Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
TOILET SEAT ASSEMBLY FOR ADULTS AND CHILDREN
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1996/035364
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A toilet seat assembly (10) having a pivotal toilet seat (12) and a pivotal toilet seat insert (30) to overlie rear and side portions of the opening thereof to facilitate safe and effective use by children. A seat insert body (32) defines an outer peripheral recess and a support shoulder for supported and positioned engagement with the inner peripheral portion of the toilet seat. The pivotal connection of the seat insert is separable when the seat insert is at a predetermined angle between its seated and upstanding positions. The tail piece (38) and pivot connections of the seat insert provide a stop to position the seat insert at an over-center position when upstanding to prevent contact of the seat insert with the seat cover of the toilet seat assembly. The forward side edge portions of the seat insert body define outwardly facing angulated surfaces (58, 60) which locate the frontal contact points of the insert and the conventional toilet seat to minimize the possibility of pinching the child during use. The seat insert body forms outer peripheral channels (84) to conduct accidentally spilled liquid between the seat insert body and the conventional toilet seat so that it will drain into the toilet.

More Like This:
Inventors:
EVANS, Hank, A.
Application Number:
PCT/US1996/002472
Publication Date:
November 14, 1996
Filing Date:
February 22, 1996
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
EVANS, Hank, A.
International Classes:
A47K13/06; (IPC1-7): A47K13/06
Foreign References:
US2221991A
US2333732A
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS;
1. An ergonomic toilet seat assembly for mounting on a toilet fixture and for use by adults and children, comprising: (a) a toilet seat of a dimension for use by adults and defining a central opening; (b) a child's toilet seat insert having interfitting supported engagement with said toilet seat and adapting said toilet seat for use by children by covering rear and side portions of said central opening; and (c) pivot means for supporting said child's toilet seat insert in pivotal relation with said toilet seat for pivotal movement thereof between a seated position in engagement with said toilet seat and an upstanding out of the way position to permit use of said toilet seat by adults; and (d) pivot release means permitting assembly of said toilet seat insert to said pivot means and permitting separation of said toilet seat insert from said pivot means by movement of said toilet seat insert in a direction transverse to said pivot means.
2. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 1, wherein said pivot release means comprising: means permitting assembly of said toilet seat insert to said pivot means and permitting separation of said toilet seat insert from said pivot means at a predetermined angular position of said toilet seat insert from said seated position to said upstanding position.
3. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 2, wherein: said predetermined angular position being at a location intermediate said seated position and said upstanding position of said toilet seat insert.
4. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 1, wherein said pivot release means comprising: (a) first pivot means defining pivot pin means having a defined external dimension and having pivot access means of less external dimension than said defined external dimension; and (b) second pivot means having pivot opening means of a dimension for pivotal relation with said defined external dimension of said first pivot means and further defining pivot access opening means intersecting said pivot opening means and having an internal dimension less than said defined external dimension and of a dimension permitting movement of said pivot access means through said pivot access opening means to and from said pivot opening means.
5. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 4, wherein: (a) said first pivot means adapted for fixed relation with one of said toilet seat and said toilet seat insert; and (b) said second pivot means adapted for fixed relation with the other of said toilet seat and said toilet seat insert.
6. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 4, wherein: (a) said first pivot means being adapted for fixed relation with one of a toilet fixture and said toilet seat insert; and (b) said second pivot means being adapted for fixed relation with the other of said toilet fixture and said toilet seat insert.
7. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 4, wherein: (a) said pivot access means comprising outwardly facing surface means being defined by said pivot pin means; and (b) said pivot access opening means comprising internal surface means being defined by said second pivot means and extending from said pivot opening means to the exterior of said second pivot means.
8. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 4, wherein: (a) said pivot access means comprising opposed outwardly facing parallel flat surfaces being defined by said pivot pin means; and (b) said pivot access opening means comprising opposed spaced internal parallel flat surfaces being defined by said second pivot means.
9. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 8, wherein: one of said opposed outwardly facing parallel flat surfaces and said opposed spaced internal parallel flat surfaces being angularly oriented with respect to said seated and upstanding positions of said toilet seat insert to permit assembly and separation of said toilet seat insert relative to said toilet seat only when oriented in predetermined angular position relative to said seated and upstanding positions.
10. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 1, wherein said pivot release means comprising: (a) first pivot means for mounting in fixed relation with a toilet fixture and defining pivot pin means having a defined diameter, said first pivot means further having pivot access means of less external dimension than said defined diameter; and (b) second pivot means being provided on said toilet seat insert and having pivot opening means of a dimension for close fitting pivotal relation with said defined diameter of said first pivot means, said second pivot means further defining pivot access opening means intersecting said pivot opening means and having a dimension less than said defined diameter and of a dimension permitting movement of said pivot access section therethrough to and from said pivot opening means.
11. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 1, further comprising: means positioning said toilet seat insert at an overcenter position relative to said pivot means when said toilet seat insert is located at said upstanding position thereof.
12. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 11, wherein said positioning means comprising: stop means being defined by said toilet seat insert and being disposed for stopping engagement with the toilet fixture at said upstanding overcenter position thereof.
13. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 1, wherein said toilet seat insert comprises: (a) a seat insert body of a configuration for seating on said toilet seat at a location adjacent said central opening; and (b) a tail piece projecting rearwardly from said seat insert body and having one of said first and second pivot means thereon.
14. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 13, further comprising: pivot connection means projecting from said tail piece and defining stop means, said pivot connection means having one of said first and second pivot means thereon, at said upstanding position of said toilet seat insert said stop means engaging one of said toilet fixture and toilet seat and preventing pivotal movement thereof past said upstanding position.
15. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 1, wherein: said toilet seat insert defining a plurality of drain channels for channeling liquid from said toilet seat to said central opening.
16. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 1, wherein said toilet seat insert comprising: (a) a seat insert body having an outer peripheral support flange for engagement with said toilet seat about said central opening and defining an outwardly facing shoulder for location within said central opening and limiting lateral movement of said toilet seat insert relative to said toilet seat, said seat insert body further defining spaced forwardly projecting side sections and a curved forward edge extending to said forwardly projecting side sections, said seat insert body further defining outwardly facing rearwardly diverging angulated side surfaces on said forwardly projecting side sections, said angulated side surfaces in said seated position of said toilet seat insert having inner ends overlying said central opening and outer ends overlying a portion of said toilet seat; and (b) tail piece means projecting rearwardly from said seat insert body and having one of said first and second pivot means thereon.
17. An ergonomic toilet seat assembly for use by adults and children, comprising: (a) a toilet seat for pivotal assembly with a toilet fixture and being of a dimension for use by adults and defining a central opening; (b) a child's toilet seat insert having interfitting relation with said toilet seat and adapting said toilet seat for use by children; and (c) pivot means for supporting said child's toilet seat insert in pivotal relation with said toilet seat and defining a pivot axis, said child's toilet seat being separable from said second pivot means by movement thereof in a direction transverse to said pivot axis; and (d) pivot release means permitting assembly of said toilet seat insert to said pivot means and permitting separation of said toilet seat insert from said pivot means at a predetermined angular position of said toilet seat insert from said seated position to said upstanding position and comprising: (1) first pivot means defining pivot pin means having a defined external dimension and having pivot access means of less external dimension than said defined external dimension; and (2) second pivot means having pivot opening means of a dimension for pivotal relation with said defined external dimension of said first pivot means and further defining pivot access opening means intersecting said pivot opening means and having an internal dimension less than said defined external dimension and of a dimension permitting movement of said pivot access means through said pivot access opening means to and from said pivot opening means.
18. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 17, wherein: (a) said pivot access means comprising outwardly facing surface means being defined by said pivot pin means; and (b) said pivot access opening means comprising internal surface means being defined by said second pivot means and extending from said pivot opening means to the exterior of said second pivot means.
19. The ergonomic toilet seat assembly of claim 17, wherein: (a) said pivot access means comprising opposed outwardly facing parallel flat surfaces being defined by said pivot pin means; and (b) said pivot access opening means comprising opposed spaced internal parallel flat surfaces being defined by said second pivot means; and (c) one of said opposed outwardly facing parallel flat surfaces and said opposed spaced internal parallel flat surfaces being angularly oriented with respect to said seated and upstanding positions of said toilet seat insert to permit assembly and separation of said toilet seat insert relative to said toilet seat only when oriented in predetermined angular position relative to said seated and upstanding positions.
Description:
Toilet Seat assembly for Adults and Children

