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Publication numberUS3884495 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 20, 1975
Filing dateJul 1, 1974
Priority dateJul 1, 1974
Publication numberUS 3884495 A, US 3884495A, US-A-3884495, US3884495 A, US3884495A
InventorsPetock Michael F
Original AssigneePetock Michael F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Walker
US 3884495 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Petoek 451 May at, 11975 WALKER [76] Inventor: Michael F. lPetock, 420 Littlebrook Rd., Berwyn, Pa, 19312 [22] Filed: July 1, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 484,661

[52] US. (31...... 280/87.02 W; 248/345.1; 272/703;

297/5 [51] Int. Cl B6215) 11/00 [58] Field of Search 280/8702 W; 272/703; 297/5, 6; 248/3451 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,153,481 4/1939 Ponselle 248/3451 2,657,735 11/1953 Hughes 297/5 3,059,963 10/1962 Hamilton 297/5 3,183,028 5/1965 Williams 272/703 X 3,289,995 12/1966 Taylor 248/345.l 3,523,710 8/1970 Barecki et a1 248/3451 X 3,643,905 2/1972 Kint 248/3451 3,754,786 8/1973 Boucher 297/5 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 26,732 2/1916 Norway 248/3451 Primary Examiner-Leo Friaglia Attorney, Agent or Firm Michael F. Petock [57] ABSTRACT A walker is disclosed in which the members supporting the seat of the walker are provided with a resilient material covering. The resilient covering material may be of tubular construction thereby enabling it to be mounted on the seat supporting; members by sliding it over such members. Alternatively, the resilient covering material may be in sheet form and mounted around the supporting members by wrapping it thereon. In such a case, the resilient material would be held in place by a. covering material provided with fastening means, straps, adhesive or other suitable means. The resilient material is preferably a foam type of material and preferably extends downward over at least the outer portions of the wheels of the walker.

limiting the scope or fair meaning of the claims appended hereto. 7

14 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTED HAY 2 01975 WALKER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a walker or apparatus for assisting a human being in learning to walk. More particularly, the present invention relates to a padding construction for protecting furniture and other objects in the environment in which the walker is used.

In the past, most walker devices were not provided with any means for protecting furniture and other objects in the environment in which they were used. This resulted in considerable damage to furniture of all types, woodwork, doors and built in cabinets. This is especially so in the case of baby walkers wherein a very young child just beginning to walk has very little or no appreciation of the need to protect furniture and other objects. The child in such case very often rams the members which support the flexible seat into furniture, doors and various other objects.

The teachings of the prior art have not been satisfactory for overcoming this long standing problem. For example, US. Pat. No. 3,145,048-Dowdy, et al., disclose a resilient bumper mounted on the outer periphery of an annular frame on the walker which is only a few inches above the floor level. This bumper is mounted immediately above the wheels of the walker. A bumper of this type requires that the dimensions of the walker be significantly increased. This presents problems with respect to the child in the walker negotiating narrow passage ways. More importantly, no protection is provided to furniture and other objects where the bumper passes underneath the furniture and the supporting members come in contact with a portion of the furniture.

A similar type bumper arrangement is disclosed by US. Pat. No. 3,183,028-Williams. Williams discloses an annular bumper which is mounted on extension members extending from the members supporting the flexible seat. The bumper on the extension members extends even further than that disclosed by Dowdy, et al., thereby requiring an even larger minimum space in order to enable the walker to pass and still suffers from the defect of not providing protection to furniture and other objects when the members supporting the seat 7 come in contact with such overhanging furniture and other objects.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a significant and important advantage of protecting furniture and other objects in which the walker is used without substantially increasing the dimensions of the walker.

Another advantage of the present invention is that, in one embodiment, the padding is easily removable for cleaning.

Another advantage of the present invention is that it provides protection for furniture in a manner that is economical and easily manufactured.

Another advantage of the present invention is that it may be applied to existing walkers.

Briefly, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus is provided for assisting a human being in learning to walk. The apparatus includes a flexible seat and a plurality of upwardly extending members for supporting the seat mounted on wheels for free movement. A resilient material surrounds at least a part of each of the plurality of members extending at least from a point substantially adjacent said wheels to a point of a height substantially adjacent said flexible seat thereby minimizing the likelihood of damage to objects, in the environment in which the apparatus is used, by the plurality of members.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a kit is provided for use in making a baby walker less likely to damage objects in the environment in which it is used. The baby walker includes a flexible seat and a plurality of upwardly extending members for supporting the seat mounted on wheels for free movement. The kit comprises a plurality of pieces of resilient material constructed of a shape adapted to be mounted on at least a part of each of the plurality of members supporting the seat of the walker. Each of the plurality of pieces of resilient material are adapted to extend at least from a point substantially adjacent said wheels to a point of a height substantially adjacent the flexible seat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in the drawings forms which are presently preferred; it being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of an apparatus in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a view in perspective showing the structure of the invention in slightly modified form from that shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a view in perspective of another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an elevation view of another embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements, there is shown in FIG. 1 a walker 10. Walker 10 is provided with a flexible seat 12 having appertures 13 through which the legs of a young child or baby may pass. The flexible seat 12 is provided with a plurality of members 14 for supporting the flexible seat 12. A tray 15 may be mounted on the members 14 as-shown. The flexible seat 12, member 14, tray 15 and their interconnections are well known in the art and need not be described here in detail.

