Title:
RECLINED TUB INSERT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An insert for a bath tub is provided which holds an adult or child while bathing. A wedge-shaped design fits into a standard tub and allows the user to lie back in a reclined position in comfort. Grab handles located in a natural position at the users sides to assist the user in lying down or getting up. A padded collar, located around the neck area, cushions and holds the users head. The upper part of the user's head is cantilevered over the padded collar, allowing the hair to be washed without raising the head off of the invention.



Inventors:
Northington, Kina (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Mason, Dion (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/355947
Publication Date:
09/04/2003
Filing Date:
02/03/2003
Assignee:
NORTHINGTON KINA
MASON DION
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/12; (IPC1-7): A47K3/024
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Offices of John D. Gugliotta, PE, Esq. (202 Delaware Building 137 South Main Street, Akron, OH, 44308, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A bathtub insert apparatus comprising: a horizontally elongated body having a first end opposite a second end and an anterior surface opposite a posterior surface, wherein said posterior surface forms a receiving cavity extending upward, said receiving cavity forms a retaining volume; a first incline support formed at said first end, said first incline support accommodating said receiving cavity; a second incline support formed at said second end, said second incline support forming a lower supporting platform at a vertical level below an upper supporting ridge; said upper supporting ridge extending from said first incline support and having a concave, curvilinear profile and forming a recess; and a hanging means, wherein said hanging means comprises an axle having a plurality of cantilever support hooks extending radially outward therefrom, said axle being pivotally mounted within a pair of pivotal axle mounts that allow said hooks to thereby pivot downward, allowing said hooks to extend downward beyond a lower profile of the posterior surface, said hanging means is placed within said retaining volume of said receiving cavity, and wherein said hanging means allows for said bathtub insert apparatus to be suspended in a vertical manner to facilitate drip-drying thereof after use.

2. The bathtub insert apparatus of claim 1, wherein said second incline support comprises a linearly elongated neck that slidably telescopes into and out of a hollow recess of said first incline support just above said posterior surface, thereby accommodating various sized users, and wherein said hollow recess is of a size and dimension providing for a snug-tight fit by said second incline support.

3. The bathtub insert apparatus of claim 1, wherein said anterior surface forms an anterior support surface forming a contoured receiving surface for supportive abutment to a user lying supine thereon.

4. The bathtub insert apparatus of claim 3, wherein said anterior support surface further forms a series of impingement ribs for creating a frictionally enhanced, slip resistant surface.

5. The bathtub insert apparatus of claim 3, wherein said first incline support receives a first insertion mat.

6. The bathtub insert apparatus of claim 5, wherein said first insertion mat is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of foam and elastomeric material, said first insertion mat affixed to an anterior side of said first incline support.

7. The bathtub insert apparatus of claim 5, wherein said second incline support receives a second insertion mat.

8. The bathtub insert apparatus of claim 7, wherein said second insertion mat is formed of a material selected from the group consisting of foam and elastomeric material, said second insertion mat affixed to an anterior side of said second incline support.

9. The bathtub insert apparatus of claim 1, further comprising lateral sidewalls, said lateral sidewalls forming a pair of opposing convex side protrusions, wherein each of said pair of opposing convex side protrusion forms a hand hold aperture to provide a convenient gripping surface while handling and manipulating said bathtub insert apparatus.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present invention is a Continuation in Part of Ser. No. 10/090,279, filed on Mar. 4, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates generally to bathing tubs and, more particularly, to a bathing tub insert having inclined supports for aid in the washing or rinsing of hair.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] The act of taking a bath is a simple pleasure that is enjoyed by almost everyone. The feel of warm water coupled with aromatic bath oils seems to make troubles melt away. This feeling is also felt by children who enjoy almost nothing more than playing in a bubble bath. However, the bathtub environment is hardly known for its comfort. After all, it is basically nothing more that a box, made of hard material, and filled with water. Anyone wishing to recline in a standard tub must rest their head on an edge and let their back and spine hang unsupported. Children who are in this environment are known to slip and slide about, perhaps falling down, or hitting their head. At the very least, a parent or care giver who tries to bathe a child or shampoo the child's hair is almost guaranteed to get as wet as the child.

[0006] A search of the prior art did not disclose any patents that read directly on the claims of the instant invention; however, the following references were considered related.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 2,507,848, issued in the name of Bashaw, describes a support rack for use in bathing infants.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 3,210,775, issued in the name of Jongewheel, describes a bathtub rest.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 3,583,000, issued in the name of Matkea, describesa back support for use in a bathtub.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 5,588,159, issued in the name of Poulson et al, describes a combination bathtub and infant supporting insert.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 5,896,598, issued in the name of Jeans, describes an inflatable seat.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. D372,302, issued in the name of Moore, shows a design for a back rest for bathtubs.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. D383,834, issued in the name of Frankel, shows a design for a bathtub insert.

[0014] And, U.S. Pat. No. D402,015, issued in the name of Ahlstrom, shows a design for a sitting support for a bathtub.

[0015] Consequently, a need has been felt for a means by which greater comfort, and safety can be provided to both adults and children while they are in a bathtub.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0016] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved bath tub supporting insert.