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to toilet seat assemblies including the seats and covers thereof that are typically assembled to ceramic toilets for use in the domestic or commercial environment. More particularly, the present invention is directed to an ergonomic toilet seat assembly of an adult size and conventional configuration and which incorporates a child's seat insert that is designed for pivotal assembly with conventional toilet seat to selectively restrict the effective dimension of the opening thereof to facilitate use of the toilet by adults and to permit safe and effective use by children of a wide range of ages. This invention is also directed to a child's toilet seat insert which may be pivotally moved to a position facilitating use of the conventional toilet seat by adults or may be separated from the toilet seat assembly for cleaning, for more efficient use of the toilet by adults or for any other purpose, without necessitating the use of any tools for its removal.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In most cases domestic and commercial bath facilities utilize toiletry apparatus that is designed particularly for use by adults. Children are often injured in attempting to utilize toilet seat apparatus that is much too large for them. Additionally, the large size of conventional toilet seat apparatus makes it difficult for children to maintain effective sanitary conditions through use thereof because of the difficulty of positioning themselves with relation to the toilet seat and to utilize toilet paper for proper hygienic cleaning. Accordingly, it is considered desirable to provide toilet seat assemblies of conventional design with pivotally movable inserts that permit toilets that are designed for use by adults to be effectively utilized by both adults and children. A number of toilet seat inserts have been developed in the past, but for the most part these are of fairly complex and expensive nature. It is desirable to provide a toilet seat insert that provides for effective and reliable use of toilet seat assemblies by children and yet which may be obtained at reasonably low cost.

Removable toilet seat inserts have been provided to enable the safe and effective use of standard sized toilets by children. Some of these child's toilet seat inserts or adapters simply rest on the toilet seat and provide a toilet seat that is designed particularly for use by children. These removable seat insert devices are typically formed of molded polymer material and are seldom sufficiently durable for effective use over a long period of time. Moreover, many removable children's toilet seats are not particularly stable when in assembly with a conventional toilet seat and thus can move forwardly, backwardly and laterally to some degree when being used by a child. This

factor causes many children's toilet seats to be susceptible to pinching the child as the apparatus is used. It is therefore desirable to provide a child's toilet seat assembly that minimizes the possibility of pinching a child during its use. It is also desirable to provide toilet inserts that ensure against contamination of toilet seat covers under circumstances where the inserts may have become soiled through use thereof by a child. It is further desirable to provide a pivotally retained child's toilet seat insert that is capable of being easily assembled to or separated from its pivotal relation with a toilet seat assembly without necessitating the use of tools or special equipment to thus provide for ease of cleaning and to provide for simple and efficient temporary conversion of a conventional toilet seat for use by children. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is a principle feature of the present invention to provide a novel child' s toilet seat insert that may be placed in pivotal assembly with a conventional adult sized toilet seats and which may permit selective, safe and effective use of the toilet by both adults and children.

It is another important feature of this invention to provide a novel child' s toilet seat insert that is designed to position contact areas between the seat insert and the conventional toilet seat so as to be relatively inaccessible by the skin tissues of a child to thus minimize the possibility of pinching the child during use.

It is another feature of this invention to address and correct the design deficiencies contained in domestic and commercial toilet seats that inherently create the problems for this segment of the general population.

In addition, it is a feature of this invention to correct the ergonomic design deficiencies of toilet seat assemblies.

It is an even further feature of this invention to provide a novel toilet insert that is adapted to be pivotally connected to the hinge assembly of a conventional toilet seat and which is capable of being independently pivoted to a lowered position where it is supported for use by the toilet seat or independently pivoted to an upstanding position to permit unobstructed use of the toilet by adults. It is an even further feature of this invention to provide a novel child's seat insert for hinged assembly with a conventional toilet seat and which can be effectively installed or removed from its hinged assembly without necessitating the use of tools or special equipment. It is also a feature of this invention to provide a novel child's toilet seat insert having positioning control that limits pivotal movement of the seat insert to a position preventing contact between the toilet seat insert and the cover of the conventional toilet seat to thus maintain the sanitary condition of the conventional toilet seat assembly.