A resilient material 16 is provided to surround at least a portion of members or support members 14. As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 5, the resilient material is in sheet form and is-wrapped around support members 14. This resilient material may be of any well known type such as rubber. However, the resilient material, when used in either sheet form or tubular form, is preferably a foam type material, such as foam rubber, foam polystyrene or foam polyurethane.

As shown in FIG. 1, the resilient material preferably extends down over wheels 20. Wheels 20 support the plurality of members 14 for free movement of the walker 10. As shown in FIG. 1, the resilient material need only cover the sections of the wheel which would come in contact with other objects. For example, it is sufficient that wheel 20A have padding or resilient material in the directions of arrows 30 and 32.

As shown in FIG. 1, the resilient material may be provided with a covering material 18. The covering material 18 may be a vinyl type material, canvas, natural or synthetic fabric, synthetic resin flexible plastic material or any other suitable cleanable material, synthetic or natural. The covering material 18 is provided with fasteners 22. Fasteners 22 may be snap fasteners, as

shown, clasps or any other suitable type of fastener well known in the art.

The covering material 18 should be a material which is readily cleanable. Often times, a young child or baby using the walker will spill various foods and liquids on the covering 18 or soil it by other means. Therefore, the provision of the covering material provides a significant advantage in allowing the padding means of the present invention to be readily cleanable since the covering material is easily removed and washable by conventional means.

Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown the resilient material 16 and covering material 18 partially unwrapped from support member 14. The upper portion of FIG. 2 also helps to illustrate the detail of the structure shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. However, FIG. 2 shows another embodiment of the present invention wherein the resilient material 16 and the covering material 18 completely surround the wheel 20 and its journalling structure.

FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention wherein straps 26 are used to retain resilient material 16, which is of the sheet type. The straps 26 are provided with fasteners 28. The straps 26 may also be used in conjunction with an embodiment wherein both the resilient material 16 and the covering material 18 are used. In the alternative, the straps 26 may be eliminated by adhesively bonding the resilient material 16 to support member 14 by a suitable adhesive well known in the art.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown another embodiment of the present invention wherein resilient material 24 of a tubular construction is shown. The tubular resilient material does not require any fastening means to hold it in place. However, straps or adhesive may be used to ensure no movement of the resilient material. The resilient material 24 may be slid over the support members 14. If resilient material 24 is installed at the time of initial manufacturing, the resilient material 24 may preferably be slid over support member 14 prior to the time of installation of wheels 20. If the resilient material 24 is being installed at a later time, the wheels 20 may be preferably removed, and resilient material 24 slid over support member 14. In the case where the tubular material is installed after the time of manufacture, the wheels 20 are conventionally easily removable by pulling them out of support members 14 in which they are usually retained by a spring member expanded against the inner walls of support member 14.

The present invention includes kits of resilient material with or without fastening means and covering materials. For example, kits of resilient material 16 may be provided for walkers which have been previously manufactured. These kits could include resilient material with straps 16 or with a covering material 18. The kits may also be comprised simply of four pieces of tubular resilient material 24 or may include four pieces of resilient material 24 and a covering means 18 for ease in cleaning. Although four pieces of resilient material have been used for ease in illustrating the kit, it will be apparent that any number less than 4 may be sold in a kit. This is especially so in the case where a walker may use only 3 supporting members 14.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications, additions, and changes in the structure of the invention may be made while remaining within the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, the form of walker illustrated in FIG. 1 has been chosen only for illustrative purposes. A completely different type of walker could be used, such as one having a seat supported on three members. Furthermore, it is obvious that various other types of fasteners may be used. Furthermore, various changes may be made in the portions of the support members which are protected by the resilient material.

In view of the above, the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof and, accordingly, reference should be made to the appended claims, rather than to the foregoing specification as indicating the scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for assisting a human being in learning to walk, comprising: a flexible seat, a plurality of upwardly extending members for supporting said seat, said plurality of members being supported on wheels for free movement, and a resilient material surrounding at least a part of each of said plurality of members extending at least from a point substantially adjacent said wheels to a point of a height substantially adjacent said flexible seat thereby minimizing the likelihood of damage to objects, in the environment in which the apparatus is used, by said plurality of members.

2. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said resilient material is a foam material.

3. Apparatus in accordance with claim 2, including a covering material mounted over said foam resilient material.

4. Apparatus in accordance with claim 3 wherein said covering material is provided with a fastening means thereby providing easy removal for cleaning.

5. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said resilient material is tubular and is mounted over said plurality of members.

6. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said resilient material extends in the form of a pad at least partially around said wheels supporting said plurality of members.

7. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said resilient material is wrapped around at least a portion of each of said plurality of members and retained in place by a plurality of straps.

