Title:
Infant tub with multipurpose base
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A height ajustable tub having a body that is disposed to retain fluids, and a base with a first end and an opposed second end, both ends being disposed to provide support to the body. The body and base are configured such that when the second end of the base is positioned adjacent a surface, the first end is disposed to support the body at a first height above the surface, and when the first end of the base is positioned adjacent the surface, the second end is disposed to support the body at a second height above the surface.



Inventors:
Smith, Rochelle (St. Louis, MO, US)
Thompson, Monica (St. Louis, MO, US)
Boyce, Lakesha (St. Louis, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/217954
Publication Date:
03/01/2007
Filing Date:
09/01/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03C1/244
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROCHELLE SMITH (ST. LOUIS, MO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A height ajustable tub comprising: a. a body being disposed to retain fluids therein; and b. a base having a first end and an opposed second end, both ends being disposed to provide support to the body; wherein when the second end of the base is positioned adjacent a surface, the first end is disposed to support the body at a first height above the surface, and when the first end of the base is positioned adjacent the surface, the second end is disposed to support the body at a second height above the surface.

2. The tub of claim 1, further comprising a connector disposed to releasably attach the body to the base.

3. The tub of claim 2, further comprising a handle associated with the base, the handle disposed to lift the base and the body when the body is attached to the base.

4. The tub of claim 1, wherein the base defines a first open-ended cavity at the first end and a second open-ended cavity at the second end, each cavity disposed to receive the body therein.

5. The tub of claim 4, wherein the first and second cavities are positioned on opposite sides of the base and configured such that when the body is received in the first cavity the open end of the second cavity forms the bottom of the assembled adjustable tub, and when the body is received in the second cavity the open end of the first cavity forms the bottom of the assembled adjustable tub.

6. The tub of claim 4, further comprising a guide, the guide being disposed to align the body and the base when the body is received in one of said first or second cavities.

7. The tub of claim 6, wherein the guide comprises a groove formed in the base.

8. The tub of claim 7, wherein the guide further comprises a tongue on the body disposed to slide within the groove.

9. The tub of claim 7, wherein the guide further comprises a detent on the body disposed to slide within the groove.

10. The tub of claim 1, further comprising a partition for positioning within the body.

11. The tub of claim 10, wherein the partition divides the body into a first and second region when the partition is positioned within the body, at least one of the regions disposed to independently retain fluids.

12. The tub of claim 10, wherein the partition is disposed to provide support to a child or infant placed within the body.

13. The tub of claim 10, wherein the partition is removable.

14. The tub of claim 10, wherein the partition comprises an infant rest disposed within the body to provide support to an infant or child.

15. The tub of claim 14, wherein the rest is removable.

16. The tub of claim 4, further comprising a platform for separating the first cavity from the second cavity.

17. The tub of claim 16, wherein the platform has a drain hole formed therein.

18. The tub of claim 17, further comprising a partition positioned within one of said first or second cavities.

19. The tub of claim 18, wherein the partition has a drain hole formed therein, the partition drain hole being aligned with the platform drain hole.

20. The tub of claim 16, wherein said base has a notch therein along the first end, the notch disposed to allow fluids to escape the first cavity.

21. The tub of claim 16, wherein said base has a notch therein along the second end, the notch being disposed to allow fluids to escape the second cavity.

22. The tub of claim 1, wherein said base has a slot therein, the slot being configured to allow for the gripping of the base.

23. A height ajustable tub comprising: a. a body capable of retaining fluids; and b. a base having a first open-ended cavity and an opposed second open-ended cavity formed therein, both open ends disposed to receive the body, the first cavity disposed to provide support to the body at a first depth within the base, the second cavity disposed to provide support to the body at a second depth within the body; wherein when the open end of the second cavity is adjacent a surface, the body can be supported by the base at the first depth in the first cavity at a first distance above the surface, and when the open end of the first cavity is adjacent the surface, the body can be supported by the base at the second depth in the second cavity at a second distance above the surface.

24. A method of adjusting the height of a tub, the method comprising the steps of: a. providing a body disposed to retain fluids; b. providing a base having a first cavity and a second cavity formed in opposite ends thereof, both cavities disposed to provide support to the body therein, the first cavity supporting the body at a first height above a surface when the second cavity is adjacent the surface, and the second cavity supporting the body at a second height above the surface when the first cavity is adjacent the surface; c. placing the base on the surface such that the second cavity is adjacent the surface; d. placing the body in the first cavity such that the body is positioned within the base at the first height; e. removing the body from the first cavity; f. inverting the base on the surface; and g. placing the body in the second cavity such that the body is positioned within the base at the second height.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

To cleanse an infant or young child, an adult or other caregiver will often use a small tub sized to accommodate the infant or young child. Such tubs are often placed in a full sized empty tub to contain water and soap that may be splashed out of the infant tub during washing. Unfortunately, the traditional infant tub can only be positioned at one height within the adult tub, and the traditional infant tub cannot be raised or lowered to accommodate different sized infants and children, and cannot be adjusted in height to accommodate a desired height for the comfort of the adult or caregiver washing the infant or child.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

