Title:
DEVICE FOR STIMULATING, FOCUSING AND SOOTHING A PERSON
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for stimulating, focusing and soothing a person, including an outer element made of a non-toxic, strong, durable, relatively soft, flexible, pliable and pleasantly tactile material, and an inner element securely engaged with the outer element. The device is presentable to the person for the purpose of stimulating, focusing and soothing the person.



Inventors:
D'entremont, Pierrette Anne (Nova Scotia, CA)
Application Number:
12/391605
Publication Date:
09/10/2009
Filing Date:
02/24/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H33/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KLAYMAN, AMIR ARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMPSON HINE L.L.P. (10050 INNOVATION DRIVE SUITE 400, DAYTON, OH, 45342-4934, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for stimulating, focusing and soothing a person, comprising: a. an outer element made of a non-toxic, strong, durable, relatively soft, flexible, pliable and pleasantly tactile material; b. an inner element securely engaged with the outer element; wherein the device is presentable to the person for the purpose of stimulating, focusing and soothing the person.

2. A device according to claim 1 wherein the outer element is made of a medical grade thermal plastic elastomer.

3. A device according to claim 1 wherein the outer element has a hardness on the SHORE A scale of between 30 and 45.

4. A device according to claim 1 wherein the inner element is made of a medical grade thermal plastic elastomer.

5. A device according to claim 1 wherein the inner element has a hardness on the SHORE A scale of between 50 and 70.

6. A device according to claim 1 wherein the outer element has a shape and color which is adapted to appeal to the person's eye.

7. A device according to claim 1 wherein the outer element has a heart shape.

8. A device according to claim 1 wherein the outer element has a generally circular shape.

9. A device according to claim 8 wherein the outer element has a black color.

10. A device according to claim 8 wherein the outer element has a white color.

11. A device according to claim 1 wherein the outer element has a water droplet shape.

12. A device according to claim 1 wherein the outer element has a flower shape.

13. A device according to claim 1 wherein the outer element has a leaf shape.

Description:

This application claims priority to Canadian Patent Application No. 2,624,570, filed on Mar. 7, 2008, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device for stimulating, focusing and soothing a person, and more particularly, relates to a device for stimulating, focusing and soothing a person, including for example, a newborn, a baby or any other individual who would benefit from being stimulated, focused and soothed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Babies (which term includes newborns and toddlers), while being breast fed or bottle fed, may become distracted or fidgety, losing interest in being fed, potentially increasing the effort to feed the baby. In some cases, they may become focused and soothed by, for example, reaching out for, and playing with, for example, a person's hand or fingers, or some other object. For example, one may provide brightly colored hard plastic beads connected to one another and mounted, for example, on a string, or small gemstones mounted on a bracelet or other device, which may be visually attractive to the baby, and may temporarily reduce the baby's distractions and fidgeting long enough to complete the feeding process.

However, a baby may soon lose interest in such devices, and may once again become distracted and fidgety, and lose interest in continuing to be fed. Furthermore, these devices may present significant risk of harm to the baby, including, for example, a choking risk, and risk of ingesting poisonous or harmful chemicals or other materials.

It is desirable to provide a device which is safe and easy to use, and which effectively reduces the likelihood that a baby will become distracted or fidgety during the breast feeding or bottle feeding process, or while simply holding a baby.

It is also desirable to provide a device which may be used by other individuals who may become distracted, emotionally stressed or fidgety, including, for example, individuals who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette Syndrome and other disorders, who may use this device to focus their mind and soothe their emotional state.

It is also desirable to provide a device which is attractive to display and/or use and/or wear to reduce the likelihood or possibility that the device will not be used when needed or desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide a device which is safe and easy to use, and which effectively reduces the likelihood that a baby will become distracted or fidgety during the breast feeding or bottle feeding process, or while simply holding a baby.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device which may be used by other individuals who may become distracted, emotionally stressed or fidgety, including, for example, individuals who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette Syndrome and other disorders, who may use this device to focus their mind and soothe their emotional state.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device which is attractive to display and/or use and/or wear to reduce the likelihood or possibility that the device will not be used when needed or desired.