8. A kit for use in making a baby walker less likely to damage objects in the environment in which it is used, said baby walker including a flexible seat and a plurality of upwardly extending members for supporting said seat, said plurality of members being mounted on wheels for free movement, comprising: a plurality of pieces of resilient material constructed of a shape adapted to be mounted on at least a part of each of the plurality of members supproting said seat of said walker, each of said plurality of pieces of resilient material being adapted to extend at least from a point substantially adjacent said wheels to a point of a height substantially adjacent said flexible seat.

9. A kit in accordance with claim 8 wherein said pieces of resilient material are comprised of a foam resilient material.

10. A kit in accordance with claim 9, including a plurality of pieces of covering material for mounting over said plurality of pieces of foam resilient material.

11. A kit in accordance with claim 10 wherein said plurality of pieces of covering material are provided with fastening means thereby providing easy removal for cleaning.

12. A kit in accordance with claim 8 wherein said plurality of pieces of resilient material are tubular and are adapted to be mounted over said plurality of memplace.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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US3183028 *Aug 30, 1962May 11, 1965Willie WilliamsBumper for baby walkers
US3289995 *Mar 4, 1965Dec 6, 1966Isabel TaylorChair leg cover
US3523710 *Jul 11, 1968Aug 11, 1970American Seating CoSafety vehicle seat
US3643905 *May 5, 1970Feb 22, 1972Kint Bernice VProtective sleeve for chairs
US3754786 *Jan 12, 1972Aug 28, 1973Hedstrom CoPlayseat with finger guard
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4117782 *Jul 29, 1977Oct 3, 1978Cahill Richard CGuard for preventing human injuries on impact with furnishings
US4615523 *Jun 19, 1985Oct 7, 1986Chen Ming YawChild's walker with height adjustment apparatus
US4651366 *Nov 19, 1984Mar 24, 1987Lande Ellen BCombination infant bed and toddler seat for shopping carts
US4700430 *Aug 7, 1985Oct 20, 1987William RafteryFurniture support
US4807936 *Sep 10, 1987Feb 28, 1989Douglas BehrendtLounge chair rib cushion
US4839938 *Apr 10, 1987Jun 20, 1989Thayer Coggin IncorporatedFurniture having wheel axles concealed on one side
US4988138 *Mar 29, 1990Jan 29, 1991Baby Bumpers, Inc.Bumper guard for baby walker
US5005903 *May 5, 1989Apr 9, 1991Minardi Raye EProtective cushion for child's auto seat
US5173990 *Oct 11, 1991Dec 29, 1992Raymond OwenProtector for bed supports and casters; and method of manufacture
US5524565 *May 1, 1995Jun 11, 1996Lavin; Kenneth M.Protective cushion for a sailboat boom
US5618019 *Jun 7, 1995Apr 8, 1997Wren; Clifford T.Bumper installation for sensor gate
US5700053 *Oct 2, 1996Dec 23, 1997Downing; DavidCushioning and protection apparatus for a chair armrest
US5869159 *May 30, 1996Feb 9, 1999Padilla; CarlCushioned pole cover and method of applying the cover
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US6039327 *Jun 13, 1997Mar 21, 2000Spector; DonaldAnimal-like ride-on toy vehicle
US6604789 *Dec 22, 1997Aug 12, 2003David DowningCushioning and protection apparatus for a chair armrest
US6647589 *Nov 14, 2001Nov 18, 2003Peter Henry YoungwithFurniture leg pad
US7017924 *May 6, 2005Mar 28, 2006Lambert Marie AFoldable baby walker
US7261374 *Aug 23, 2005Aug 28, 2007Denise PotoskyArm support cushion
US7431396 *Dec 5, 2006Oct 7, 2008Dasso Kurtiss LPortable armrest cushion
US7438964 *Aug 5, 2003Oct 21, 2008Kim Marie ClarkAdhesive cord cover
US7481490 *Jan 23, 2006Jan 27, 2009Cornella Marc AFoot and leg protector for infant seat bouncer
DE3918649A1 *Jun 8, 1989Dec 13, 1990Selderbeek ErnstHelping young children to learn to walk - involves hollow cone constructed from inflated rubber tubes
EP0237395A1 *Feb 13, 1987Sep 16, 1987Daniel LevasseurAutonomous apparatus permitting the standing-up and moving-on, by way of oscillation, of the permanently or temporarily motorically handicapped
WO2010020964A2 *Aug 21, 2009Feb 25, 2010Willem Johannes StolzAn accessory for an aircraft service trolley
WO2011120337A1 *Apr 1, 2011Oct 6, 2011Bohong XiaoMultifunctional sponge safety baby walker
Classifications
U.S. Classification280/87.41, 482/68, 248/345.1, 297/5
International ClassificationA61H3/00, B62B5/00, A47D13/04, A47D13/00, B62B9/00, A61H3/04, B62B9/26
Cooperative ClassificationB62B2205/06, A61H3/04, A47D13/043, B62B9/26, B62B5/0006, A61H2201/1633, A61H2003/004
European ClassificationB62B9/26, A47D13/04B, A61H3/04