Illustrative embodiments of the present invention are shown in the following drawings which form a part of the specification:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the infant tub assembly of the present invention setting within a larger washtub or washbasin;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the body with infant rest of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the interior of an embodiment of the body with infant rest of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a side view of an embodiment of the body with infant rest of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the multipurpose base of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a top view of the interior of an embodiment of the multipurpose base of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a side view of an embodiment of the multipurpose base of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the body with infant rest of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the tub assembly of the present invention assembled with the body positioned within the deep cavity of the multipurpose base;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the tub assembly of the present invention assembled with the body positioned within the shallow cavity of the multipurpose base;

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

In an illustrative embodiment of the present invention (FIG. 1), tub assembly A has a body 12, an infant rest 14 positioned within the body 12, and a multipurpose base 16. For illustrative purposes, the assembly A is shown in FIG. 1 positioned within a larger washtub or washbasin B. The body 12 is tubular in shape with a generally oval cross-section, with an open top and a closed bottom 13. (FIGS. 2, 3). Triangular tongues 18 are positioned on the outer surface of the body 12 at each of the opposing tight-radiused ends of the oval cross-section. The tongues 18 are straight and parallel to each other, and extend the full length of the body 12. The infant rest 14 has a curved or contoured resting incline 20 that is set at an angle of approximately 45 degrees to the bottom 13 of the base 12. A foot 22 extends from the bottom of the incline 20 under the infant rest 14 to support the infant rest. The foot 22 is generally shaped to conform to the interior of the body 12 at the bottom 13 under the incline 20. A strut 24 extends from the top of the incline 20 outward toward the concave surface of the base 12 behind the infant rest 14, to a slot 26. The slot 26 is shaped and sized to snugly receive the strut 24. As can be appreciated, the strut 24 thereby provides stability to the upper end of the infant rest 14 when the infant rest 14 is positioned within the base 12 and the strut is positioned within the slot 26, all as illustrated. A pair of drain holes 28 are positioned at opposite ends of the bottom of the base 12 so that when the infant rest 14 is positioned within the base 12, one of said pair of holes 28 is not covered by the foot 22.

Like the body 12, the base 16 is also tubular in shape with a generally oval cross-section. (FIG. 5). The base 16 has a first end 30 and a second end 32, the ends 30 and 32 being formed at opposite extremities of the tubular base 16. A platform 34 is positioned within and is aligned perpendicular to the length of the base 16, such that a first or deep cavity 36 is formed in the first end 30 and a second or shallow cavity 38 is formed in the second end 32. The platform 34 is positioned approximately two thirds the distance from the first end 30 to the second end 32. A pair of drain holes 40 are positioned at opposite ends of the platform 34.

A pair of slots 42 are positioned on the wide-radiused sides of the base 16 near the first end 30, and a second pair of slots 44 are positioned on the wide-radiused sides of the base 16 near the second end 32. Both sets of slots 42 and 44 act as hand grips or handles to enable the carrying of the base 16. A pair of notches 46 are formed along the edge of the first end 30 in proximity to the slots 42, and a second pair of notches 48 are formed along the edge of the second end 32 in proximity to the slots 44. A pair of grooves 50 are formed on the inner surface at each of the tight-radiused ends of the oval cross-section of the base 16. The base 16 is thicker at these ends to accommodate the grooves 50. The grooves 50 are straight and parallel to each other, and extend the full length of the tub 16. A large hole 52 is formed generally in the center of the platform 34. A handle 54 is rotatably attached to the edges of the hole 52. The handle 54 hangs down into the cavity 36 when the cavity 36 is facing downward, and when the base is reversed and the cavity 38 is facing downward, the handle 54 swings through the hole 52 and hangs down into the cavity 38.

As can be seen from FIGS. 1, 9 and 10, the base 16 is sized and shaped to allow the body 12 to slide smoothly into either end 30 or 32 of the base 16. Further, the grooves 50 in the base 16 are sized, oriented and positioned within the base 16, and the tongues 18 are sized, oriented and positioned along the body 12, such that when the body 12 is properly situated in the base 16 as shown, the tongues 18 slidably fit within the grooves 50, thereby providing a guide for the placement of the body 12 within the base 16.

The drain holes 28 are positioned on the bottom of the body 12 such that when the body 12 is properly placed within either the first or second cavities 36 or 38 of the base 16 (as shown in FIGS. 1, 9, 10), the holes 28 align with the holes 40 to allow for ease of drainage of water from the body 12, when draining is desired. The notches 46 and 48 allow for drainage of water from the body 12 through the platform 34 and out the sides of the base 12, when draining is desired. When draining is not desired, a removable drain plug (not shown) may be placed in the drain holes 28 to retain water in the body 12. Alternatively, any variety of valves, blocks or other such similar devices well known in the art may be used to selectively retain water in the body 12 or allow the water to drain through the holes 28 and the holes 40.

