Title:
Bodily-injury protective garments and techniques
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Bodily-injury protective garments with enclosures have been described, particularly for children and the vulnerable elderly. Children have been portrayed wearing injury protective goggles, and inflatable garments for the neck, breast, hips, knees and wrists. To reduce the bulkiness of some of the larger garments, such as the one around one's hips, an inner tube with high pressure fluid is introduced. This inner tube is susceptible to breakage and its high pressure fluid discharged when intense pressure or bending is exerted upon it, such as would occur when one falls upon the garment. An alternate technique of its fracturing and discharging fluid, is to provide a check valve at the tube's outlet neck, so when high pressure is exerted upon the check valve's exterior, its high pressure fluid would be discharged into the garment's enclosure, inflating it further, for further bodily protection from injury. An elderly man has been portrayed with garments for the neck, the breast, the hips, knees, ankles and the two wrists. Hence, if he should fall, less injury to his body parts would be sustained, if any. In addition, should either a child or an adult fall into a pool or lake, the inflated garments would provide buoyancy, helping to keep him afloat.



Inventors:
Gabriel, Edwin Zenith (Ocean Grove, NJ, US)
Application Number:
10/191862
Publication Date:
01/15/2004
Filing Date:
07/10/2002
Assignee:
GABRIEL EDWIN ZENITH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/012; A41D13/015; (IPC1-7): A41B3/00
View Patent Images:
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20090100565Elastic, Soft And Punctiformly Bound Non-Woven Fabric Provided With Filler Particles And Method For Production And The Use ThereofApril, 2009Grynaeus et al.
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Primary Examiner:
LINDSEY, RODNEY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CARELLA, BYRNE, CECCHI, OLSTEIN, BRODY & AGNELLO (5 BECKER FARM ROAD, ROSELAND, NJ, 07068, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. Decorative bodily-injury protective garments for a person exposed to physically precarious situations, providing protection to one's vulnerable body portions, including one's neck, breast, hips, knees and ankles, wherein said garments, each one having an outer annular, inflatable enclosure and being partially air-inflated, said enclosure having one or more inner noninflatable tubes with high pressure air for further inflating said enclosure when subjected to an impact, said tubes fracturing, thus allowing said high pressure to further inflate said enclosure.

2. Decorative bodily-injury protective garments in accordance with claim 1, wherein said enclosure and each of said inner tubes being filled with helium gas.

3. Decorative bodily-injury protective garments in accordance with claim 1, wherein said enclosure being fitted with strips of hook and loop ends for fastening together securely said enclosure around each of said body portions.

4. Decorative bodily-injury protective garments in accordance with claim 1, wherein said enclosure having two portions, each of said portions having two ends, said portions tied together into a single annular enclosure by two wide elastic bands, each of said bands being firmly fastened to two of said ends.

5. Decorative bodily-injury protective garments in accordance with claim 4, wherein said enclosure has one portion and two ends, each of said ends having a single wide elastic band fastened to it, enabling said enclosure to be annular.

6. Decorative bodily-injury protective garments in accordance with claim 1, wherein each of said non-inflatable tubes having a neck with an opening for introducing air to said tube, said neck including a check valve to prevent air from leaving said tube, except when air surrounding said neck is higher in pressure than the air inside each of said tubes.

7. Decorative bodily-injury protective garments in accordance with claim 6, wherein provision being provided that after each of said tubes having been filled with relatively high pressure air, when said check valve being opened the second time to relieve air, said valve remaining in an opened position.

8. Decorative bodily-injury protective garments in accordance with claim 1, wherein said enclosure and said inner tubes being fire resistant.

