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DIAPERS WITH ELASTICIZED SIDE POCKETS
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED
This application is a continuation-in-part of copending U.S. patent application, Ser. No. 627,164, filed July 2, 1984 now abandoned.
TECHNICAL FIELD 10
The present invention relates, generally, to the field of disposable garments utilized for the absorption and containment of urine and other body exudates. More particularly, the present invention relates to disposable 1$ garments with a provision for the containment of urine and liquid fecal material. Most particularly, the present invention relates to disposable garments that provide enhanced containment of urine and liquid fecal material with elasticized side pockets or flaps formed from or 2Q attached to a bodyside liner of the disposable garment.
Disposable garments are generally well known in the art and have become an important and essentially indis- 25 pensable sanitary protection item, most particularly in the field of infant and child care where disposable diapers provide for the absorption and containment of urine and other body exudates. Present commercially available disposable diapers are generally unitary, pre- 30 shaped and prefolded, and comprised of a liquid pervious bodyside liner, a fluid impervious backing sheet with an absorbent material disposed therebetween. These presently available disposable diapers have met a particular need and have become ever increasingly 35 popular. However, even though the presently available disposable diapers are efficient and effective, they have several drawbacks that have been identified by mothers of infants wearing the diapers. Although the presently available diapers have elasticized leg openings which 40 provide a better fit and enhanced containment of fluid exudates, they have not been entirely successful in stopping leakage from explosive liquified bowel movements and rapid discharges of urine.
Another drawback associated with presently com- 45 mercially available disposable diapers is skin irritation caused by urine, feces or moisture trapped next to the skin. The feces, if remaining next to the skin, can smear causing problems in cleanup.
The attempts to solve these drawbacks associated 50 with the present commercially available disposable diapers have extended over several years and include several different concepts. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,999,547 to Hernandez discloses a disposable diaper with a waterproof back sheet, a hydrophobic sheet, and 55 an absorbent pad sandwiched between the back sheet and the face sheet. The diaper is folded to define a box pleated configuration having a central panel, inwardly extending panels and outwardly extending panels with the inner edges of the inwardly extending panels being 60 in abutting relationship. Sealing strips of waterproof material separate from the back sheet are secured on the face sheet. The sealing strips are formed by folding an excess width of the back sheet over the face sheet forming side flap portions, and then cutting the side flap 65 portions free from the back sheet. The sealing strips may be folded inwardly toward the center of the diaper to form fluid catching seals.
A similar concept is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,210,143 to De Jonckheere which discloses a disposable diaper for a baby with at least one sheet of flexible liquid impermeable material comprising two longitudinal edges intended t define a waist portion and an absorbent pad superimposed on a central region of the liquid impermeable sheet. The diaper is characterized, in that it comprises, respectively in the immediate vicinity of each of the longitudinal edges, on either side of the pad, a flexible longitudinal sheath inside which a flexible longitudinal tie is able to slide and in that each sheath comprises means for gaining access to the corresponding flexible tie in order to enable the latter to be gripped manually and to be tensioned at will in order to reduce the apparent length of the longitudinal edges, to press the latter at will around the baby's legs and to give the disposable diaper the shape of a trough between the legs.
Another concept is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,490,148 to Beckestrom which discloses a protector against incontinence comprising an oblong absorbent body which is fixed to a bottom liquid-tight layer extending outside the absorbent body. The lateral edge portions of the layer are folded in over the absorbent body and form side flaps, the distance between the edges thereof being less than the width of the absorbent body at its mid section. The side flaps are fixed at their ends to the bottom layer. An elastic line, arranged at the edge of each side flap, is designed to contract itself and thereby the edges of the side flaps. When the protector is put on, the edges of the side flaps come into elastic sealing contact in the thigh crease of the crotch.
However, these attempts to solve one problem have resulted in the emergence of other problems. For example, the elasticized flaps can cause the waterproof material of the flaps to provide a tight seal at the thigh crease because the tensioned elastic presses the easily deformable flaps into close contact with the skin. The waterproof material of the flaps can then cause urine or moisture and even liquid fece material to collect next to the skin and cause skin irritation.
The present application teaches an improved disposable garment which provides fluid pervious flaps to enhance the containment and absorption of urine and other fluid exudates as well as solid exudates. The flaps, made up of water pervious material, slows the sideways flow of fluidic material and stops essentially all the sideways flow of solid material. Furthermore, the flaps enhance skin dryness by causing at least one extra layer of material to be disposed between the absorbent area of the diaper and the skin of the wearer. This, in addition to having fecal material separated from the skin by at least one layer of flap material, decreases the potential of skin irritation.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
It has now been determined in accordance with the present invention that the disposable diaper with side pockets or flaps can be produced that enhances the containment and absorption of urine and other fluid body exudates, such as liquified fecal material. Advantageously, the disposable diaper of the present invention achieves decreased leakage of urine and other fluid body exudates from around the leg areas of the disposable diaper.
