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Title:
Arm support cover
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An arm support cover includes a plush stuffed shell, an interior cavity, and a fastening mechanism for confining at least a portion of an arm support inside the cavity.


Inventors:
Romano, Donna (Trumbull, CT, US)
Romano, Perry (Trumbull, CT, US)
Application Number:
10/413824
Publication Date:
11/20/2003
Filing Date:
04/15/2003
Assignee:
ROMANO DONNA
ROMANO PERRY
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/00; A61H3/02; A61F; (IPC1-7): A47C31/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PERMAN & GREEN (425 POST ROAD, FAIRFIELD, CT, 06824, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An arm support cover comprising: a plush stuffed shell; an interior cavity; and a fastening mechanism for confining at least a portion of an arm support inside the cavity.

2. The arm support cover of claim 1, wherein the shell has a shape of an animal.

3. The arm support cover of claim 1, wherein the shell has a shape of a dog, having a head and arms and legs that dangle downwards.

4. The arm support cover of claim 1, wherein the shell has a shape of a toy.

5. The arm support cover of claim 1, wherein the shell has a shape of a sports article.

6. The arm support cover of claim 1, wherein the cavity includes padding along a topside portion of the shell.

7. The arm support cover of claim 1, wherein the cavity includes padding along a side portion of the shell.

8. The arm support cover of claim 1, wherein the cavity includes padding along a bottom portion of the shell.

9. The arm support cover of claim 1, further comprising an opening into the cavity along a top side of the shell into which the at least a portion of an arm support may be inserted.

10. The arm support cover of claim 1, further comprising an opening into the cavity along a bottom side of the shell into which the at least a portion of an arm support may be inserted.

11. The arm support cover of claim 1, wherein the fastening mechanism includes elastic material incorporated into one or more edges of an opening into the cavity into which the at least a portion of an arm support may be inserted.

12. The arm support cover of claim 1, wherein the fastening mechanism includes a string material incorporated into a seam surrounding an opening into the cavity, wherein the string material is pulled taut to bring edges of the opening toward each other to secure the at least a portion of an arm support.

13. The arm support cover of claim 1, wherein the fastening mechanism includes material extending from sides of an opening into the cavity to form mating tabs for securing the at least a portion of an arm support.

14. The arm support cover of claim 1, wherein the arm support comprises a crutch arm support.

15. A crutch arm support cover comprising: a plush stuffed shell having the shape of an animal; an interior cavity; and a fastening mechanism for confining at least a portion of a crutch arm support inside the cavity.

16. The crutch arm support cover of claim 15, wherein the shell has a shape of a dog, having a head and arms and legs that dangle downwards.

17. The crutch arm support cover of claim 15, further comprising an opening into the cavity along a top side of the shell into which the at least a portion of a crutch arm support may be inserted.

18. The crutch arm support cover of claim 15, further comprising an opening into the cavity along a bottom side of the shell into which the at least a portion of a crutch arm support may be inserted.

19. The crutch arm support cover of claim 15, wherein the fastening mechanism includes material extending from sides of an opening into the cavity to form mating tabs for securing the at least a portion of a crutch arm support.

20. The crutch arm support cover of claim 15, wherein the cavity includes padding removably attached along an interior portion of the shell.

21. The crutch arm support cover of claim 20, wherein the padding may comprise a plurality of pads further removably attached to each other.

22. The crutch arm support cover of claim 20, wherein the padding may comprise a plurality of pads removably attached to achieve a particular cushioning effect.

23. The crutch arm support cover of claim 20, wherein the padding may comprise a plurality of pads removably attached to size crutch arm support cover for a particular purpose or user.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention generally relates to a covering for a load bearing member of a crutch, and in particular to a ornamental and decorative cushioning crutch pad cover.

[0003] 2. Brief Description of Related Developments

[0004] When recovering from an injury, it is often necessary to utilize a supportive device such as a crutch to avoid placing an undue amount of pressure on the affected section of the body. A crutch, which may be formed from wood or metal components, typically includes one or more vertical supports which terminate on one end at a foot piece that rests on the ground or floor, and on the other end at a load bearing arm support for placement under an arm or shoulder of the user. A hand piece may be adjustably mounted to the vertical supports between the foot piece and the arm support.

[0005] When utilizing a crutch, a user typically grasps the hand piece to support their body weight in combination with resting their underarm area on the arm support. The arm support is typically equipped with a crutch pad to provide a cushion for the underarm area for the user. The crutch pad may tend to collect and absorb dirt, moisture, and perspiration, and may not be made of an easily washable material. In addition, presently available crutch pads are typically made of a resilient material that may not provide a desired amount of cushioning and may be uncomfortable, especially for children, those who have sensitive skin, or those who may be sensitive in the underarm or shoulder area. Furthermore, presently available crutch pads commonly lack any aesthetic qualities, are not typically pleasant to view, and generally do not evoke positive emotions or feelings.

