Title:
MITTENS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Outerwear apparel for children consisting of mittens which stay on their hands during use. Each mitten comprises a hand portion joined to a cuff member and an elasticized member mounted externally on a wrist portion. The elasticized member is capable of being detachably secured around a child's wrist.



Inventors:
Carota, Louise (Ottawa, CA)
Application Number:
12/198950
Publication Date:
12/03/2009
Filing Date:
08/27/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/164, 2/169, 2/162
International Classes:
A41D19/01; A41D19/00; A41D19/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20060107438Helping handMay, 2006Reed
20040143889Integral swimming/diving gogglesJuly, 2004Chou
20040148676Behavior control suitAugust, 2004Barker et al.
20100037371Elastic Belt SuspendersFebruary, 2010Lewis
20070118961Laminated collar and a garment having such laminated collarMay, 2007Blenkarn
20080078046APPLICATOR FOR DISTRIBUTING A SUBSTANCE ONTO A TARGET SURFACEApril, 2008Reed
20070022510CLOSE-FITTING GARMENTFebruary, 2007Chapuis et al.
20080005825Garments with removable attachmentsJanuary, 2008Tronvold



Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOHN ALEXANDER GALBREATH (REISTERSTOWN, MD, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A child's mitten comprising: a thumb member and a palm member joined together to form a hand portion; insulation attached to an inner side of said hand portion; a cuff member comprising an opening with a first elasticised member attached about the perimeter of said opening; said hand portion joined to said cuff member; and a second elasticised member mounted externally on a wrist portion of said mitten, wherein said second elasticised member is capable of being detachably secured around a child's wrist.

2. The child's mitten of claim 1, wherein said second elasticized member is mounted on a palm side of said seam.

3. The child's mitten of claim 2, wherein said second elasticized member is mounted about a central position of said palm side of said seam.

4. The child's mitten of claim 1, wherein said first elasticised member is sewn into said perimeter of said opening.

5. The child's mitten of claim 1, wherein said elasticised member is detachably secured around said child's wrist with a hook-loop fastener.

6. The child's mitten of claim 1, wherein said insulation is selected from the group consisting of fleece, an ultra-thin lining, and a combination of both.

7. The child's mitten of claim 1, wherein said thumb member comprises an inner surface and an outer surface; said palm member comprises a palm surface and a backside surface; and wherein said inner surface of said thumb member is positioned adjacent to said palm surface of said palm portion.

8. The child's mitten of claim 1, wherein said hand portion comprises a first outer shell and said cuff member comprises a second outer shell; wherein both outer shells are waterproof, water-resistant or water repelling.

9. The child's mitten of claim 8, wherein said first outer shell comprises rubberized nylon.

10. The child's mitten of claim 8, wherein said second outer shell comprises nylon.

11. A child's mitten comprising: a thumb member and palm member joined together to form a hand portion; said hand portion comprising insulation and a first waterproof outer shell; a cuff member comprising a second waterproof outer shell having an opening with a first elasticised member enclosing said opening, wherein said first elasticised member is sewn into said opening; said hand portion joined to said cuff member at a seam; and a second elasticised member mounted externally on a palm side of said seam, wherein said second elasticised member is capable of being detachably secured around a child's wrist.

12. A pattern for forming a child's mitten, comprising: an elasticized cuff member, a wrist band and a hand member; said elasticised cuff member being formed from a first water-resistant material having a general arc shape; said wrist band comprising a strip of material having a general rectangular shape, a hook-and-loop fastener and an elastic; said hand member comprising a shell and a lining; said shell being formed from a second water-resistant material, comprising a backside member, a palm surface member and a thumbside member; said backside member having a general closed U-shape; said palm surface member having a lower portion that is a general closed U-shape and an upper portion having a general thumb shape; said thumbside member having a lower portion that is a general rectangular shape and an upper portion having a general thumb shape; said lining comprising insulation material of the same general shape as said backside member, said palm surface member and said thumbside member.