These and other features of the present invention are effectively realized according to the teachings hereof through the provision of a child's toilet seat insert having a seat insert body defining one or more downwardly and sidewardly facing under-side channels or recesses that define a peripheral shoulder for establishing supported and positioning engagement of the insert with the inner peripheral portion of a conventional toilet seat, whether of the oval domestic variety or of the split commercial variety. The seat insert body is designed for interfitting relation with the configuration of the toilet seat by which it is supported. The insert also defines a downwardly facing peripheral shoulder and a rounded peripheral edge about the side and rear portions thereof which effectively locate the contact area between the downwardly facing peripheral shoulder and the inner peripheral surface area of the toilet seat so that it is unlikely that the skin tissue of a child seated on the toilet can reach the contact area and become pinched. The seat insert is also provided with an elongate web or tail piece having hinge connection elements at the free extremity thereof which are adapted to be received by the conventional hinge assembly of the toilet seat or which establish pivotal connection of the seat insert with other suitable structure of the toilet or toilet seat. Thus, the seat insert of the present invention may be effectively utilized with most conventional toilet seat assemblies of both the domestic and commercial variety. The seat insert is also provided with hinges on the tail piece which, in addition to providing for pivotal raising and lowering of the insert, define hinge openings or receptacles that provide a "lift off" capability, allowing the insert to be installed in assembly with or removed from the toilet seat assembly by simple manual movement of the insert. For this purpose the pivot connection portion of the insert defines spaced flat surfaces at each pivot opening which, when positioned in registry with corresponding spaced flat surfaces of the hinge pins, permit the seat insert to be positioned in pivotal assembly with the hinge pins or removed from the hinge pins. The spaced flat surfaces of the hinge pins and the hinge openings are preferably oriented so that seat insert assembly to or removal from hinged assembly with the toilet seat can occur only at an intermediate pivotal position of the toilet seat insert. At its lowered or upstanding positions the seat insert will be retained in assembly with the hinge pins so that inadvertent separation of the seat insert from the hinge pins cannot occur. This "lift-off 1 hinge arrangement permits the toilet seat insert to be manually installed or removed without necessitating the use of tools or special equipment. The child's toilet seat insert can be efficiently removed from the toilet assembly for cleaning or to permit unobstructed use of the toilet by adults. The child's toilet seat insert may be assembled to the toilet seat at the time its use by a child is needed. At other times it may be stored in a cabinet adjacent the toilet or at any other suitable place of storage.

To minimize the possibility of pinching during use by children, the seat insert body defines

forwardly extending portions on each side thereof having rearwardly and outwardly inclined outwardly facing surfaces which locate the forward most contact area between the seat insert and the conventional toilet seat rearwardly of the forward most part of the seat insert, which is identified herein as rearwardly recessed contact. This feature effectively minimizes the possibility that the skin tissues of the child, in engagement with the forward most part of the insert, can become located between the toilet seat and seat insert at the rearwardly recessed contact area and thus a child seated thereon is protected from becoming pinched during use of the device. The peripheral edges of the seat insert are rounded so that the contact area between the insert and the toilet seat at the sides and rear of the seat insert will also have an inwardly recessed location so that it will be unlikely that the child can be pinched between the toilet seat and seat insert at the side and rear portions of the seat insert.

The seat insert structure may be provided with a position locator such that at its maximum rearward position the main body portion of the seat insert will be disposed in spaced relation with a conventional toilet seat cover, thus preventing the toilet seat cover from becoming soiled or otherwise contaminated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS So that the manner in which the above recited features, advantages and objects of the present invention are attained and can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to the embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings.

It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

In the Drawings

Fig. 1 is a plan view of a toilet seat assembly including a conventional toilet seat and toilet seat cover and with a child's toilet seat insert constructed in accordance with the present invention and representing the preferred embodiment being disposed in pivotal assembly therewith. Fig. 2 is a bottom view of the child's toilet seat insert of Fig. 1. Fig. 3 is a side elevational view of the child's toilet seat insert of Figs. 1 and 2.

Fig. 4 is a front elevational view of the child's toilet seat insert of Figs. 1-3. Fig. 5 is a plan view of one of the hinge fittings for the toilet seat insert of Fig. 1. Fig. 6 is a partial exploded illustration of the toilet seat insert of Figs. 1-4, showing the pivot

pin in section and showing the intermediate pivotal position of the seat insert for assembly and disassembly thereof relative to the seat insert pivot.