According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a device for stimulating, focusing and soothing a person, comprising, an outer element made of a non-toxic, strong, durable, relatively soft, flexible, pliable and pleasantly tactile material and an inner element securely engaged with the outer element, wherein the device is presentable to the person for the purpose of stimulating, focusing and soothing the person.

An advantage of the present invention is that it provides a device which is safe and easy to use, and which effectively reduces the likelihood that a baby will become distracted or fidgety during the breast feeding or bottle feeding process, or while simply holding a baby.

A further advantage of the present invention is that it provides a device which may be used by other individuals who may become distracted, emotionally stressed or fidgety, including, for example, individuals who suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette Syndrome and other disorders, who may use this device to focus their mind and soothe their emotional state.

A further advantage of the present invention is that it provides a device which is attractive to display and/or use and/or wear to reduce the likelihood or possibility that the device will not be used when needed or desired.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

An embodiment of the present invention is described below with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pendant of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the pendant of one embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 1, with a necklace strap attach thereto;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a mother breast-feeding her infant while the infant is playing with the pendant of the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 1;

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

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a pendant of another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6A is an exploded view of the pendant of an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6B is a perspective view, partially in ghost, of an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6C is a cross-sectional view of the pendant of the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 6B;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a water droplet shaped pendant of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a flower shaped pendant of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a leaf shaped pendant of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an arrangement of pendants of one embodiment of the present invention forming a teether for teething babies;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a pacifier of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12A is a perspective view of a soccer ball shaped pendant of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12B is a cross-sectional view of the soccer ball shaped pendant of the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 12A;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a pendant of one embodiment of the present invention having no strap hole;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view, partly in ghost, of a pendant of one embodiment of the present invention having a strap hole extending beyond the outer element;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a pendant of one embodiment of the present invention having two strap holes therethrough;

FIG. 16 is a front perspective view of a portion of a pendant of one embodiment of the present invention having a strap hole which displays the strap through the front of the pendant; and

FIG. 17 is a rear perspective view of a portion of the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 16.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In one embodiment of the present invention, as illustrated in FIG. 1, a pendant (generally shown as 2) is provided, having, in a preferred embodiment, an outer element 4 which is preferably made of a “dishwasher safe”, non-toxic, smooth, strong, durable, relatively soft, flexible, pliable and pleasantly tactile material such as, for example, a high grade, and preferably medical grade thermal plastic elastomer, preferably having a hardness on the SHORE A scale of, for example, between 30 and 45, and for example, a VERSAFLEX® brand plastic material sold by the GLS Corporation of McHenry, Ill., USA, it being understood that other materials and other ranges of hardness may be utilized as would be understood by a person skilled in the art.

In one embodiment of the present invention, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the outer element 4 is preferably of a pleasant “heart shape” design (or such other design as may be desired, several of which are described more fully hereinafter), with soft and rounded edges to ensure that there is no risk of injury when the pendant comes into contact with a newborn, baby or other individual. In one embodiment of the present invention the plastic material of the heart shaped outer element 4 has a light pink, light blue, light green or light yellow color, it being understood that a wide range of preferably light colored outer elements may be used in various different embodiments of the present invention as would be understood by a person skilled in the art. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, dark colored outer elements may be used.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, an inner element 6 is provided, the inner element being preferably made of a non-toxic, smooth, strong, relatively hard and pleasantly tactile material such as, for example, a high grade and preferably medical grade thermal plastic elastomer, having a hardness on the SHORE A scale preferably between 50 and 70, and for example, a VERSAFLEX® brand plastic material sold by the GLS Corporation of McHenry, Ill., USA, it being understood that other materials and other ranges of hardness may be utilized as would be understood by a person skilled in the art. In one embodiment of the present invention, the inner element is formed, as illustrated in FIG. 6A, by “snap” connecting together an upper element 26 to a lower element 30, the upper element 26 have a lower surface 28 adapted to securely and permanently engage with an upper surface 32 of the lower element 30 (it being understood that a wide variety of alternative methods may be use to securely and permanently engage the upper element to the lower element as would be understood by a person skilled in the art, it also being understood that the inner element may be of a single piece construction having for example, flanges on either end, which inner element may be pressed permanently into the hole 34).