As can be appreciated, when the base 16 is positioned such that the second cavity 38 is facing downward and placed on a surface S (FIG. 9), the first cavity 36 of the base 16 is capable of supporting the body 12 at a first height h1 above the surface S, the first height h1 being equal to the depth of the second cavity 38 to the platform 34. When the base is reversed, and positioned such that the first cavity 36 is facing downward and placed on the surface S (FIG. 10), the second cavity 38 of the base 16 is capable of supporting the body 12 at a second height h2 above the surface S, the second height h2 being equal to the depth of the first cavity 36 to the surface S. Of course, the body 12 may also be placed directly on the surface S (not shown) if desired. In this way, the user of the tub assembly A can locate the body 12 at three different heights above the surface S, where the surface S may be the bottom of a washtub or washbasin. In at least one embodiment of the present invention, the height h1 is approximately equal to four inches, the height h2 is approximately equal to six inches, and the overall height of the base is therefore approximately ten inches. Of course numerous variations of the tub assembly A may be constructed by simply changing the dimensions h1 and h2.

It will also be seen that a latch 50, positioned on the outer surface of the base 16 near the first end 30, is capable of releasably securing the body 12 to the base 16 within the first cavity 36. In this way, the handle 54 can be accessed through the second cavity 38 to carry the entire tub assembly A as a single unit. Similarly, a latch 52, positioned outer surface of the base 16 near the second end 32, is capable of releasably securing the body 12 to the base 16 within the second cavity 38. In this way, the handle 54 can be accessed through the first cavity 36 to carry the entire tub assembly A as a single unit. Of course, any number of attachment devices may be used other than the latches 50 and 52 to releasably secure the body 12 to the base 16, including but not limited to pegs and holes, elastic cords, screws, hooks, bolts, keys, clasps, ties, pins, clips, springs, snaps, clips, toggles, buckles and buttons, or any other such fastening device that would be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.

While the above description contains many specifics, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of a preferred embodiment thereof. Many other variations are possible. For example, the body 12 need not be oval in cross-section, but may be formed in any of a variety of cross-sectional shapes so long as the cavities 36 and 38 are shaped and sized to accommodate the body 12. Similarly, the base 16 need not be oval in cross-section, but may be formed in any of a variety of cross-sectional shapes so long as the cavities 36 and 38 are shaped and sized to accommodate the body 12. The cavities 36 and 38 need not be at opposite ends of the base 16, and the base 16 may have more than two cavities that are capable of accepting the body 12.

The infant rest 14 can be attached within the body 12, or the infant rest 14 may be an integral formation or feature of the inner surface of the body 12. The attachment of the infant rest 14 within the body 12 may be fixedly, releasably, rotatably or other forms of attachment without limit. The infant rest 14 may have a hole in the foot 22 to allow for draining through the rest 14. The incline 20 of the infant rest 14 can be formed at any variety of angles, and may even be vertical. The incline 20 may be curved or contoured in any variety of configurations as desired, or need not be curved or contoured at all. The infant rest 14 may be configured to be a partition only, used to divide the body into two or more regions.

The notches 46 and 48 may be formed in any variety of shapes and sizes so long as they allow for the relative free flow of fluids from the cavities 36 and 38 respectively. Further, the notches 46 and 48 may instead be formed as holes in the side of the base 16. The tub assembly A need not have any such notches 46 or 48, or may have any number of such notches from as few as one through any greater number.

The tongues 18 need not extend the full length of the body 12, and may be formed in one or more smaller sections. The grooves 50 need not extend the full length of the cavities 36 or 38, but may be formed in one or more smaller sections. Alternatively, the other forms of alignment features may be incorporated into the tub assembly A in place of the tongues 18 and grooves 50, including but not limited to rail guides, pins, rollers, pegs and notches, and puzzle piece contours, or any other such guide device or system that would be readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.

Further, the embodiment of the tub assembly A as shown in FIGS. 1-9 includes numerous features that need not be included in all versions or embodiments of the present invention. For example, the tub assembly A need not have the tongues 18 and grooves 50, the drain holes 28 or 40, the notches 46 or 48, the infant rest 14, the slots 42 and 44, the hole 52 or the handle 54. Each of these features may be included individually or in any combination to the assembly A to form a variety of configurations that are all contemplated within the scope of the present invention.

Further, the components of the tub assembly A may be constructed of a variety of materials, including but not limited to various metals, plastics, ceramics, wood, or any other suitable material that will provide sufficient structural integrity for the each component to perform its desired function as stated herein. Each dimension of the tub assembly A, and thereby all of its components, may be of varying sizes. Of course, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that structural members may be added to strategic positions on or in the tub assembly A to allow the use of a variety of materials.

The detailed description above illustrates the invention by way of example and not by way of limitation. This description clearly enables one skilled in the art to make and use the invention, and describes several embodiments, adaptations, variations, alternatives and uses of the invention, including what I presently believe is the best mode of carrying out the invention. As various changes could be made in the above constructions without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.