Mobility, Muscle, and Coordination Development Apparatus
1. An apparatus for improving mobility of a user, the apparatus comprising:
- (i) a body portion comprising a first layer attached to a second layer; and
(ii) at least one protruding portion connected to the body portion;
wherein the apparatus is configured to slide on a floor surface.
An apparatus for improving mobility and helping develop back, neck, arm, core and leg muscle strength and coordination is provided. The apparatus may include a body portion comprising a first layer and a second layer and be configured to slide on a floor surface. A method for improving mobility of a user is also provided.
- 1. An apparatus for improving mobility of a user, the apparatus comprising:
(i) a body portion comprising a first layer attached to a second layer; and (ii) at least one protruding portion connected to the body portion; wherein the apparatus is configured to slide on a floor surface.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
- 17. An apparatus for improving mobility of a user, the apparatus comprising:
(i) a concave body portion with a first layer attached to a second layer, wherein the first layer is a soft upper surface, wherein the second layer is a hard lower surface; and (ii) at least one protruding portion connected to the body, wherein the at least one protruding portion slopes upward, and wherein the apparatus is configured to slide on a floor surface.
- View Dependent Claims (18, 19)
This application claims the benefit of priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/662,001, filed Apr. 24, 2018, which is incorporated by reference in their entirety.
The present disclosure relates to apparatuses to enhance a user'"'"'s mobility, muscle, and coordination development, for example, for a baby during “tummy time” and the pre-crawling, creeping stage of development. The apparatus can also be used for back, neck, arm, core and leg muscle development in older kids, adults, and those with certain handicaps (e.g., a paraplegic) or physical therapy needs.
Since the early 1990'"'"'s parents and caregivers have been encouraged to place children on their backs to sleep. This change of positioning while sleeping has resulted in the reduction of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) by more than 50%. While this change in positioning has greatly reduced the number of infant deaths, it has created another issue for children, which is the reduction of strength in the neck, back, and arm muscles. In addition, the baby'"'"'s head may develop flat spots (positional plagiocephaly) from the amount of time on their back.
Due to this, pediatricians recommend adding “tummy time” to an infant'"'"'s day for up to thirty minutes or more in order to strengthen the neck, back, shoulder, and arm muscles. The development of these muscles, as well as coordination skills, is critical to a child'"'"'s future development, as coordination skills along with the arms, neck, and back muscles are utilized during the crawling phase.
Many babies do not like tummy time and cry and fuss while on their tummies and consequently the amount of time on the tummy is less than what is optimal for their development. Further, once babies have the strength to begin moving their arms and legs in a pre-crawling or creeping phase, they further become frustrated because they are stuck and unable to move. Some parents report that their child “never learned to crawl” or “rolled everywhere” missing the crawling phase altogether. Learning to crawl is an important milestone in a child'"'"'s development. Crawling increases a child'"'"'s gross motor and fine motor skills. Crawling increases a child'"'"'s hand-eye coordination and balance. Additionally, children that learn to crawl have better spatial understanding and binocular vision. Crawling also improves coordination, self-confidence and physical strength. Some studies indicate that children that miss the crawling phase all together have shorter attention spans; have a harder time sitting still in a chair and have more difficulty learning to write.
Thus, there is a need for a developmental apparatus to enhance a child'"'"'s ability to be mobile (i.e., mobility) during the pre-crawling or creeping stage of development and to make tummy time more fun and more active for the baby. There is also a need for a larger apparatus to assist with development of back, neck, arm, core and leg muscles of older kids, adults, and those with certain handicaps or physical therapy needs.
The features, functions, and advantages can be achieved independently in various embodiments of the present disclosure or may be combined in yet other embodiments in which further details can be seen with reference to the following description and drawings.
Described herein is an apparatus that is capable of non-motorized, multidirectional movement for improving mobility in the user.
In one embodiment, an apparatus for improving mobility and helping develop back, neck, arm, core and leg muscle strength and coordination of a user is provided. The apparatus includes a body portion comprising a first layer (e.g., a plastic shell) and a second layer (e.g., fabric covered foam) with a hook and loop attachment or some other way of attaching the two layers. The apparatus is the first available configured to slide and rotate in any direction on a flat floor surface (e.g., carpet or hardwood/or tile or other floor covering).