In one embodiment of the present invention, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the inner element 6 preferably has a pleasant “heart shape” design 8 (or such other design as may be desired) embossed, depressed or otherwise formed therein. In one embodiment of the present invention the plastic material of the inner element 6 has a dark pink, red, dark blue, dark green or dark yellow color, it being understood that a wide range of colored inner elements (including, for example, either dark or light colored inner elements) may be used in various different embodiments of the present invention as would be understood by a person skilled in the art. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the color of the inner element and outer element are chosen to emphasize the inner element, so that the inner element becomes the primary focus of the baby's attention.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, in one embodiment of the present invention generally shown as 12, a necklace strap 14 is provided, the strap preferably made of braided cotton or other soft, strong, non-toxic material, the strap being attached to the pendant 4, by way of, for example a hole 10 in the pendant through which the strap passes as illustrated in FIG. 2, the ends 16 of the strap being attachable by way of a preferably detachable clasp or such other device known to a person skilled in the art so that the strap may be temporarily and securely placed around a person's neck 22, as illustrated in FIG. 3, the pendant hanging from the strap in such a position that the baby 20 may reach up and clasp 24 or touch the pendant while being held or fed.

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, the pendant can be attached, by way of the hole 10, to a bracelet strap (not shown) similar to the necklace strap 14 previously described, (although shorter in length as desired), or alternatively, the pendant, as illustrated in FIG. 13, may have no strap hole and no strap at all, the pendant being temporarily stored, for example, in a purse, pocket or other convenient location, so that it can be used conveniently when needed/desired, the pendant being of an attractive design so that it can be displayed as a fashion accessory if desired.

In a further alternative embodiment of the present invention, as illustrated in FIG. 14, the inner element may extend (within a cavity in the outer element) a short distance beyond the outer element, and have a hole 112 therethrough through which the strap may be threaded, or alternatively, the pendant may have, as illustrated in FIG. 15, two holes 114 and 116 respectively through which the strap may be threaded, it being understood that various arrangements may be made for securely fastening the strap to the pendant as would be known to a person skilled in the art.

In another embodiment of the present invention, as illustrated in FIG. 4, a pendant having a black circular shaped outer element 36 and a white inner element 38 with a heart shaped depression therein is provided for use in the context of newborns (typically up to an age of 3 months and which is adapted to encourage visual/cognitive development), the pendant having a hole 44 therethrough through which a preferably cotton necklace strap 14 may be inserted. In a further alternative embodiment of the present invention, as illustrated in FIG. 5, a pendant having a white circular shaped outer element 40 is provided, the pendant having a black inner element 42 with a heart shaped depression therein, the pendant preferably having a hole 44 therethrough for the attachment of a necklace (or bracelet) strap.

In a further alternative embodiment of the present invention, the pendant can take on various different shapes and configurations as can be readily imagined, several of which alternative shapes are illustrated in FIG. 7 (a water droplet shaped pendant preferably having a light blue colored water droplet shaped outer element 50 and a dark blue inner element 52 having a water droplet embossed, depressed or otherwise formed therein), FIG. 8 (a flower shaped pendant preferably having a light yellow colored flower shaped outer element 58 and a dark yellow inner element 56 having a flower embossed, depressed or otherwise formed therein) and FIG. 9 (a leaf shaped pendant preferably having a light green colored leaf shaped outer element 60 and a dark green inner element 62 having a leaf embossed, depressed or otherwise formed therein).