The foregoing, and other advantages of the present invention, are realized in a disposable garment with a back sheet, a bodyside liner essentially coterminous
with the back sheet forming a shape with a front waist section and a back waist section with two side sections connecting the front waist section to the back waist section and a pair of flaps, attached to or formed from, the bodyside liner. Each respective flap is disposed 5 inwardly of the respective side sections. The flaps may be essentially rectangular in shape with first and second longitudinal sides essentially parallel to a centerline of the garment wherein the centerline lies between the respective side sections. The longitudinal sides are con- 1° nected by base sides and both the longitudinal sides and the base sides have preselected dimensions. The longitudinal sides may have a length sufficient to extend from the front waist section to the back waist section. The base sides may have a width in the range from about 15 one-half inch to a width sufficient for a longitudinal side of each flap to be essentially coterminous with the centerline of the garment.
Each flap may have at least one elastic member disposed therein. The elastic member may be applied to 20 the flap with a tension sufficient to cause the flap to conform to the wearer's shape. The elastic member may be applied to the longitudinal edge of the flap. Each flap may also have a second elastic member applied. The ^ second elastic member may be applied intermediate the first elastic member and the other longitudinal side of the flap. The second elastic member may be applied with a tension greater than, less than or equal to the tension of the first elastic member wherein the two 3Q elastic members cooperate to cause the flaps to conform to the shape of the wearer.
The flaps may be attached to or formed from the bodyside liner along a pair of curved lines disposed symmetrically on each side of a centerline of the gar- 35 ment. The curved lines may diverge from the centerline in a direction away from the center portion of the garment or the curved lines may converge toward the centerline.
In either case the flaps may have a length sufficient to 40 cover only a portion of the length of the garment. In addition, the width of the flaps may vary. The width may be wider at the ends of the flaps and narrower at the center of the flaps or the width of the flaps may be narrower at the ends of the flaps and wider at the center 45 of the flaps.
Other aspects of the present invention in terms of both construction and mode of operation, as well as fuller appreciation for its manufacture and use, will be gained from an examination of the following detailed 50 description of the modes for carrying out the invention, read in conjunction with the figures of the drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the garment of the 55 present invention.
FIG. 2 is a half-perspective view showing a sectional view of cross section 2—2 as shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the garment of the present invention. 60
FIG. 4 is a half-perspective view showing a sectional view of cross section 4—4 as shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a plan view of a garment of the present invention showing full length flaps with an elastic member in each flap. 65
FIG. 6 is a plan view of a garment of the present invention showing full length flaps with two elastic members in each flap.
FIG. 7 is a plan view of a garment of the present invention showing full length curved flaps.
FIG. 8 is a plan view of a garment of the present invention showing partial flaps of varying width.
MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE
The present invention relates, generally, to disposable garments utilized for the absorption and containment of urine and other body exudates. The present invention relates more specially to disposable garments that are utilized for the absorption and containment of liquids and fluidic body exudates such as fluidic fecal material. Most particularly, the present invention provides at least one pair of flaps, which may be elasticized, to slow the sideways flow of liquids such as urine, and to essentially prevent the sideways flow of fluidic solids, such as fluidic fecal material. Accordingly, the present invention will now be described with reference to certain modes for carrying out the invention within the aforementioned context. Those skilled in the art will realize that such a description is meant to be exemplary only and should not be deemed limitative respecting the scope of the present invention, for example, in terms of its construction.
Turning to the figures, in each of which like parts are identified with like reference characters, FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a disposable garment, in this case, a disposable diaper 10. FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the disposable diaper 10 showing sectional view of cross section 2—2 as shown in FIG. 1. The disposable diaper 10 typically comprises a backsheet 12, a bodyside liner 14 and an absorbent body or pad 16 disposed between backsheet 12 and bodyside liner 14. The bodyside liner 14 is made from a liquid pervious material and backsheet 12 is made from a liquid impervious material. The bodyside liner 14 and backsheet 16 are essentially coterminous and form a shape with a back waist section 20, a front waist section 18 and two side sections, indicated by numerals 22, 24. Intermediate the front waist section 18 and back waist section 20 is a crotch section, indicated by numeral 26. The garment is typically placed around a wearer, such as an infant, and held in place with fastening means, such as tapes shown at 28. Other fastening means can be used without departing from the scope of the present invention. A pair of flaps 30,32 are attached to or formed from bodyside liner 14 along lines 34, 36 respectively. In either case the crease formed along lines 34, 36 may be "sealed" i.e., by a continuous sonic bond or by a strip of adhesive. The sealing of the crease increases the ability of the structure to maintain its shape and increases the resistance to leakage. Alternatively, the crease can consist of a series of spotbonds. The flaps 30, 32 are attached to, or formed from bodyside liner 14, inwardly of sides 24, 22 respectively. As can be appreciated, if flaps 30,32 are formed from bodyside liner 14, the flaps are the same material as bodyside liner 14. However, if the flaps are attached to bodyside liner 14, the flaps 30, 32 may be made from a different material. The preferred material for flaps 30, 32 is a liquid pervious material. The flaps 30,32 may be folded inwardly toward a centerline 38 and bonded at each end to the bodyside liner 14. Flaps 30, 32 form pockets into which solid fecal material collects and is contained. Alternately, fluidic fecal material is collected by the pockets and is essentially strained allowing the liquid portion to be absorbed by the absorbent pad or body of the garment. Flaps 30, 32 may have at least one elastic