Title:
Garment with discrete medical tags
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A garment, or article of clothing, particularly for children, has two labels that identify a need for special medical attention and instruct about a medical response if needed. The exterior label sewn to the left sleeve of the garment alerts and reminds caregivers about the medical attention need. The interior tags, sewn inverted upon the interior rear of the garment, accepts writing to describe the medical condition and steps to be taken immediately. The interior tag is concealed, keeping the medical information out of public view, but provides ready display of the information in a crisis when a caregiver responds by pulling the garment to reveal the interior tag.



Inventors:
Sharon, Maria Teresa (Chesterfield, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/330579
Publication Date:
07/12/2007
Filing Date:
01/12/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060174389Revolving slideAugust, 2006Engel
20090172866HEADWEAR COMPRISING A BILL WHICH DEFINES AN ENCLOSED SPACEJuly, 2009Chang
20100031418Nursing Undergarment That Attaches To BraFebruary, 2010Op't
20080130272Hands-Free Lighting DevicesJune, 2008Waters
20080216210Flexible cap band with logoSeptember, 2008Tai
20070118960Hoody hood sweatshirtMay, 2007Goodwin
20080184996BANDANA FOR A BREATHING FILTER ELEMENTAugust, 2008Colorado
20070157368Smarty toesJuly, 2007James
20090098957ATHLETIC ARTICLE FOR USE IN FLAG FOOTBALLApril, 2009Hitchcock et al.
20080222775Hair drying capSeptember, 2008Dacruz
20060174391Cold weather outerwearAugust, 2006Shannon



Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHARLES C. MCCLOSKEY (TOWN & COUNTRY, MO, US)
Claims:
1. 1-7. (canceled)

8. A system for discretely providing information about a person wearing said device and who can not speak, comprising: a garment that extends upon the torso of a person having a left portion, a right portion, a rear, and a front; an exterior tag adapted to be affixed to the garment upon the left portion and having imperative indicia including CHECK MY TAG, a medical symbol, and a motivational indicia including one of I NEED SPECIAL CARE, I HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES or MEDICAL ALERT; and, an interior tag adapted to be attached to the garment upon the interior and rear of the garment, inverted from said exterior tag, and concealed from external view, and said exterior tag referring to said interior tag; said interior tag including a section for a name of said person, a section to describe an acute medical condition of said person, and a section to list actions in response to the medical condition.

9. (canceled)

10. An identification system for people who can not speak comprising: an article of clothing having a top; a visible label adapted to attach upon the exterior of said article, said visible label has indicia that call attention to the need for special medical care and that commands checking said article for further instructions; and, an interior label adapted to attach upon the interior of said article proximate the top of said article and accepting writing thereupon of the medical condition of the wearer of said article.

11. The identification system for people who can not speak of claim 10 further comprising: said visible label having a caduceus and a generally rectangular shape oriented across the left of said article; and, said interior label having a generally rectangular shape inverted to said visible label and with a longitudinal axis perpendicular to said visible label.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to clothing, particularly for children, and more specifically, to placing medical information upon the clothing in an accessible, though still private, manner.

From time to time, people have a medical condition. Some conditions have manifest symptoms, visible to the senses, while other conditions remain hidden or viewable by medical instruments and tests. Some conditions are chronic where the person bears the condition for an extended time and others are acute where the person endures the symptoms, often intense, for a short time. Chronic conditions may remain hidden for years while acute conditions manifest symptoms that may incapacitate a person. When suffering from an acute condition, a person may not be able to explain their condition to another. The person may be incapacitated due to the condition, infirmity, or youth. For example, children become afflicted with medical conditions that require special care, additional attention, and the like from a caregiver. However, children up to a certain age can not speak and up to a later age may not comprehend their conditions.

For instance, an eighteen month old child quits playing abruptly, cries, and goes silent within seconds. The child had an acute medical condition that incapacitated him: here, an anaphylactic reaction to a recently eaten food. Being nearby, a parent took immediate action to bring medical attention to her child. Not all children have a mother nearby as modern life has many children placed in day care centers under the watchful eye of center workers as both parents work as well.

Though watching a child, a day care worker has many children to supervise and may not be aware of, or remember, the medical conditions for each. If the condition is serious, most parents take the time to educate a day care worker however, in a hectic and busy daycare center, a daycare worker likely forgets the details of a specific child's medical condition. Presently, day care workers are faced with the trying task of caring for many children. Individualized attention for a child in day care is declining. A day care worker or other caregiver may not be aware of the risks of exposing a child to various foods or other conditions. The present invention serves as a memory aid to the daycare worker through its visibility and location upon a garment.