13. The pattern of claim 12, wherein said wrist band further comprises a tab at an extremity of said wrist band.

14. The pattern of claim 12, wherein said water-resistant material is nylon.

15. The pattern of claim 12, wherein said palm surface is made of rubberized nylon.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to outerwear apparel for children. In particular, the present invention relates to mittens for young children which will stay on their hands during use.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A child's ability to enjoy outdoor activities in cold climates can be hampered by inappropriate and restrictive outerwear. Parents and other caregivers put a great deal of effort and expense to ensure that the children's hands stay warm and dry.

Often, pre-school children need the assistance of an adult to put mittens on their hands, since the children have not yet mastered how to place the thumb properly into the thumb portion of the mitten or do not possess sufficient dexterity due to age. In many children's mittens of the prior art, the thumb portion of the mitten protrudes outward from the palm portion. This placement of the thumb portion has a number of drawbacks. First, the placement makes it physically more difficult to put a mitten on the child's hand. Second, the placement often results in the child's thumb ending up in the palm portion with the other fingers, which results in a loss of use of the opposable thumb, making it difficult and frustrating for the child to hold an object such as a snow shovel or the like.

Younger children can often remove mittens that are not properly secured to their hands, which is dangerous in very cold weather. Unlike older children and adults, the width of a young child's wrist is about the same as the width of the hand. The young child's hand therefore cannot, by itself, prevent typical mittens from coming off.

In order to attempt to address this issue, many mittens of the prior art have an elastic band attached around the wrist portion of the mitten, sewn between the mitten's lining and the outer layer. However this band tight, thereby making entry of the hand difficult, although the band does help prevent the mitten from coming off. Some prior art mittens make entry of the hand difficult but are not tight enough to prevent the mitten from coming off. In addition, the band does not prevent snow from entering into the mitten onto the child's wrist.

Knitted mittens are easier to place on the child's hand, since knitted material is elastic in nature and conforms to the shape of the hand. Knitted mittens also have ribbing on the wrist, thereby making for a snug fit. However, a knitted mitten can easily be removed, either by the child, or by a bulky jacket sleeve. In addition, knitted mittens tend to become wet when they come into contact with wet snow, putting the child's hand at risk of freezing.

In order to retain maximum warmth, the children's mittens of the prior art typically possess a thick bulky lining. This lining often extends past the wrist and up the arm, but is impeded by a bulky jacket sleeve cuff, thereby resulting in the mitten being pushed off the hand. The mitten's bulky lining also tends to restrict movement and the ability of small hands to grasp items, adding significantly to the general frustration of being dressed in bulky and restrictive outerwear. This frustration sometimes leads the child to take off the mittens.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,507,043 (Howe) and 5,809,569 (Bruno et al.) each disclose an external attachment for securing the mitten onto a child's hand.

Howe's device is described as comprising a thin plastic tie that encircles the thumb and wrist portions of a mitten. The device as disclosed is unsuitable for use with children's mittens, as it is restrictive around the thumb area. Furthermore, since part of the tie protrudes from the wrist, it might accidentally catch onto objects, be a distraction for a curious child or even poke a child in the eye.

The device of Bruno et al. comprises two intertwined loops that each close with a hook-loop fastener such as Velcro™. A first loop secures the thumb portion of the mitten and interconnects with a second loop that ties around the wrist portion. This mitten is unwieldy, as it requires adding more material to an already bulky mitten. It also unnecessarily restricts thumb movement, and does not keep snow away from a child's wrist.

