filled container 16. Repetition of this operation should fill the bulb and tubing up to the distal or discharge end of tubing 18. The discharge end is then inserted into the childs mouth. Gentle pressure on the bulb will result in some of the liquid being forced into the infants mouth because ball check valve 30 will prevent back flow into container 16. The child will swallow the liquid by reflex and this swallowing is accompanied by a sucking action. The child will soon begin sucking on the tube without any forcing of the liquid feed by squeezing on the bulb. After a short time the child will thus learn the required sucking action and can then use a conventional drinking straw or glass tube such as those often used in hospitals.
The specific embodiment described hereinabove is presented as being illustrative only. It will be understood that numerous changes and modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the annexed claims.
1. A method for teaching infant subjects and the like to drink through a drinking tube, comprising the steps of inserting one end of a drinking tube into a body of liquid; placing the other end of the drinking tube in the mouth of the subject; forcing through the drinking tube and into the mouth of the subject a portion of said liquid thereby causing the subject to swallow said portion of liquid and as a result of swallowing, creating a sucking action on the liquid remaining in the straw, discontinuing the forcing action and permitting flow of said liquid into the mouth of the subject as a result of said sucking action thereby inducing the subject to swallow again and learn the normal functions of drinking through a drinking tube.
2. A method according to claim 1 wherein the said portion of the liquid is forced into the mouth of the subject by a pumping action.
3. A method according to claim 1 including the step of filling the drinking tube with liquid from the body of liquid before the step of forcing a portion of the liquid in the drinking tube into the mouth of the subject.
4. A method according to claim 3 including the step of preventing the liquid in the drinking tube from returning through the drinking tube to the body of liquid after the drinking tube is filled.
5. A method for teaching infant subjects and the like to use a drinking straw, comprising; providing open ended conduit means for the transmission of liquids from an inlet end disposed in a liquid resevoir to an outlet end disposed in the mouth of the subject; pumping liquid through said conduit means to the mouth of the subject to initiate normal swallowing functions by the subject, resulting in a suction action on said inlet end; and discontinuing said pumping to enable free flow of said liquid through said conduit to the mouth of the subject in response to said suction action unassisted by said pumping, whereby said unassisted flow induces the subject to perpetuate said suction action and to thereby learn the normal functions of drinking through a straw.
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|U.S. Classification||239/1, 239/33, 137/150, 215/388, 434/258|
|International Classification||A47G21/18, A47G21/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A47G21/18, A47G2400/027|