The present invention provides parents of children who have or may have a medical condition peace of mind. The present invention bears information about the child's medical condition discretely. The present invention functions when the child is relocated beyond the home or parents due to social, developmental, or socio-economic needs. Knowing that a child carries medical information accessible by caregivers reduces the worry that descends upon working parents. The parents know that their child carries immediately accessible medical information with them in their clothing.

Though the present invention is described in reference to children, the present invention and alternate embodiments may be used with other persons such as those mute, enduring dementia, or like conditions of incapacity.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

At present, identification tags of various designs and configurations are commonly used to identify children and adults with medical problems. Most common are the emblems that are attached via a chain around the neck, wrist, or ankle. For children of tender years, often under five, a chain becomes a safety hazard to the wearer. The chain can entangle in clothing or machines, encounter electric wires and shock the wearer, and can potentially choke the wearer. The chains induce discomfort in youngsters not accustomed to wearing them and who may then succeed in removing them. Additionally, the emblems and chains are generally metallic, often plated brass or steel, to which some children will develop skin discoloration or allergies that contradicts the purposes of the emblems to prevent further harm to a wearer.

Other identification systems involve electronic storage of detailed data requiring a membership and telephone access. For acute medical conditions, proper administration of a medication or other treatment must be applied within moments to avoid potential harm, slight or grave. Dialing for information from a database consumes much needed moments better spent tending to a child in a medical crisis.

Other systems have avoided skin contact by attaching tags to shoes by a type of shoe lace. However, this tag loses effectiveness in a childcare environment as caregivers are generally much taller than children wearing such tags and may not see the tags. Those tags also lose their immediate link to a child when shoes are removed for nap time or other activities.

Another approach involves installing printed and laminated tags placed inside shoes. However, this approach has the tags hidden under feet when the shoes are worn which defeats the goals of providing a visible reminder and accessible information to caregivers. The concealed tags do not indicate that a vital medical condition afflicts the user. For children with concealed conditions, such as a fatal allergy to nuts, relying upon a caregiver to find quickly information during a crisis is unreasonable.

Other inventors have developed information indicating systems. The patent to Sanchez, U.S. Pat. No. 4,710,981 shows a T shirt with a message panel. Like the present invention, this patented garment involves a T shirt that carries a message upon the exterior. Unlike the present invention, this T shirt has a message temporarily concealed by a flap hinged upon one edge and secured by VELCRO® on the other edges which is not the present invention.

The patent to Levin, U.S. Pat. No. 4,924,613, shows a garment with a display panel. As in the present invention, the patented garment has a T shirt and a panel upon the exterior to display a message. In contrast to the present invention, this T shirt has a flat portion of the garment surrounded by VELCRO® and a clear plastic overlay placed over a message in the flat portion. This patent with a message protected by a clear panel differs substantially from the present invention.

The patent to Wilmers, U.S. Pat. No. 5,379,461 describes another T shirt but with at least two displays. As in the present invention, this patent seeks to have two messages displayed with one temporarily concealed. However, this patent conceals the second message behind a pull away pocket flap, on the shirt front. The pocket flap and exterior location of both messages separate this patent from the present invention.

The patent to Bowman, U.S. Pat. No. 5,572,741 has a label for a firefighter's coat protected by a transparent layer. This patent has a label, with printing, and is stitched to the inside of a portion of a garment. However, this patent has a protective layer of transparent polymer stitched upon the label for firefighting conditions. The label is also located behind a storm flap not visible when the coat is worn. The transparent layer of this patent differentiates it from the present invention.

Then the patent to Scott, U.S. Pat. No. 6,185,746, has a shirt with a schedule for an athletic team upon the back. Like the present invention, this patent has a label attached to the exterior of the shirt. And the label accepts writing. Unlike the present invention, this patent does not have a concealed interior tag and specifies a layout primarily for athletic schedules and score results.

The patent to Austion, U.S. Pat. No. 6,751,805, shows an exterior covered identification card. Similar to the present invention, this patent collects medical and contact information on a concealed card. In contrast to the present invention, this patent has the card concealed behind a detachable cover and the card generally located upon the exterior of a garment. The cover may detach to reveal information when not desired.