9. Decorative bodily-injury protective garments in accordance with claim 1, wherein said enclosure is air inflatable only at its outside half portion, so as not to apply pressure to said person's body portions when further inflated by said inner noninflatable tubes.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This is a continuation-in-part of a previous application, and not one that is co-pending

RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

[0002] None of the work on this invention was performed under any Federally-sponsored or State-sponsored research and development. Gabriel used his own resources on every phase of this project.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] This invention is in the field of the avoidance of bodily injury for youngsters and the elderly. Now, children wear baggy clothing, rainwear, coats with insulation, but not protection from injury. The elderly, also wear rainwear and coats with insulated lining in winter. These garments do not protect a person from bodily injury. Children wear helmets, sometimes goggles, when riding a small bicycle, in case of a fall. The same is true when children ride in a vehicle; their bodies are not protected from injury when an auto collision occurs. Children are not wearing padding around their knees, their breast, and neck areas are not protected from injury. Even wearing a buckled safety belt will not protect an adult from having a breast-bone injury fracture, when the vehicle stops suddenly, and the adult is a passenger, sitting next to the driver, needs protection too. Thus, to avoid injury, whether walking, running or riding in a vehicle, one should wear injury protective gear, such as inflatable annular enclosures where injury to one's body is most likely to occur. Children and elderly persons are the ones most likely to incur bodily injury. That is why this invention is focused on the very young and the very old, to assist in their avoidance of injury. The padding could be sponge rubber or polyurethane foam, enclosed in a fabric container, or it could be an air-inflated, air-tight enclosure. If the protection is made part of the garment, then air-inflated padding would be preferred, instead of sponge rubber filler material. Sponge-rubber filled enclosure is just a suggestion. Any non-hazardous, energy-absorbing substance could be substituted for the sponger-rubber filler. The inflation fluid could be helium to provide buoyancy.

[0005] 2. Description of Prior Art

[0006] The inventor is only aware of patents applied for under his name that relate to the present invention. U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/722,236, filed Nov. 27, 2000, “Collision Protection System for Cars”, includes knee protection for the driver and his front seat passenger, and body protection apparel for the passenger. Then, there are fabric knee supports for those with worn or bruised knee joints, but these supports are not injury protective. Then, there are cervical collars for those who have sustained neck injuries; however, these collars are worn only after a person has experienced a neck injury. They are not decorative and are very noticeable for being worn because of an injury. Injured persons wear elastic Ace bandages wrapped around sprained ankles and wrists, but an Ace bandage does not protect one against an injury; there is no energy-absorption material included in the material. Finally, head helmets protect the head only. Head injuries are not addressed in this invention, because helmets already exist and are very available. Prior art includes U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,089,065; 4,559,251; 5,477,558. A pending patent has Ser. No. 09/752,928, filed Jan. 2, 2001.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] With today's high incidence of bodily injuries, such as knees, back, ankles and neck, attention needs to be given to injury-protection wearing apparel, which would not necessarily increase the weight of clothing. Young children and the elderly are most likely to suffer injury and the ones who need the protective devices more than others. Consequently, cervical, decorated collars are suggested for the neck; annular donut-shaped inflated enclosures are suggested for the chest and back areas; padded or inflated donut-shaped enclosures are suggested for one's knees, and cushioned spats are suggested for one's ankles, especially ankles of the wobbly elderly. All exposed, injury-protected gear could be suitably decorated to beautify their appearance. Women, in particular, like to wear decorative, colorful clothing. This injury protective technique includes inner noninflatable tubes with high pressure air, for further inflating the enclosures when impacted by a fall. Wearing all the protective garments described, a person would be less likely to be seriously injured when struck by a vehicle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0008] For the purpose of illustrating the bodily protective gear for children, the middle-aged and the elderly described, the following drawings show forms which are presently preferred. It is to be understood that this invention is not necessarily limited to the precise arrangement, instrumentalities and field of utility as therein demonstrated.

[0009] FIG. 1 shows a partially-inflated donut-shaped protective garment, with two protective enclosures each having a wide elastic band tying the enclosure's two ends together. The elastic band enables its inside hole to expand when placing the garment on a person's body. Each enclosure has an inner tube under air pressure. Inside portion of enclosure is noninflatable.

[0010] FIG. 2 is a side view thereof.

[0011] FIG. 3 shows another partially inflated circularly-shaped garment, with the protective enclosure having one portion held together by a wide elastic band to permit additional stretching of its inside hole when placing the garment on a person's body. The enclosure has an inner tube under high air pressure. When a person falls the inner tube fractures, allowing its air to further inflate the elastic enclosure. The reason for not inflating the enclosure's inside portion is because it is assumed that the enclosure is being worn by a person.