In a further alternative embodiment of the present invention, a soccer ball shaped pendant is provided as illustrated in FIGS. 12A and 12B, this embodiment having an outer element 108 and an inner element inner element 106, the inner element 106 being positioned within a cavity 111 in the outer element and having a generally centrally located embossed or otherwise represented heart-shaped image 110 thereon or therein, and preferably having an arrangement of heart-shaped elements at or near the periphery thereof (preferably either embossed into, or raised from the surface of the inner element), and having, in one embodiment, a hole 102 through which a strap (not shown) may be inserted. Other shapes may include, for example, baseballs, golf balls, basketballs, footballs, ducks, fish, butterflies, and any other attractive and reproducible forms or shapes. These pendants may, in one embodiment of the present invention, have straps attached thereto (not shown) in a manner known to a person skilled in the art, or alternatively, may be used without straps.

In a further alternative embodiment of the present invention, the two, three or more pendants 4, 58 and 60 may be joined together by a strap to form a triangle or ring, as illustrated in FIG. 10, to form a teething device, which strap may have positioned thereon one or more hollow tubes or beads 70, or inner elements 6 having a hole (not shown) therethrough to allow the strap to pass therethrough in a manner known to a person skilled in the art.

In a further alternative embodiment of the present invention, the pendant 4 may have attached thereto, a strap as illustrated in FIG. 11, to form a pacifier device, which strap may have positioned thereon one or more hollow tubes or beads 71, or inner elements 6 having a hole (not shown) therethrough to allow the strap to pass therethrough in a manner known to a person skilled in the art, the strap preferably having a loop 72 at one end thereof to allow the device to by readily attached to a key chain or some other device.

It is understood that the pendant is of sufficient size that it does not present a choking hazard for babies or small children and so that none of the pendant can be swallowed, or partially swallowed. In one embodiment of the present invention as illustrated in FIGS. 6B and 6C, the inner element is of an enlarge sized and having a large flat surface 92 or flange which is permanently and securely positioned within a cavity 94 within the outer element which is adapted to receive and securely engage the inner element, the large flat flange surface being of sufficient size to eliminate or substantially negate any choking hazard, and in one embodiment of the present invention, the hole for the strap may pass through a corresponding hole in the inner element as illustrated in FIGS. 6B and 6C, so that when the strap is attached to the pendant, it passes through the hole in the outer element and inner element, further reducing the risk of a choking hazard. Similarly, in FIG. 15, the inner element 120 extends within a cavity (not shown, but which is adapted to receive and securely engage the inner element) in the inner element and beyond the strap holes 114 and 116, the strap holes 114 and 116 passing through the inner element 120, so that when the strap is inserted into the strap holes 114 and 116, it also passes through corresponding holes in the inner element 120. In the alternative embodiment illustrated in FIG. 14, the inner element 122 extends within a cavity (not shown, but which is adapted to receive and securely engage the inner element) in the inner element 122 and beyond the outer element to form an extension 124, through which extension 124 a strap hole 112 is positioned, through which strap hole 112 a strap may be inserted as desired. In a further alternative embodiment as illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17, cuts 120 and 122 in the back 121 of the pendant are connected to one another by way of a passageway 124 therebetween, through which cuts 120 and 122, and passageway 124 a strap may pass, a small portion of the strap being visible from the front of the pendant by way of a hole 126 (preferably heart-shaped as illustrated in FIG. 16, or alternatively shaped as may be desired) which extends rearwardly through to the passageway 124.

The device of the present invention may be used to stimulate or comfort/soothe a baby or an older individual's mind and emotions, and may also be used to encourage cognitive development and to facilitate the easy temporary transfer of a baby's care from one care giver to another (the baby being comforted by and familiar with the pendant, is more readily able to be transferred from one care giver to another). The device of the present invention may also be used (gently rubbed with/between fingers and thumb) by individuals suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tourette Syndrome and other disorders, to sooth their emotions and provide focus for their thoughts.

The present invention has been described herein with regard to preferred embodiments. However, it will be obvious to persons skilled in the art that a number of variations and modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as described herein.





 
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