[0006] Other types of arm supports, for example chair arms, automobile arm rests, etc., may suffer from the same disadvantages. It would be advantageous to provide a cover for an arm support that has pleasing aesthetic qualities, provides supplementary cushioning, and is easy to clean.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention is directed to a cover for an arm support. In one embodiment of the present invention, the arm support cover includes a plush stuffed shell, an interior cavity, and a fastening mechanism for confining at least a portion of an arm support inside the cavity.

[0008] In another embodiment of the present invention, the cover comprises a crutch arm support cover, including a plush stuffed shell having the shape of an animal, an interior cavity, and a fastening mechanism for confining at least a portion of a crutch arm support inside the cavity.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] The foregoing aspects and other features of the present invention are explained in the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0010] FIG. 1 is a side view of an arm support cover in accordance with the present invention;

[0011] FIGS. 2 through 4 are underside views of the arm support cover showing features of the present invention including a cavity, an opening, and various fastening mechanisms;

[0012] FIGS. 5 and 6 show the arm support cover confining at least a portion of an arm support;

[0013] FIG. 7 shows another embodiment of a fastening mechanism;

[0014] FIG. 8 shows the cavity and additional padding of the arm support cover;

[0015] FIG. 9 shows one embodiment of the arm support cover confining at least a portion of a crutch arm support;

[0016] FIG. 10 shows another embodiment of the arm support cover confining at least a portion of another crutch arm support; and

[0017] FIG. 11 shows a pair of arm support covers in use on a pair of crutches.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

[0018] Referring to FIG. 1, a perspective view of an arm support cover 100 incorporating features of the present invention is illustrated. Although the present invention will be described with reference to the embodiment shown in the drawings, it should be understood that the present invention can be embodied in many alternate forms of embodiments. In addition, any suitable size, shape or type of elements or materials could be used.

[0019] As shown in FIG. 1, arm support cover 100, is generally an article that is constructed or adapted to be mounted on an arm support 110 to provide comfort and protection to an arm or underarm portion of the body as well as an aesthetic pleasing effect to the user. Arm support cover 100 may include a plush stuffed shell 105 having a shape, for example, an animal like a cat, dog, cow, or other animal, a shape of a toy or sports article such as a football, soccer ball, team mascot, or action figure, a shape of a plant, food article, or any other shape in accordance with the present invention. Arm support 110 may include any type of arm support, for example, a crutch underarm support, a crutch forearm support, a chair arm, an automobile arm rest, etc., or any other support for an arm or portion of an arm on which arm support cover 100 is capable of being mounted.

[0020] Arm support cover 100 may be made of a fabric material that is soft to the touch and washable. Some examples of such materials can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 4,711,261, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. Alternately, arm support cover 100 may be made of a smooth or textured, plastic or rubber like material. The material may be fashioned in a particular shape and may have markings in various colors making it pleasing to view. In alternate embodiments, any suitable material may be used that is durable enough to resist excessive wear, is pleasing visually and to the touch, and is comfortable to the user.

[0021] As shown in FIGS. 2-4, the interior of arm support cover 100 may be at least partially hollowed out to provide an opening 210 and a cavity 220 that can accommodate arm support 110.

[0022] Referring to FIG. 2, a fastening mechanism 230 may be incorporated into arm support cover 100 for securing arm support cover 100 to arm support 110. Fastening mechanism 230 may also include features to prevent arm support cover 100 from sliding with respect to arm support 110, for example, reducing any side to side or front to back motion of arm support cover 100.

[0023] In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, fastening mechanism 230 includes an elastic material incorporated into portions of arm support 100 along the front, rear and/or side edges of opening 210.

[0024] In another embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the fastening mechanism includes a string like material 310 incorporated into a seam 315 surrounding opening 210. String like material 310 may then be pulled taut to bring the edges of opening 210 together to secure arm support cover 100 to arm support 110.

[0025] As shown in FIG. 4, the fastening mechanism joins both sides of opening 210 together and includes two pieces of material 410 that extend from each side of a midline of opening 210, for example, in the form of tabs 415a, 415b. Each tab 415a, 415b comprises a respective portion of the fastening mechanism and after arm support cover 100 is placed over arm support 110 as shown in FIG. 5, the two mating tabs 415a, 415b may then be secured around arm support 110 to secure arm support cover 100 in place as shown in FIG. 6. Tabs 415a, 415b may include velcro straps which may be fastened to each other. In another embodiment, tabs 415a, 415b may be fastened to a velcro piece fastened to a bottom surface of arm support 110. In alternate embodiments, any suitable fastening device can be used, including zippers, hooks or snaps. Arm support 100 may also be secured from the top using any suitable fastening mechanism providing that the fastening mechanism does not irritate the arm or underarm of the user.