[0012] FIG. 3A shows a partial portion or view of the enclosure shown in FIG. 3, wherein its two ends are tied together. Instead of a wide elastic band, Velcro is used to press the two ends together in which one strip has tiny hooks on its surface and a second strip has a surface with clinging pile. The two matching strips are pressed together to form an annular enclosure.

[0013] FIG. 4 is a side view thereof, showing the width of the elastic band.

[0014] FIG. 5 shows another partially inflated circular enclosure, but with no elastic band, as in FIGS. 1-4. The outer enclosure's material is stretchable yet is air tight material, to allow one to place the enclosure on one's body portion, such as knees, hips or neck. The enclosure's inner tube, under air pressure, may be plyable but not stretchable. The inner tube is designed to fracture when exposed to sudden impact allowing the outer enclosure to be further inflated, to further protect the wearer from bodily injury.

[0015] FIG. 6 is a side view thereof.

[0016] FIG. 7 is another design of the inner tubing, shown in FIG. 5, in which the air input neck of the tubing has a check valve, allowing the valve to open when the air pressure surrounding the inner tubing momentarily exceeds the air pressure inside the tubing. Once the ball of the check valve opens, it remains stuck in an open position, to allow its air to further inflate the enclosure. This inner tubing would replace the inner tubing of FIG. 5. The check valve would be positioned and constructed of material so as not to hurt a person's body, when worn.

[0017] FIG. 8 is a side view thereof.

[0018] FIG. 9 shows a picture of a youngster wearing injury protective garments in action.

[0019] FIG. 10 shows an elderly man wearing injury protective garments, as a precaution.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0020] In the embodiments of an inflatable enclosure to be worn by persons of all ages, engaged in bodily-injury, susceptible activities, an outer inflatable air-tight enclosure 1 is shown with an inner air-tight, non-inflatable tubing or enclosure 3, FIG. 1. Other FIGS. 3 to 5 show other constructions or designs of the enclosure to be worn by a person at different parts of one's body, such as hips and knees. The enclosures would come in different sizes for large and small people and for the location at which the garment is worn, a larger enclosure being for the hips than for the knees, but its design being essentially the same.

[0021] FIG. 1 shows two stretchable elastic bands 4 holding two circular portions or enclosures 1 and 2 together, giving the figure a donut-shape appearance; and allowing expansion for this protective garment. The two inner tubes 3 are not inflatable and contain high pressure air. When bent appreciably, tubes 3 fracture and let the high pressure air out, further inflating outer enclosures 1 and 2, increasing their sizes to 1′ and 2′, as shown in dashed lines. Inside portions 8 of enclosures do not inflate to avoid any high pressure against one's body when inflated.

[0022] Initially, tubes 3 are inserted through openings in enclosures 1 and 2, through openings at 6 and 6′; then the openings are sealed air-tight. Enclosures 1 and 2 are partially inflated via air inlets 5, similar to those of a child's balloon, except they are sturdier and more rugged to withstand relatively high pressure air; then inlets 5 are tied shut with appropriate tie wires, twisted to prevent air leakage. In FIGS. 1 and 2, dashed lines 1′ and 2′ show the further inflated condition of enclosures when inner tubes 3 fracture and let high pressure air but.

[0023] FIG. 3 is a bodily-injury protective garment similar to FIG. 1 except it has only one stretchable elastic band 9. It should be repeated that outer enclosure 10 is of stretchable material, but inside portion 8 of enclosure does not inflate. A single inner tube 7 is shown which could be inserted into outer enclosure 10 through an opening at 7′. Then the opening would be sealed airtight by folding over the excessive material with appropriate contact cement for permanent airtightedness. When inner tube 7 is fractured, outer enclosure inflates to the position shown in dashed lines, to protect the wearer of the garment from injury. FIG. 4 shows a side view of FIG. 3 with dashed lines illustrating the enclosure's inflated condition. Opening 5 is for entering air for enclosure 5's partially inflated condition. After allowing the desired amount of air to enter, opening 5 is shut airtight.