Fig. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 7-7 of Fig. 1 and showing the seated relation of the seat insert relative to the toilet seat. Fig. 8 is a sectional view taken along line 8-8 of Fig. 7.

Fig. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view of the toilet seat assembly of Figs. 1-4 illustrating the interfitting supported relation between the inner peripheral portion of a conventional toilet seat and the outer peripheral portion of the toilet seat insert.

Fig. 10 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to that of Fig. 9, illustrating one of the drain channels of the toilet seat insert for drainage of liquid between the conventional toilet seat and the toilet seat insert.

Fig. 11 is a partial isometric illustration of the conventional toilet seat and toilet seat insert illustrating the relieved forward portion of the toilet seat insert which minimizes the possibility of pinching. Fig. 12 is a plan view of a toilet seat assembly including a conventional toilet seat and toilet seat cover and with a child's toilet seat insert constructed in accordance with the present invention and representing an alternative embodiment being disposed in pivotal assembly therewith.

Fig. 13 is a side elevational view of the child's toilet seat insert of Fig.12 shown in full line and being shown in the upstanding and stopped position thereof in broken line. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings and first to Fig. 1, there is shown a conventional toilet seat assembly generally at 10 incorporating a toilet seat 12 and a toilet seat cover 14 that are assembled by means of a hinge assembly illustrated generally at 16. The hinge assembly, though providing for pivotal support of a conventional toilet seat and seat cover assembly on a conventional toilet, is also adapted for pivotal support of a removable child's toilet seat insert as will be discussed hereinbelow. In one typical toilet seat arrangement, hinge fittings 18 and 20 shown in detail in Figs. 5 and 6 are secured by screws, bolts 22 or by any other appropriate means to a conventional toilet 24, a part of which is shown at 24 in Fig. 5, and which may provide pivotal support for both the toilet seat and the seat cover. As shown in Fig. 6, each of the hinge fittings define a hinge projection 26 having a horizontally oriented hinge pin 28 that extends through registering pivot openings of respective hinge pin receptacles of the toilet seat and seat cover, thus permitting the toilet seat 12 and the toilet seat cover 14 to be disposed in hinged assembly with the toilet 24. As mentioned above, to adapt the toilet seat assembly for use by children, it is desirable to provide means for covering a rear portion

of the toilet seat opening to define a smaller toilet opening that is suitable for children and to provide a seating surface that provides for safe and effective sanitary use of the toilet by children. For this purpose a removable child's toilet seat insert is provided, as shown generally at 30, which interfit.. with the conventional toilet seat and iriinirriizes the possibility of a child user being pinched during use of the toilet seat apparatus. It is further desirable to insure effective channeling of accidentally spilled liquid from the toilet seat apparatus and into the toilet and to minimize the possibility of contømination of the toilet seat cover as child's toilet seat insert is pivotally moved out of the way to permit use of the toilet seat by an adult. It is also desirable to provide a child's toilet seat insert that can be quickly and easily assembled to or disassembled from its pivotal relation with the toilet seat assembly without necessitating the use of tools or special equipment. The toilet seat insert device 30 will accomplish all of the features that are set forth above. The seat insert is positionable in supported and stabilized relation with a conventional toilet seat as shown in Fig. 1, to overlie a portion of the conventional toilet seat opening 32 and is selectively positionable at a raised or upstanding position to permit effective use of the conventional toilet seat 12 by adults. The toilet seat insert 30 is adapted for efficient use with most toilet seats whether the upper surface thereof be rounded or substantially flat and inclined or tapered because the insert establishes supported engagement only with the inner peripheral surface portion of the toilet seat. The toilet seat insert 30 is defined by an insert body 32 having a configuration for substantially closing the rear portion of the toilet seat opening 30 and defining a smoothly curved front edge 34 having a configuration that cooperates with the configuration of the forward part of the toilet seat opening and results in a seat and seat opening configuration of ergonomic design that is suitable for use by children of a wide age range. The seat insert also cooperates with the configuration of the toilet seat to provide for effective stabilization of a child seated on the toilet seat and seat insert assembly. Although the upper surface of the insert body 32 may be of substantially planar configuration throughout most of its front to rear width, it may take other suitable forms, such as a gently curved or contoured configuration, for example, to provide for the comfort of the child during use. Further, although the front edge 34 is shown to be of arcuate configuration defining a rather large radius of curvature, it may take other suitable forms to provide for stability of the child user without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Additionally, the insert body 30 may be tapered from a thick dimension at its rear portion 36 to a less thick dimension at the front edge 34. This feature enhances the ability of the children to properly position themselves with respect to the small dimension of the remaining part of the seat opening 32.