[0026] As shown in FIG. 7, in another embodiment, the fastening mechanism may include a mating fastener system 725 having a first part 730 mounted to arm support cover 100 and a second part 735 mounted to arm support 110. In this embodiment, mating fastener system 725 may includes snaps, velcro strips, tape, or any other suitable fastener. First part 730 may be mounted to an upper surface of cavity 220 and second part 735 may be mounted to a top surface of arm support 110. Mating fastener system 725 may also be mounted in a side fastening position, that is with first part 730 mounted to a side portion of arm support cover 100 and second part 735 mounted to a side surface of arm support 110. Mating fastener system 725 may still further be mounted in a bottom fastening position, that is with first part 730 mounted to a bottom portion of arm support cover 100 and second part 735 mounted to a bottom surface of arm support 110.

[0027] Turning now to FIG. 8, arm support cover 110 may include additional stuffing or padding 710 inside cavity 220 to provide additional cushioning where a user's body may contact the arm support cover 100. Returning to FIG. 1, padding 710 may be located along a topside portion 715, one or more side portions 720, along a bottom portion 725, or along a combination of portions of arm support cover 100 inside cavity 220. Alternately, padding 710 may be located on one or more exterior surfaces 730 of arm support cover 100. Padding 710 may be permanently attached in place, for example by fusing, molding, or sewing, or may be attached using a temporary fastening system, allowing padding 710 to be attached in different configurations as desired. For example, padding 710 may be attached to one or more side portions, upper portions or bottom portions of arm support cover 100 inside cavity 220. Padding 710 may be in the form of one or more pads, pillows, pouches, or any other suitable shape or configuration. As another example, padding 710 may include a number of pads stacked one upon the other and optionally fastened to each other to achieve a particular cushioning effect or to size arm support cover 100 for a particular purpose or user.

[0028] FIG. 9 shows another embodiment of arm support cover 800, constructed or adapted to be secured to a crutch arm support, referred to herein as a “CrutchBuddie™.” The exemplary CrutchBuddie 800 of FIG. 9 generally comprises a stuffed animal adapted to be secured over, around, or to be mounted on, a top underarm support 810 of a crutch 815, cushioning top underarm support 810, particularly in those areas where the user's body may make contact.

[0029] CrutchBuddie 800 may be in the shape of a stuffed toy or animal and adapted to uniformly cover top underarm support 810. In one embodiment, CrutchBuddie 800 may be approximately 10 inches long, or may be any suitable length and width to adequately cover top underarm support 810.

[0030] FIG. 10 shows another embodiment of CrutchBuddie 900, constructed or adapted to be secured to a forearm support 910 of a crutch 915. In this embodiment, CrutchBuddie 900 may include an opening 920 along a back side 925 and a cavity 930 for at least partially enveloping forearm support 910. Like CrutchBuddie 800, CrutchBuddie 900 cushions forearm support 910, particularly in those areas where the persons body may make contact.

[0031] The present invention 100, and in particular CrutchBuddies 800, 900, are designed to be aesthetically pleasing to the user. Thus, CrutchBuddies 800, 900 may comprise any article in the shape of an animal or figure, a toy, a sports item, or any article that may evoke a positive emotional response. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, CrutchBuddies 800, 900 are generally in the shape a stuffed animal with a cavity for receiving top underarm support 810 and forearm support 910, respectively.

[0032] Generally, CrutchBuddies 800, 900 may comprise, but are not limited to, the shape of a cat, dog, cow, or a toy such as a football, soccer ball or action figure. Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, when CrutchBuddie 800, 900 is in the shape of a stuffed animal and is attached to top underarm support 810 or forearm support 910, respectively, the four legs of the stuffed animal may dangle downwards. The arms and legs could extend approximately 4 inches, although any suitable length can be used.

[0033] FIG. 11 shows a pair of CrutchBuddies 800 in use on a pair of crutches 815. CrutchBuddies 800 may be fashioned such that the user appears with an animal or toy protruding from their underarms. The additional cushioning of the stuffed article may provide additional comfort to the user.

[0034] Arm support cover 100 may be constructed such that upon removal from arm support 110, fastening mechanism 230 (FIG. 2) may be re-secured to maintain the integrity of the article. Arm support cover 100 may then be used as a toy, decorative item, novelty item, etc., in addition to serving as a cover.

[0035] It should be understood that the foregoing description is only illustrative of the invention. Various alternatives and modifications can be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the present invention is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variances which fall within the scope of the appended claims.