Canadian Patent Application No. 2504888 (Suchiro) discloses a waterproof mitten for young children. The hand and thumb areas of the mitten are insulated. The mitten is secured to the child's wrist by an external strip of cloth that is attached to the mitten. Both ends of the strip go around the wrist and are tied on the topside of the mitten. In addition, the cuff has a zippered opening to enable an adult to guide the child's hand into the mitten. This design suffers from a number of drawbacks. First, a tie system is cumbersome and difficult to apply given the time required for a young child to remain still while tying the strips. The tie system may also come undone, leaving the ends dangling and posing a danger to the child. The zippered cuff does not prevent snow from entering the wrist area. Furthermore, the zipper adds extra bulk, and may come undone, leaving the child's hand exposed to the cold weather.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,361,415 (Deering et al.) discloses an insulated, waterproof child's mitten that comprises a cuff that extends all the way to the elbow. The opening of the cuff is elasticized to prevent snow from entering. The wrist portion of the mitten also has an elastic member that is sewn between the mitten's lining and the outer layer. As noted above, however, this elasticized feature of the wrist portion allows for the easy removal of the mitten by a small child, thus leaving the hand exposed to cold.

Caregivers and parents typically become frustrated with the drawbacks of prior art mittens and tend to resort to unconventional means of ensuring the child's hands are protected from the cold, such as by placing multiple mittens on each hand or by placing the mitten on the child's hand prior to wearing the coat, thereby limiting the child's ability to remove the mitten.

In addition, there is the problem of losing one mitten while the mittens are not in use. In some mittens of the prior art, bulky clips are added to one side of each mitten, as a means to secure the mittens together for storage. Unfortunately, such clips add more bulk to the already bulky mitten and constitute a potential danger for young children.

Given the above drawbacks, there is a need for a children's mitten that is simple, streamlined and performs properly in cold weather. For the safety of small children, the mitten should not use cords, strings or clips. The mitten should be easy to put on the child's hand, remain secured, maintain the child's hand warm and dry, keep snow away from the wrist area, and allow for a reasonable range of hand and thumb movement. In addition, the mittens should be easy and safe to store together when not in use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The mittens of the present invention are specifically intended to be used by young children including babies, toddlers and children under about the age of five years, although older children may also use this invention.

In one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a child's mitten comprising a thumb member and palm member joined together to form a hand portion. The hand portion comprises insulation attached to its inner side. The hand portion is joined to a cuff member; the cuff member comprises an opening with a first elasticised member attached about the perimeter of the opening. A second elasticised member is mounted externally on a wrist portion of the mitten. The second elasticised member is capable of being fastened and unfastened, or detachably secured, around a child's wrist.

The first elasticised member can either be sewn into the second outer shell, or mounted externally on the cuff member, in which case, the second elasticised member is capable of being detachably closed by means of hook-loop fastener such as Velcro™. The hand portion is preferably insulated with an ultra-thin lining, or a mixture of fleece and an ultra-thin lining. In one embodiment, the hand portion forms a first outer shell comprising rubberized nylon, and the cuff member forms a second outer shell comprising nylon. The thumb portion is positioned to allow for greater manual dexterity and for allowing a child to place the thumb in the thumb portion correctly with minimal assistance from a caregiver such as an adult. The mitten comprises an inner surface and an outer surface; the palm member comprises a palm surface and backside surface; and the inner surface of the thumb member is positioned adjacent to the palm surface of the palm portion.

In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a child's mitten comprising a thumb member and palm member joined together to form a hand portion. The hand portion comprises insulation and a first waterproof outer shell and is joined to a cuff member; the cuff member comprises a second waterproof outer shell having an opening with a first elasticised member enclosing the opening. The first elasticised member is sewn into the opening, and a second elasticised member is mounted externally on a wrist portion of the mitten for securing the mitten onto a child's hand. The second elasticised member is capable of being detachably closed. In one embodiment, the insulation is an ultra-thin lining. In addition, the thumb member is positioned below the palm member.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a child's mitten that comprises a thumb member and palm member joined together to form a hand portion. The thumb member is positioned below the palm member, while the hand portion comprises ultra-thin insulation and a first waterproof outer shell. The hand portion is joined to a cuff member that comprises a second waterproof outer shell having an opening with a first elasticised member that encloses the opening. The first elasticised member is sewn into the opening. A second elasticised member is mounted externally on a wrist portion of the mitten for securing the mitten onto a child's hand, and this second elasticised member is capable of being detachably fastened to itself.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a pattern for forming a child's mitten comprising an elasticized cuff member, a wrist band and a hand member; the elasticised cuff member is formed from an elastic and waterproof material having a general arc shape; the wrist band comprising a strip of waterproof material has a rectangular shape, a hook-and-loop fastener and an elastic; the hand member comprises a shell and a lining; the shell is formed from a second waterproof material, comprising a backside member, a palm surface member and a thumbside member; the backside member having a general closed U-shape; the palm surface member has a lower portion that is a general closed U-shape and an upper portion having a general thumb shape; the thumbside member has a lower portion that is a general rectangular shape and an upper portion having a general thumb shape; the lining is made of insulation material of the same general shape as the backside member, the palm surface member and thumbside member. In one embodiment, the pattern includes a tab member for the wrist band. In another embodiment, the waterproof material is nylon, and the palm surface portion is made of rubberized nylon.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates an underside view of a left hand mitten of the present invention with the wrist band unfastened;

FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of the mitten shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates a top perspective view of a right hand mitten of the present invention with the wrist band fastened;

FIG. 4 illustrates the typical dimensions of a young child's hand;

FIG. 5 illustrates one embodiment of a sewing pattern for a child's left-hand mitten of the present invention;

FIG. 6 illustrates one embodiment of a sewing pattern of lining for the child's mitten of FIG. 5; and

FIGS. 7a and 7b illustrate the dimensions of an assembled mitten based on the sewing patterns of FIGS. 5 and 6, respectively.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIGS. 1 to 3 illustrate different views of a mitten (10) of the present invention. FIGS. 1 and 2 depict a left hand mitten and FIG. 3 shows a right hand mitten, the main difference being in the placement of the thumb member (20), as described below. As illustrated, the mitten (10) comprises a palm member (15), thumb member (20) and cuff member (25). The thumb member (20) has an inner surface (21) and an outer surface (22). Similarly, the palm member (15) has a palm surface (16) and a backside surface (17). The palm member (15) and thumb member (20) together form a hand portion (55). The hand portion (55) comprises a first waterproof, water-resistant or water-repelling shell, while the cuff member (25) comprises a second waterproof, water-resistant or water-repelling shell.

The hand portion (55) is insulated, preferably with an ultra-thin lining, or a combination of fleece and an ultra-thin lining. The insulation is not bulky. The term “ultra-thin lining” refers to insulation material that reduces the bulk of the hand portion of the mitten. One example of an ultra-thin lining contemplated in the present invention is Thinsulate™.

To help guide the child's thumb into place when inserting the hand, the mitten (10) is designed, with the inner surface of the thumb member (21) situated adjacent the palm surface of the palm member (16), to accommodate where a child's thumb naturally rests when the hand is extended. The positioning of the thumb member (20) enhances the ease in which the mitten is placed on the child's hand. This feature also allows for a reasonable range of thumb mobility; a child is better able to grasp small objects, such as a twig, or a snow shovel handle.

The cuff member (25) extends part way up the forearm. The mitten's insulation extends around the palm member (15) and, in one embodiment, stops adjacent the wrist area at seam (35), since any additional lining above the wrist is typically unnecessary for the maintenance of warmth. In addition, additional lining may add unwanted bulkiness and conflict with the child's jacket sleeve cuff, sweater sleeve cuff or the like (not shown). Given its relatively thin material, the cuff member (25) easily fits either over or under the jacket sleeve cuff. The cuff opening (30) of the cuff member (25) is elasticised, allowing for the cuff member (25) to stay in place around the jacket sleeve cuff, for example, and prevent snow or ice from entering into the wrist portion of the mitten. For small children, it is important for the cuff opening (30) to be free from cords or strings, since these attachments tend to catch onto objects, thereby posing a hazard to the child.

The cuff member (25) and palm member (15) meet at a seam (35) positioned at the wrist area. An elastic wrist band (40) is attached on the exterior of the mitten (10), such as at attachment location (50). Attachment location (50) is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3 as being located about the centre of the palm side of the seam (35), although it may be located in any convenient location around the mitten. Any suitable elastic material may be used as the elastic wrist band (40).