To provide for pivotal connection of the toilet seat insert 30 to the hinge assembly of the toilet

seat, an integral connection web or tail piece 38 projects rearwardly from the seat insert body 30 and defines a pair of spaced hinge projections 40 and 42 that define hinge connections 44 and 46 respectively. The hinge connections define hinge openings such as shown at 48 in Fig. 6, which are adapted to receive the aligned hinge pins 28 of the respective hinge fittings so as to render the toilet seat insert 30 pivotal about the hinge pins. The web or tail piece will overlie the rear portion of the toilet seat and may be of a straight or curved configuration as the case may be, conforming to the configuration of the upper surface of the toilet seat with which it is to be used. This feature permits the toilet seat insert to be positioned as shown in Fig. 1 for effective use by children, or to be pivoted upwardly and out of the way for use of the toilet seat by adults. It is to be noted that the scope of this invention is not intended to be limited by the particular hinge construction that is employed for pivotal support of the child's toilet seat insert. Any suitable hinge structure may be employed to support and position the toilet seat insert, whether the hinge be a part of the conventional toilet seat assembly or whether it be specific to establish pivotal connection of the toilet seat insert to other structure of the toilet. For example, the toilet seat insert may be pivotally supported and positioned by a hinge assembly separate from the hinge assembly of the toilet seat. In the alternative, the toilet seat insert may be free from any structural connection with the toilet assembly and may be supported and positioned merely by its structurally interfitting relation with the toilet seat.

It is desirable to provide a child's toilet seat insert that, in addition to being pivotal to upstanding and vertical positions independently of the toilet seat, is also capable of being manually installed in pivotal assembly with the toilet seat or removed from pivotal assembly with the toilet seat without necessitating the use of tools or special equipment. Accordingly the seat insert is capable of being manually installed or removed when it is suitably positioned relative to its range of pivotal movement. As shown particularly in Figs. 5 and 6, the pivot pins 28 of the hinge fittings 18 and 20 define access means comprising a pin segment having parallel flat surfaces 50 and 52 which are spaced apart by a distance less than the diameter of the hinge pins. These parallel flat surfaces may be oriented at any suitable angle with respect to the vertical and horizontal. As shown particularly in Fig. 5, the parallel flat surfaces are oriented at an intermediate angular position between the horizontal and vertical, for example, an angle of about 45 degrees. The hinge or pivot connections 44 and 46 each define access opening means comprising circular hinge openings 48 having a diameter sufficient to receive the large dimension of the hinge pins in close fitting pivotal relation therein. The hinge connections 44 and 46 further define opposed spaced internal parallel flat surfaces 54 and 56 which are spaced less than the diameter of the respective circular pivot opening, but spaced

sufficiently to receive the flat surfaces 50 and 52 therebetween when the flat surfaces are in angular registry. To achieve angular registry of the flat surfaces of the hinge pins and the hinge connections of the seat insert as shown in Fig. 5, the seat insert is pivoted to its predetermined intermediate angular position, i.e., substantially 45 degrees. At this angular seat insert position the seat insert 30 may be moved toward the hinge pins for pivotal installation or away from the hinge pins for separation of the hinge connections from the hinge pins. At all angular positions of the flat surfaces of the hinge connections other than the predetermined intermediate positions the spaced flat surfaces 54 and 56 of the hinge connections will not pass over the pivot pin diameter and thus the seat insert cannot be separated from its pivotal relation with the pivot pins. Thus, such as for the purpose of cleaning, the seat insert is simply rotated about its hinge connection until the angular orientation of the spaced flat surfaces 54 and 56 are in angular registry with the flat surfaces 50 and 52 of the hinge pins. When this pivotal position has been achieved the seat insert is simply moved in a direction away from the hinge pins for its removal. It may then be cleaned without any risk of contaminating the seat assembly of the toilet. It is not intended that the approximately 45 degree angular orientation of the flat hinge pin surfaces be considered to limit the present invention. If desired, any other angular orientation of the flat surfaces of the hinge pins are desired, such may be accomplished within the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, if the flat hinge pin surfaces are oriented vertically then the seat insert is simply moved vertically for its manual installation and removal relative to the hinge pins. It should be noted with respect to Fig. 13 in comparison with Fig. 6, that the configuration of the tail piece and the configuration of the pivot arrangement will control the manner by which manual assembly and removal of the seat insert can occur. For example, the pivot fitting for assembly with the toilet may define a pivot opening may having a pivot slot. In this case the pivot connectors of the seat insert may define a corresponding pivot pin arrangement having opposed, spaced flat surfaces that are oriented with the slot to permit assembly and disassembly of the seat insert with the toilet and toilet seat assembly.