[0024] FIG. 5 is essentially the same injury protective garment as that shown in FIG. 3, except it has no stretchable elastic band such as 9 in FIG. 3. By using a larger opening at 5, inner tubing 13 could be inserted through 5, then opening 5 could be sealed airtight using a metal wire tie strip, after twisting the neck of air inlet 5. Dashed lines show outer enclosure 14 in its inflated condition when inner tubing 13 is fractured and its high pressure air released. The purpose of having the inner tubing with high pressure air is to enable a person to wear a garment that is not too cumbersome in size. FIG. 6 shows a side view of FIG. 5, illustrating its width relatively uninflated and in its inflated condition, with dashed lines 14′, as shown. An opening at end of tube 13, FIG. 5, enables air to be pumped into tube and then sealed. An alternate is to provide a small air valve at end of tube for air to be pumped in; valve is not shown in FIG. 5.

[0025] An alternate air input technique, so inner tube 13 does not need to be fractured is shown in FIG. 7. In this technique a small check valve 16 is provided at opening's tubular extension of tube 15. The check valve enables high pressure air to be pumped with tube 15. When a person wearing the garment falls, enclosure 14, FIG. 5, depresses, causing the air surrounding tube 15 to exceed the pressure within tube 15 momentarily, opening check valve 16. Check valve 16 is designed such that the ball within the valve gets stuck in an open position with say, contact cement, enabling the valve to remain in an open position; thus, allowing the high pressure air inside tube 15 to pass through opening at 16 and further inflate outer enclosure 14 to the position shown in dashed lines 14′. Thus, the inner tube could be made to be reusable.

[0026] The injury protective garments shown in FIGS. 1 to 5 and described could be worn by persons of all ages when enabling the valve to remain in an open position; thus, allowing the high pressure air inside tube 15 to pass through opening at 16 and further inflate outer enclosure 14 to the position shown in dashed lines 14′. Thus, the inner tube could be made to be reusable.

[0027] The injury protective garments shown in FIGS. 1 to 5 and described could be worn by persons of all ages when engaged in activities at bodily-injury risk, such as when climbing ladders. The garments would come in different sizes to suit the person's size and weight. Garments worn at the neck location could be contoured. Velcro hook and loop fastener may be used for the cervical collar closure. Inner tube 13, FIG. 5, would be most desirable for the garment placed at the waist and hip location, where, otherwise, the bulge would be more pronounced, without an inner tube 13, for the enclosures' bodily-injury protection. With the inner tube the bulge would be less pronounced.

[0028] FIG. 9 shows a child at play wearing the garments 17 at neck, 18 at waist, 19 at knees and 20 at his wrist. The inner tube may not be needed at all of the above locations.

[0029] FIG. 10 shows an elderly man wearing garments, described above, 21 at neck, 22 at his breast, 23 at his waist, 24 at his knees, 25 at his ankles and 26 at his wrists. The elderly man is shown at the beach where he might stumble and fall.

[0030] FIGS. 11 and 12 show other children 27 and 28, in the act of playing, with similar garment as the boy in FIG. 9, for bodily-injury safer protection. In addition, children in FIGS. 11 and 12 are wearing eye protective goggles with shatter proof plastic lenses. Goggles' features include molded rubber frames, foam rubber lining, adjustable head strap. A ballistic lens is suggested when one is up against more than just sun, wind or dust. These are called G-1 goggles and are available from Shomer-Tec, Inc., Box 28070, Bellingham, Wash. 98228. The cost is $12, plus $7 for shipping, for stock No. GG1-S.

[0031] The protective garments shown are decorated with either stripes or diamond. Other decorations, such as pictures of birds or animals, could be substituted. Boy 27 is wearing neck protection 29, waist protection 30 and knee's protection 31. Boy 28, in addition to goggles 32, is wearing waist protection 30′ and knees' protection 31′. He could be wearing other protective garments for the neck and the ankles, depending on the kind of strenuous physical activity involved. Children would be more inclined and receptive to wearing protective garments than the elderly.





 
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