In another embodiment, an apparatus for improving mobility of a user is provided. The apparatus includes a concave body with a first layer and a second layer and at least one protruding portion. The first layer is a soft/cushioned upper surface and the second layer is a hard lower surface. The at least one protruding portion slopes upward to better support the baby'"'"'s head and help prevent injury if the head flops down. The apparatus is configured to slide on a floor surface.
In another embodiment, a method for improving mobility of a user is provided. The method includes positioning the user on the body portion of a mobility apparatus and moving the apparatus on the floor surface.
The above, as well as additional, features will be better understood through the following illustrative and non-limiting detailed description of example embodiments, with reference to the appended drawings.
FIG. if illustrates an exploded view of an apparatus according to an example embodiment.
All the figures are schematic, not necessarily to scale, and generally only show parts which are necessary to elucidate example embodiments, wherein other parts may be omitted or merely suggested.
Example embodiments will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings. That which is encompassed by the claims may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided by way of example. Furthermore, like numbers refer to the same or similar elements or components throughout.
Reference is first made to
The apparatus 100 may comprise at least a first layer 102 and a second layer 104 of the body portion 106. The first layer 102 may be a deformable foam or gel layer to cushion the person using the apparatus 100. The first layer may be an upper surface of the body 106 and may comprise a memory-foam like material to conform to the body of the user. The second layer 104 may be a hard, smooth material and configured to slide easily on a floor surface, for example, carpet or hard wood floors. The second layer 102 may be a lower surface of the body 106. The first layer 102 may be thicker than second layer 104.
A cover 103 may cover the first layer 102. The cover 103 may be removable and machine washable. In other embodiments, the cover 103 may be sewn around the first layer 102. In some embodiments, the cover 103 may comprise polyester or other fabric. In an example embodiment, the cover 103 may surround the first layer 102 like a slipcover or a pillowcase, such that the cover 103 can be removed and washed or replaced. In some embodiments, the cover 103 may be attached to the first layer 102 with a hook and loop fastener.
Materials used for the apparatus 100 need to be approved by the government for use by children and need to be subjected to safety testing. The materials should be non-toxic if licked, chewed, or ingested. The materials may also be hypoallergenic so as to not irritate the skin of the user. For example, the first layer 102 may comprise solid open-cellular foam, such as polyurethane foam with a density of between about 0.01 g/cm3 and 0.1 g/cm3. Other foams known in the art may also be used. The second layer 104 may comprise a thermoplastic, for example, an ethylene-hexene copolymer such as high density polyethylene with a density of about 0.95 g/cm3. Other polymers known in the art may also be used. All of the materials may be washable and/or water repellant.
In an example embodiment, the first layer 102 and the second layer 104 may be attached with at least one hook and loop fastener. In some embodiments, more than one hook and loop fasteners or other types of fasteners may be used. In an example embodiment, the fabric cover for the first layer may include at least a first hook and loop fastener portion (not shown) and the second layer 104 may include at least a second hook and loop fastener portion 116, as illustrated in
In an example embodiment, the apparatus 100 may be the shape of a turtle, as shown in
In other embodiments, the apparatus may be an oval-shaped apparatus 200, as shown in
The mobility apparatus may be of any size needed. For example, it may be sized to fit a baby or small child. In other embodiments, it may be sized to fit a larger child or an adult. As shown in
As shown in
The present disclosure also provides a method for improving mobility of a user. The method may include positioning the user on the body portion of the apparatus shown in any of
In operation, a user uses the mobility apparatus to assist that user in moving around, developing core, neck, back, leg and arm muscle strength and developing coordination. The user'"'"'s stomach is placed on the body portion of the apparatus and the user'"'"'s head is placed on the protruding portion of the apparatus. In certain examples, the user is able to slide in a multidirectional manner on a floor surface including carpet, hardwood, tile or other floor covering.
While some embodiments have been illustrated and described in detail in the appended drawings and the foregoing description, such illustration and description are to be considered illustrative and not restrictive. Other variations to the disclosed embodiments can be understood and effected in practicing the claims, from a study of the drawings, the disclosure, and the appended claims. The mere fact that certain measures or features are recited in mutually different dependent claims does not indicate that a combination of these measures or features cannot be used. Any reference signs in the claims should not be construed as limiting the scope.