It is desirable to provide a toilet seat insert of the character described and which also insures against the possibility of pinching when used by a child. Accordingly, the toilet seat insert 30 is of a particular design that locates the forward most contact areas of the insert to the conventional toilet seat so as to be substantially inaccessible by body tissues of the user. Thus, when a child is seated on the insert and toilet seat the body tissues of the child, even when the child moves about thereon, will not ordinarily be capable of reaching the contact area between the seat and seat insert and thus will not become pinched between the toilet seat and seat insert. According to the teachings of this invention, as shown particularly in Figs. 1 and 2, the front, side portions of the seat insert 30 are

angulated so as to provide opposed rearwardly and outwardly inclined side surfaces 58 and 60 that are disposed in rearwardly diverging relation and which establish a smooth radius of curvature as shown in 62 and 64 at the juncture thereof with curved side edges 66 and 68 of the insert. This feature is also illustrated by way of the partial isometric view of Fig. 11. By angulating the side surfaces 58 and 60 in this manner the initial forward most contact point 70 between the seat insert 40 and the upper surface of the toilet seat 12 as shown in Fig. 11 will be at a recessed or protected legation by virtue of being located rearwardly of the spaced forwardly-extending pointed regions 72 and 74 of the seat insert. Thus the forwardly-extended pointed regions 72 and 74 of the seat insert are located in laterally and inwardly spaced relation with the curved inner edge 76 of the toilet seat. This causes the development of a triangular space or void 78 which makes the initial contact point 70 on each side of the seat insert to be located rearwardly of the point of intersection that would be established if the curvature of forward edge 34 were continued to intersection with the curved edge 76 of the toilet seat. Thus, when a child is seated the child's body will extend from the insert points 72 and 74 to the seat surface 80 in a manner that overlies the triangular space or void 78. Further the thickness of the seat insert at the forward contact points causes the body of the child to extend from the seat insert to the toilet seat surface without reaching the forward contact point 70. Thus the initial contact areas 81, as shown in Fig. 9, are so located that they cannot normally be reached by the body tissues of a child seated on the toilet seat and seat insert. This recessed or protected location of the contact point 70 is cooperatively defined by the intersecting orientation of the rearwardly diverging angulated side surfaces 58 and 60 with the inner curved surface 76 of the toilet seat and the spaced location of the upper surface of the seat insert above the upper surface of the toilet seat which occurs by virtue of the thickness of the seat insert at contact point 70 as is evident from Figs. 9 and 11. As shown in Fig. 1 elongate narrow contact areas are established at each of the sides of the seat insert with respect to the toilet seat surface 80 adjacent the curved inner edge surface 76 of the toilet seat. The recessed or protected location of the forward contact points 70 is also ensured by the structural relationship of the curved side edges 66 and 68 and the downwardly facing support shoulder 82 with the upper surface 80 of the toilet seat. Additionally, the curved side edges are rounded as is evident from Figs. 9-11 so that the contact areas of these curved edges, with the toilet seat insert in supported engagement with the toilet seat, are recessed or set back, as shown at 81 from the rounded edges 66 and cannot normally be reached by the body tissues of the child user. These structural relationships help to minimize the possibility that the body tissues of a seated child can become located between the toilet seat and seat insert at the point or area of contact thereof. In essence, therefore, the relationship of the angulated surfaces 58 and 60 with the inner curved surface

76 of the seat 12 locates the initial contact area 70 of the support shoulder 82 with the seat surface 80 at a recessed and substantially inaccessible location. Because of this recessed location of the initial contact points it is unlikely that the body tissues of the child can become located between the seat and seat insert at these contact points and thus it is unlikely that a child can become pinched during use of the toilet seat insert.