[0017] It is a feature of the present invention to provide an improved bathing tub insert having inclined supports for aid in the washing or rinsing of hair.

[0018] It is yet another feature of the present invention to provide a second inclined support which includes a linearly elongated neck which telescopes into and out of a recess so as to provide flexibility in adapting the tub insert to various sized users.

[0019] Briefly described according to one embodiment of the present invention, an insert for a bath tub is provided which holds an adult or child while bathing. It is envisioned that the invention would be available in one for adults and children. Its wedge-shaped design fits into a standard tub and allows the user to lie back in a reclined position in comfort. It utilizes grab handles located in a natural position at the users sides to assist the user in lying down or getting up. A padded collar, located around the neck area, cushions and holds the users head. The upper part of the user's head is cantilevered over the padded collar, allowing the hair to be washed without raising the head off of the invention. This feature is especially valuable when bathing younger children who may tend to move about during the bathing or shampooing process. A lower portion of the apparatus has an inclined support which includes a linearly elongated neck which telescopes into and out of a recess so as to provide flexibility in adapting the tub insert to various sized users. The raised nature of the invention also aids in the entry and exit of the tub especially in those cases where the individual may be disabled.

[0020] The use of the present invention allows both adults and children to take and enjoy a bath in relative comfort and safety.

[0021] The incorporation of side mounted handles within the present invention makes moving and positioning the apparatus easy and forms a natural grip point when lying on the invention.

[0022] The use of inclined ramps allows users to adjust themselves, making it easy to lie down and get up.

[0023] Further, a shoulder rest is padded for comfort, holding the users head to allows the top of the head to extend over for shampooing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0024] The advantages and features of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following more detailed description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like elements are identified with like symbols, and in which:

[0025] FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a supporting bathtub insert according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0026] FIG. 2 is a top plan view thereof;

[0027] FIG. 3 is a front elevational view thereof;

[0028] FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view thereof; and

[0029] FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0030] The best mode for carrying out the invention is presented in terms of its preferred embodiment, herein depicted within the Figures.

[0031] 1. Detailed Description of the Figures

[0032] Referring now to FIGS. 1-4, a supporting bathtub insert apparatus 10 is shown, according to the present invention, shown herein as a horizontally elongated device having a first end 12 opposite a second end 14 and an anterior surface 16 opposite a posterior surface 18. The first end 12 forms a first incline support 20. The second end 14 forms a second inclined support 22. The second inclined support 22 is telescopingly extendable in order to accommodate larger adults and children. The second inclined support 22 includes a linearly elongated neck 23 that slidably telescopes into and out of a hollow recess 24 of the first incline support 20, wherein hollow recess 24 is formed just above the posterior surface 18. The hollow recess 24 is of a size and dimension providing for a snug-tight fit by the second incline support 22. The first incline support 20 extends upward to an upper supporting ridge 26. The upper supporting ridge 26 has a concave, curvilinear profile and forms a recess 28. The second incline support 22 forms a lower supporting platform 30 at a vertical level below the upper supporting ridge 26.

[0033] As shown best in FIG. 2, the anterior surface 16 forms an anterior support surface 36 forming a contoured receiving surface for supportive abutment to a user lying supine thereon. The anterior support surface 36 is further envisioned as forming a series of impingement ribs 38 for creating a frictionally enhanced, slip resistant surface. To further attain this goal, the first incline support 20 receives a first insertion mat 40, envisioned as a foam or elastomeric material affixed to the anterior surface 16 of the upper supporting ridge 26 via adhesive or other type of fastener. Similarly, the second incline support 22 receives a second insertion mat 42, envisioned as a foam or elastomeric material affixed to the anterior surface 16 of the lower supporting platform 30.

[0034] Along the lateral sidewalls of the insert 10 are further formed convex side protrusions 44. A hand hold aperture 46 is further formed within the protrusion 44 to allow for a convenient gripping surface while handling and manipulating the insert 10.

[0035] Referring now to FIG. 5, the posterior surface 18 is shown in greater detail forming a receiving cavity 50 extending upward into the first incline support 20. The receiving cavity 50 forms a retaining volume for placement of a hanging means 52, shown herein as an axle 56 having a plurality of cantilever support hooks 58 extending radially outward therefrom. The axle 56 is pivotally mounted within a pair of pivotal axle mounts 60 that allow the hooks 58 to thereby pivot downward, allowing the hooks 58 to extend downward beyond the lower profile of the posterior surface 18. The hanging means 52 allows for the supporting bathtub insert apparatus 10 to be suspended in a vertical manner to facilitate drip-drying thereof after use.

[0036] 2. Operation of the Preferred Embodiment

[0037] In operation, the present invention is used in conjunction with a conventional bathing tub. To use the present invention, the insert apparatus 10 is placed lengthwise into the bottom of an otherwise conventional bath tub. The second inclined support 22 is telescopically adjusted to sizeably accommodate particular user. The user places himself or a child that is being washed onto the anterior support surface 16 with the head toward the first incline support 20. In this manner a user or caregiver can clean the bather while the bather is comforatable resting in a chair-like contour. Upon completion, the apparatus can be removed and hung to dry or for storage.

[0038] The foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application, to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto and their equivalents. Therefore, the scope of the invention is to be limited only by the following claims.