Optionally, the wrist band (40), which can be opened and closed with a hook-loop fastener (60, 65) such as Velcro™, includes a tab (45) at one extremity. The tab (45) is placed for the assistance of another person, such as a caregiver, to detach the hook-loop fastener (60, 65) for removal of the mitten (10).

When the wrist band (40) is open, the child's hand can easily be placed inside the mitten. Once the hand is in place, the wrist band (40) fits snugly around the child's wrist, thereby securing the mitten (10) onto the child's hand. An elasticised closing device allows the wrist band (40) to be adjusted so there is even pressure along the wrist band (40) around the wrist, helping to keep the mitten in place.

The mitten is said to be detachably secured in that the wrist band (40) can be fastened about the wrist when in use so as to secure the mitten to the wrist. The fastened wrist ban (40) can be unfastened or adjusted as required.

The wrist band (40) on the left- and right-hand mitten allows for ease of storage when the mittens are not in use. For example, the wrist band (40) on one hand is looped closed, then the other mitten's wrist band is secured through the first mitten's wrist band. Alternatively, one mitten is placed on top of the other, then the wrist band (40) on one hand is secured around both mittens. In either embodiment, both mittens are detachably secured together, thereby reducing the likelihood of separating one mitten from the other. In yet another embodiment, the respective wrist bands (40) are attached to each other with the hook-loop fasteners (60, 65) such that both mittens (10) are removably attached to each other.

FIG. 4 shows the typical dimensions of a young child's hand. The circumference of the wrist is denoted by (100). The circumference of the hand at the base of the thumb is indicated by (110), while the circumference of the hand at the palm is denoted by (120). The breadth of the four fingers is denoted by (130), while the hand length is indicated by (135). The length from tip of the thumb to the extremity of the hand, defined by an extended middle finger, is shown as (145). The hand dimensions of a typical 2-year-old and a 3-4 year-old are shown in Table 1.

TABLE 1
Hand dimensions of a small child (inches)
Part2 year-old3-4 year-old
1004.55
1105.56
1204.55.5
13022.5
13544.75
1402.53
1451.52

As shown in Table 1, the difference between the circumference of a young child's wrist (100) and the circumference of the hand at the base of the thumb (110), is about 1 inch. In contrast, the difference for an adult is about 3 inches. Unlike adults, very young children tend to have relatively more fat stored around their wrists. The circumference of a young child's wrist is therefore almost the same as that of the hand. As the child grows, and becomes more physically active, the fat naturally subsides, leading to relatively slimmer wrists. In the case of mittens for infants/toddlers, the circumference of the wrist (100) and that of the hand at the base of the thumb (110) differ only by 1 inch. It follows that the wrists of infants/toddlers are more prone to slip out of a mitten than the wrists of older children or adults.

The measurements for a 3-4 year-old child shown in Table 1, were used for the design of the sewing pattern of the mitten embodiment shown in FIG. 5, and the lining shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment of a pattern for sewing a left-hand mitten of the present invention to fit the hand of a typical 3-year old child. The dimensions of each piece are shown in Table 2. Based on the following description and FIG. 5, the worker skilled in the art would understand how to make a right-hand mitten and how to adjust the dimensions to suit any size mitten of the present invention.

In this embodiment, cuff member (25) of FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises a cuff piece (210) and a ¼ inch elastic (200) of length (205). Cuff piece (210) is made of a waterproof, water-resistant or water repelling material, such as nylon, has an overall arch shape, with upper arch dimension (215), lower arch dimension (217) and width (218). In this embodiment, the elastic (200) is sewn into the larger arch opening of the cuff piece (210).

The wrist band (40) embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, comprises a ¼ inch elastic band sewn into a rectangular strip (220), with a hook-and-loop fastener (230 and 250) at one extremity of the strip (220) such as Velcro™, and a tab (240) sewn onto the other extremity of the strip (220). In one embodiment, the strip (220) is waterproof, water-resistant or water repelling. When assembled, the wrist band (40) is about 7 inches in length, and can stretch to about 9 inches in length.