Similar to the Bowman patent, the patent to Reilly et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,810,529, has a protective garment with a card in a flap covered pocket. As in the present invention, the patent has information collected on a card displayed upon the exterior of a garment. However, the patented garment has a flap to cover the card and a window upon a pocket that reveals the card to people or scanners.

Reilly et al., also have a patent application that published as No. 2004/0261159. This application moves the card in a flap covered pocket to the helmet of a firefighter. The pocket carrying the card secures to a helmet with VELCRO® or other releasable means. As previously described, the flap and display window in this application on an improvement to a helmet differs substantially from the present invention with an exterior tag referring to an interior tag.

The present invention overcomes the limitations of the prior art explained above. As the incidence of food allergies, autism, diabetes, epilepsy, and like concealed conditions increase in children under age five, the need grows for a means to identify clearly and readily a person who may require special care and to specify or explain the steps of that special care. That is, the art of the present invention places a tag attached to a plainly and prominently visible part of a person, particularly clothing, rather than around the neck or limb, or hidden within shoes. Further, the present invention allows the wearer the choice to maintain the privacy of any medical information placed upon the tag attached to clothing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Generally, the present invention provides a system of tags upon a shirt or blouse for a child or person. The tags include an exterior tag sewn upon the left sleeve of the shirt and an interior tag sewn upon the inside of the shirt below the collar. The exterior tag has a size to fit upon the sleeve and has a printed imperative such as CHECK MY TAG or SEE INSIDE and a motivational phrase such as NEED SPECIAL CARE. The exterior tag prompts a caregiver to seek out the interior tag. The interior tag has a size to accept writing and is inverted from the exterior tag. When inverted, a caregiver can read the interior tag when a child wears the shirt. The interior tag has places for the child's name, medical condition description, and list of steps to take during a medical crisis.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood and that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated.

Further, the present invention also includes a medical logo upon the exterior tag, rectangular shapes for the exterior tag and the interior tag, and the interior tag being generally perpendicular to the exterior tag.

Numerous objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description of the presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative, embodiment of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Before explaining the current embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

It is, therefore, the principal object of this invention to provide an improved identification system for young children with medical conditions integral with their daily appearance, as in clothing, that identifies the child and then provides vital information about the child's medical care.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved identification system for young children with medical conditions that is in the plain view of a caregiver, particularly upon the left side of clothing such as a sleeve, on the arm that medical personnel or first aid trained personnel are trained to take a pulse, and showing medical indicia such as a caduceus.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved identification system for young children with medical conditions to safeguard the privacy of the child and the medical information while allowing immediate access to that information in an emergency or other event requiring prompt attention.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved identification system for young children with medical conditions with a tag installed upside down within clothing that can be read by a caregiver from above.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved identification system for young children with medical conditions that instructs caregivers to seek out a concealed and accessible second tag.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved identification system for young children with medical conditions that prevents entanglement, choking, electrical shock, allergic reactions, discomfort, and embarrassment experienced by warning bracelet or chain wearers.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved identification system for young children with medical conditions that attracts the attention of a caregiver unlike a warning bracelet, occasionally concealed by sleeves, pant legs, socks, and the like.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved identification system for young children with medical conditions that has the medical information readily available to a caregiver without contacting a remote data provider. Electronic identification systems contain lifesaving information yet require a caregiver to call a telephone number or to access the internet while a child enters distress. The present invention though has the medical information upon it for the situation when the caregiver and child are together.

These together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty that characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there is illustrated a preferred embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In referring to the drawings:

FIG. 1 shows a front view of a garment having the present invention installed;

FIG. 2 describes a detailed view of the exterior tag of the present invention;

FIG. 3 shows a rear view of a garment showing the interior tag in phantom upon the present invention; and,

FIG. 4 illustrates a detailed view of the interior tag as later seen by a caregiver.

The same reference numerals refer to the same parts throughout the various figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present art overcomes the prior art limitations by providing a garment with discrete medical tags that gets the attention of a caregiver and provides medical information about the wearer of the garment to the caregiver when the wearer can not communicate. Caregivers are found in institutional, hospital, office, and day care settings. The present invention is primarily directed towards young children with medical conditions however, the present invention can be applied to other people unable to communicate medical information to a caregiver. Along with providing information during a medical emergency, the present invention reminds caregivers of special needs of wearers to prevent medical emergencies as well.

