Title:
DEVICE FOR FACILITATING POTTY TRAINING AND METHOD THEREFOR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device and method for facilitating potty training. Preferably, the device and method encourages a child to urinate and/or perform bowel movements in a toilet. Further, preferably, the device and method are useful for both boys and girls alike. Further preferably, the device and method provide for the child to sit backward on the toilet seat to maintain balance and to focus his/her attention on the device. Still further, preferably, the device and method are safe for the environment and surrounding population.



Inventors:
Kneese, Michael F. (Ely, NV, US)
Kneese, Freda Jean (Ely, NV, US)
Application Number:
11/379131
Publication Date:
08/17/2006
Filing Date:
04/18/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K17/00; A47K11/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HUYNH, KHOA D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEISS & MOY, P.C. (PHOENIX, AZ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for facilitating potty training comprising at least one tissue, said at least one tissue: being a single layer; being biodegradable; being semi-porous; being substantially flat so as to be placed proximate water contained within a toilet; and being substantially buoyant, while at the same time being sufficiently rigid so as to be able to remain substantially buoyant after receiving at least one of urine and fecal matter of a child.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said at least one tissue being between approximately 8 pound tissue and approximately 10 pound tissue.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein said at least one tissue being approximately 9.5 pound tissue.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein said at least one tissue having at least one of a design and configuration printed thereupon to encourage a child to deposit at least one of urine and fecal matter on said tissue while said tissue being placed proximate said water contained within said toilet.

5. A method for facilitating potty training comprising the steps of: providing at least one tissue, said at least one tissue: being a single layer; being biodegradable; being semi-porous; being substantially flat so as to be placed proximate water contained within a toilet; being substantially buoyant, while at the same time being sufficiently rigid so as to be able to remain substantially buoyant after receiving at least one of urine and fecal matter of a child; and having at least one of a design and configuration printed thereupon to encourage a child to deposit at least one of urine and fecal matter on said tissue while said tissue being placed proximate said water contained within said toilet; and placing said at least one tissue proximate said water contained within said toilet prior to said child depositing at least one of urine and fecal matter on said tissue.

6. The method of claim 5 further comprising the step of flushing said at least one tissue down said toilet after said child has deposited at least one of urine and fecal matter on said at least one tissue.

7. The method of claim 5 further comprising the step of seating said child backward upon said toilet prior to said child depositing at least one of urine and fecal matter on said tissue.

8. The method of claim 5 wherein said at least one tissue being approximately 9.5 pound tissue.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to and is a continuation-in-part of prior application Ser. No. 10/781,109, filed Feb. 18, 2004, and incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to child development, and more specifically, to a device for facilitating potty training and method therefor.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Potty training may prove to be a stressful experience for young children. In order to ease the transition from using diapers to using the toilet, many parents/guardians employ reward systems to encourage their children. For example, some parents/guardians may give the child a sticker or a treat after the child successfully uses the toilet. While these reward systems may provide motivation to a child, they do not assist the child with the actual task of using the toilet.

Various attempts have been made to assist a child with the task of using the toilet. U.S. Pat. No. 4,744,113 issued to Kogut discloses a target made to be attached to the rim of a toilet. Only upon coming into contact with urine will a graphic design therein become visible. However, if one of these targets is hit with a heavy stream of urine, the urine could splash off and cause a mess. Furthermore, these targets are only useful for a boy's urination. Boys, as well as girls, need assistance with using the toilet not only for urination, but for bowel movements as well.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,811,403 issued to Camarena discloses a method for biodegradable material having water and uric acid activated color images. The product, however, is a chemically treated material having an image that is only viewable by absorption of uric acid. The product, therefore, does not provide a target at which the child will aim since it does not become visible until the child has already hit the target. Furthermore, the chemicals with which the product is treated may be harmful to the environment.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,285,540 issued to Putz discloses a sheet that must be placed on a dry surface in the toilet and that must come into contact with urine in order to dissolve. Because the sheet must be placed on a dry surface, a piece of toilet paper or other positioning means must first be placed between the sheet and the toilet water. This process would require the child to wait a longer period of time before being able to use the toilet.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,117,515 to White, Jr. et al. discloses a sheet of paper fiber stock material that will sink into the toilet water once urine is deposited onto it. This sheet of paper, however, would sink too quickly and would not serve its purpose as a target throughout the child's entire urination or bowel movement process.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,081,937 issued to Whitacre discloses an apparatus for reducing urinary splash from a commode. This apparatus, however, is fairly complex as it is comprised of two liquid-permeable layers with a layer of liquid-absorbent material disposed between them. Furthermore, the Whitacre apparatus is meant only to reduce urinary splash and does not suggest its use in connection with potty training.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,044,405 issued to Kreiss discloses a target in a bowl or urinal to attract the attention of urinating human males. The coating and materials of the Kreiss target are made of a variety of waterproof materials and an adhesive layer that is not water soluble. Not only are these targets are only useful for a boy's urination, but these targets may be harmful to the environment as they are not completely biodegradable.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,183,850 issued to Lauer discloses a flushable foam polymer target. Because the foam polymer target only partially dissolves in water, the remaining particles of the foam polymer target may be harmful to the environment and the surrounding population.

For example, Nevada's source of drinking water is Lake Mead. Nevada's sewer water is also emptied into Lake Mead. By flushing the foam polymer target down the toilet, particles from the target eventually end up in the lake. After the foam polymer partially dissolves in the water, the remaining particles of the foam polymer remain in the water. Eventually, those foam polymer particles may end up in the community's drinking water.