The hand portion (55) of FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises a backside piece (260), a palm surface piece (270) and a thumb piece (280), all of which may be made of a waterproof, water-resistant or water repelling material. The backside piece (260) has a general closed U-shape as illustrated. The palm surface piece (270) has a U-shape lower portion, similar to the U-shape portion of the backside piece (260), and an upper portion (275) that includes material to cover the thumb. This upper portion (275) remains essentially within the width margin (274) of the lower portion. In this embodiment, the mid-point of the upper portion (275) is positioned at position (276) from one edge of the palm surface piece (270). Palm surface piece (270) may be made of a rubberized nylon or other suitable material.

The thumb piece (280) has a lower portion in a general rectangular shape and an upper portion (285) that includes material to partially cover the thumb. The upper portion (285) of the thumb piece (280) remains within the width margin (286) of the lower rectangular portion. In the illustrated embodiment, the mid-point of the upper portion (285) is positioned at position (287) from one edge of the thumb piece (280). The positioning of the two upper portions (275, 285) within their respective width margins (274, 286) ensures the placement of the thumb member (20) adjacent the palm member (15). The thumb piece (280) is juxtaposed onto the palm surface piece (270) in a manner such that the respective upper portions (285, 275) are aligned.

The lining of hand portion (55) can be attached such as by sewing, according to the pattern embodiment shown in FIG. 6. Examples of dimensions for pieces (300, 330, 350) from FIGS. 5 and 6 are shown in Table 2.

TABLE 2
Pattern dimensions (inches)
PartDimensions
2058
21514.75
2179.25
2185.5
22511
2262.25
2311.25
2361
2452.5
2555
2624.5
2633
2645.5
2725.75
2744.5
2763
2824.75
2842.75
2864.5
2873
3105
3153.5
3202.75
3355.75
3404.25
3554.5
3602.5
3704.25

Piece (300) is of the same general shape as backside piece (260), but has slightly smaller dimensions. Similarly, piece (330) is of the same general shape as palm surface piece (270), with slightly smaller dimensions. Finally, piece (350) is of the same general shape as thumb piece (280), but with slightly smaller dimensions. All three lining pieces (300, 330, 350) are made of insulating material, such as fleece, an ultra-thin lining or a mixture of fleece and an ultra-thin lining. Piece (350) is juxtaposed onto piece (330) so that the respective upper portions line up, and are then attached, such as by sewing. Pieces (330) and (350) are then attached to piece (300) to form the assembled lining of the hand portion (55).

Backside piece (260) is attached, such as by sewing, onto palm surface piece (270) and thumb piece (280) to form a shell of the hand portion (55) of FIGS. 1 and 2. The assembled lining is then inserted into the shell of the hand portion (55); both are attached, such as by sewing, onto the elasticised cuff member (25) at seam (35). The assembled wrist band (40) is then sewn onto the mitten; preferably on the mitten's palm side at about the centre of the seam (35), at attachment location (50).

An embodiment of the assembled mitten of the present invention is depicted in FIGS. 7a and 7b, and example dimensions are listed in Table 3.

TABLE 3
Assembled Mitten Dimensions (inches)
PartDescriptionDimensions
400Cuff elastic circumference 8-14
410Cuff circumference12-14
420Length of elastic wristband6-9
430Length of thumb portion3
440Vertical position of thumb portion2.5
450Horizontal position of thumb portion2
460Vertical position of thumbnail0.75
470Cuff length4-5
480Width of hand portion backside  3-3.5
490Length of palm member4-5

The foregoing has constituted a description of various embodiments showing how the invention may be applied and put into use. These embodiments are only exemplary. The invention in its broadest, and more specific aspects, is further described and defined in the claims which now follow.

These claims, and the language used therein, are to be understood in terms of the variants of the invention that have been described. They are not to be restricted to such variants, but are to be read as covering the full scope of the invention as is implicit within the invention and the disclosure that has been provided herein.