Turning to FIG. 1, a sample garment 1 worn upon the torso is shown. The present invention is generally applied to a torso garment in contrast to a hip and leg garment. This placement maximizes visibility of the invention when placed on a child to be seen by an adult, typically a caregiver. The sample garment appears as a blouse or shirt with a cylindrical panel including a bottom 2 and a collar 3a at the opposite top 3. The collar has a higher portion upon the rear 4 of the panel and a lower portion upon the front 5 of the panel, commonly called a crew neck. Proximate to the collar, the present invention has two mutually opposite sleeves 6 joined to the panel generally for wear upon the shoulders of a person. The present invention has an exterior tag 7 applied to the left sleeve 6a of the shirt. The left sleeve is that worn upon the left arm of a person with the lower portion of the collar upon the chest of a person. Here, the left sleeve has an exterior tag generally upon the upper end of the left sleeve proximate a wearer's shoulder. The exterior tag bears imperative indicia 7a, such as CHECK MY TAG or SEE INSIDE, that prompt the reader of the tag or caregiver to inquire further about medical information for the wearer. The medical information can be for ordinary symptoms up to emergency acute conditions. The exterior tag is readily viewed upon a child by an adult caregiver from the front, back, or side. Further, placement upon the left sleeve indicates a medical purpose as medically trained caregivers take pulse readings from the left arm. In the preferred embodiment, the shirt has contrasting light and dark colors or fabrics. The sleeves and rear panel of the shirt have a dark fabric while the light fabric is used on the front panel of the shirt. The exterior tag also has light fabric as a perimeter border. The exterior tag stands out from the dark fabric of the sleeve and further calls attention to the exterior tag.

Viewing the detail shown in FIG. 2, the exterior tag 7 displays indicia or markings that prompt a caregiver to inspect the exterior tag and later the interior tag. The indicia include CHECK MY TAG, SEE INSIDE, and/or a caduceus 7c. The indicia are readily apparent upon the tag itself and the caduceus reminds the caregiver about medical information. The exterior tag also has motivational indicia 7b generally located beneath the imperative indicia 7a. The motivational indicia include I NEED SPECIAL CARE, MEDICAL ALERT, I HAVE FOOD ALLERGIES, and the like. In the preferred embodiment, the exterior tag is made from woven fabric generally orange in color. The color of the exterior tag appears readily against the dark background of the left sleeve.

Turning the shirt, FIG. 3 shows the rear 4 of the panel. As before, the shirt has a panel with a bottom 2 and a collar 3a at the top 3. In the rear, the collar is higher than the front. Below the collar, an interior tag 8 attaches inside the shirt and below the collar. The interior tag is generally sewn into the panel though attachment by an adhesive is an alternative. Alternatively, the interior tag has decorative stitching visible upon the rear of the panel that draws attention to the tag. The interior tag has a location similar to typical fashion labeling: inside the rear near the collar 3a. This is so that a caregiver, when prompted by the exterior tag, looks inside the shirt instinctively. The indicia 7a, 7b, 7c upon the exterior tag prompt action so the interior tag 8 is positioned to spur or encourage that action.

When a caregiver pulls the shirt and peers towards the interior tag, FIG. 4 shows the interior tag when in use. The interior tag 8 is generally a fabric, white in color that accepts written information generally by permanent marker or ball point pen. The interior tag has identified sections for the wearer's name 8a, brief description of the medical condition 8b whether mild or possibly emergent, and the steps 8c to address the condition. As the interior tag is read from above by a caregiver, the indicia upon the tag appear upside down upon the shirt 1 in FIG. 4.

In use, a parent notates information upon the interior tag following the prompts printed upon the interior tag. The parent places the shirt upon a child and places the child in the custody of a caregiver. If the child has an acute medical episode, the caregiver sees the exterior tag and takes action. The caregiver seeks out and reads the interior tag. The caregiver then takes the appropriate steps to remedy the acute episode.

From the aforementioned description, a garment with discrete medical tags has been described. The garment and tags are uniquely capable of prompting action and providing information discretely during a medical emergency for a person, such as a child, who can not speak about a medical condition. The garment and its tags may be manufactured from many materials including but not limited to textiles, polymers, films, plastics, and composites.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. Therefore, the claims include such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and the scope of the present invention.





 
Previous Patent: Bib with an improved pocket

Next Patent: Bathing poncho