Therefore a need existed to provide an improved device and method for facilitating potty training. Preferably, the device and method encourages a child to urinate and/or perform bowel movements in a toilet. Further, preferably, the system and method are useful for both boys and girls alike. Still further, preferably, the device and method are safe for the environment and surrounding population.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a device and method for facilitating potty training.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device and method that employs a target at which a child may aim during urination and/or a bowel movement.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device and method that employs the step of seating a child backward on the toilet seat so that the child may focus his/her complete attention on the target.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a device and method for facilitating potty training that is useful for both boys and girls alike.

It is a yet further object of the present invention to provide a device and method for facilitating potty training that is safe for the environment and surrounding population.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a device for facilitating potty training is disclosed. The device comprises at least one tissue in a single layer, the at least one tissue being biodegradable, being semi-porous, being substantially flat so as to be placed proximate water contained within a toilet, and being substantially buoyant, while at the same time being sufficiently rigid so as to be able to remain substantially buoyant after receiving at least one of urine and fecal matter of a child.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a method for facilitating potty training is disclosed. The method comprises the steps of providing at least one tissue in a single layer, the at least one tissue being biodegradable, being semi-porous, being substantially flat so as to be placed proximate water contained within a toilet, being substantially buoyant, while at the same time being sufficiently rigid so as to be able to remain substantially buoyant after receiving at least one of urine and fecal matter of a child, and having at least one of a design and configuration adapted to encourage a child to deposit at least one of urine and fecal matter on the tissue while the tissue being placed proximate the water contained within the toilet, placing the at least one tissue proximate the water contained within the toilet, and flushing the at least one tissue down the toilet after the child has deposited at least one of urine and fecal matter on the at least one tissue.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a device for facilitating potty training consistent with the present invention, shown having a bull's eye configuration and being placed in a toilet.

FIG. 2 is a top view of a device for facilitating potty training consistent with the present invention, shown having a star configuration and being placed in a toilet.

FIG. 3 is a top view of a device for facilitating potty training consistent with the present invention, shown having a pumpkin configuration and placed in a toilet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The novel features believed characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description of illustrated embodiments when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals and symbols represent like elements.

Referring to FIGS. 1-3, a device for facilitating potty training, hereinafter device for facilitating potty training 10, is shown. The device for facilitating potty training 10 comprises at least one tissue 12 in a single layer that is biodegradable, semi-porous, and substantially flat so as to be placed proximate water 14 contained within a toilet 16. The tissue 12 is also substantially buoyant, while at the same time being sufficiently rigid so as to be able to remain substantially buoyant after receiving at least one of urine and fecal matter of a child.

In the preferred embodiment, the tissue 12 is 9.5 pound tissue, although substantial benefit may be derived from using 8 pound tissue or 10 pound tissue. The tissue is preferably produced on a Fourdriner paper machine that gives the tissue four-directional bursting strength, as opposed to the usual bi-directional bursting strength provided by a cylinder paper machine. The tissue may be produced from 100% cellulose fiber that help make it flushable and contains no wet-strength additives. Suitable tissue paper is available from, for example, Seaman Paper Company, Otter River, Mass. 01436. One skilled in the art will understand that some exemplary specifications for a suitable tissue paper may be as follows:

Min.Std.Max.
Basis Weight (24″ × 36″ of9.259.8010.30
480 sheets of paper)
T-410
Basis Weight (g/m2)15.0516.0016.77
pH6.607.007.20
T-428
Burst (psi)2.503.90
T-403
Caliper (thickness)0.0010.00110.0012
T-411
Tear M.D. (g/sheet; 8 sheets)9.0012.00
T-414
Tear C.D. (g/sheet; 8 sheets)12.0014.00
T-414
Tensile M.D. (⅝″ strip)2.803.12
T-494
Tensile C.D. (⅝″ strip)1.082.20
T-494
Wet Tensile M.D. (⅝″ strip)
T-456
Wet Tensile C.D. (⅝″ strip)
T-456
Water Absorbency (seconds)
T-441
Densometer (oil)10.0014.00
8 sheets/200 cc
T-460
Opacity
T-425
Brightness82
T-452

One of ordinary skill in the art will understood that T refers to standard test methods, set forth by the Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI), which may be conducted on the tissue 12. It should also be clearly understood that these specifications are exemplary only and that substantial benefit may be derived from use of a tissue 12 having alternative specifications so long as the tissue 12 is biodegradable, semi-porous, substantially flat, and substantially buoyant, while at the same time being sufficiently rigid so as to be able to remain substantially buoyant after receiving at least one of urine and fecal matter of a child. It should also be understood that testing methods, other than those used by TAPPI, may also be used without deviating from the scope of the invention.

Preferably the tissue 12 has a configuration adapted to encourage a child to deposit at least one of urine and fecal matter on the tissue 12 while the tissue 12 is placed proximate the water 14 contained within the toilet 16. The tissue 12 may appear in a bull's eye-configuration (shown in FIG. 1), a star configuration (shown in FIG. 2), or a pumpkin configuration (shown in FIG. 3), although it should be clearly understood that substantial benefit may be derived from using alternative configurations. The child may select the configuration that is most appealing to that child for added encouragement.

Statement of Operation

In operation, a parent/guardian preferably will remove any visible items from the toilet tank cover as these items may distract a child's attention from the target. The parent/guardian then places the tissue 12 proximate the water 14 contained within the toilet 16. The child is then preferably seated on the toilet seat backwards so that the child may hold on to the seat cover or tank lid for stabilization or balance. From this position, the child is able to view the floating target and is encouraged to hit the tissue 12 with his/her bowel or urine deposits and sink the target. It should be clearly understood, however, that substantial benefit may still be derived if the child sits forward or sideways upon the toilet seat. Upon completion, the parent/guardian will flush the tissue 12 along with the urine and/or fecal matter down the toilet.

From the foregoing, it is to be appreciated that the device and method for facilitating potty training is substantially effective for both boys and girls, physician approved, encourages the child, and safe for the environment.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.