It is desirable that the seat insert body 30 establish support and positioning with respect to the toilet seat 12 such that it is substantially immovable with respect to the toilet seat when in its lowered position as shown in Fig. 1. To accomplish this feature, side and rear edge portions of the seat insert 30 define a downwardly directed support shoulder 82 to establish supported engagement with the upper surface of the toilet seat 12 immediately about the curved inner surface 76 thereof and to define an outwardly directed locator surface or shoulder 83 that is adapted to be received in movement restraining relation with the inner curved surface 76 that defines the toilet seat opening 32 so that only mixiiinal movement of the seat insert is allowed relative to the seat. The shoulder surface 82, when properly positioned relative to the inner curved surface 76 of the toilet seat, may be slightly spaced therefrom as shown in Fig. 9. The shoulder surface 83 will contact the curved surface 76 of the toilet seat upon minimal lateral shifting of the insert. Thus the shoulder surface 83 minimizes lateral shifting of the seat insert 30 with respect to the toilet seat 12 to insure lateral stability of the toilet seat insert when in supported engagement with the toilet seat. Though slight lateral movement of the toilet seat insert relative to the toilet seat is permissible, the shoulder surfaces 83 will contact the inner surface of the toilet seat to minirnize the amount of actual movement of the insert. The wide spacing of the pivot connectors 44 and 46 also provide a restraining capability against lateral shifting of the seat insert relative to the toilet seat. The support surface 82 establishes efficient and stable support with the upper surface of the toilet seat 12 to further insure the stability of the insert with respect to the toilet seat. Additionally, the tail piece 38, being rather wide, provides the seat insert with efficient structural integrity and also assists in minimizing lateral shifting of the seat insert when it is in supported engagement with the toilet seat.

As mentioned above, it is desirable to provide for channeling of accidentally spilled liquid between the toilet seat and toilet seat insert and through the toilet seat opening into the toilet. This feature is accomplished by providing the insert with drainage channels 84 as shown by the bottom view of Fig. 2 and as shown by the partial sectional view of Fig. 10. The bottom view ofFig.

2 illustrates curved side recesses 85 and 86 that are defined by the shoulder surface 82 and the outwardly facing shoulder 83. The seat insert 30 defines a plurality of transversely oriented drain channels 84 that are located in spaced relation about the side and rear curvature of the seat insert.

One of these transversely oriented liquid drain channels is illustrated in the fragmentary sectional view of Fig. 10. In the event liquid is accidentally spilled on the upper surface 80 of the toilet seat 12, it is typically directed toward the opening 32 of the toilet seat by the slope or curvature of the upper toilet seat surface. The drain channels 84 permit this accidentally spilled liquid to flow between the seat insert and the toilet seat and through the toilet seat opening 32 into the toilet for disposal. This feature minimizes soiling of the toilet seat and enhances the sanitary condition of the toilet. In the event the seat insert should become soiled so that its cleaning is necessary, a person will simply pivot the seat insert to its intermediate or other installation and removal angle and withdraw it from its pivotal connection as discussed above. After having been cleaned the seat insert can be reinstalled to its pivotal connection by orienting it to its installation angle and then positioning the pivot connections thereof onto the pivot pins or into the pivot openings as the case may be.

In view of the fact that the toilet seat insert is intended to be utilized by children of all ages, especially those that are being "potty trained" it is likely that the toilet seat insert will become soiled from time to time. As mentioned above, it is desirable that the cover for the conventional toilet seat be protected against accidental soiling. According to the scope of the present invention, this feature is effectively realized by providing a toilet seat insert shown generally at 92 defining stop means for engagement with the toilet seat cover or with the ceramic toilet and which limits rearward pivoting of the toilet seat insert so that the seat insert cannot come into contact with the toilet seat cover when the toilet seat insert is at its raised position. One suitable embodiment for accomplishing this feature may conveniently take the form of a pivoted seat assembly shown generally at 90 in Fig. 12 having a toilet seat insert shown generally at 92 having an insert body 94 that may be of essentially the same general ergonomic configuration as compared with the seat body of Figs. 1 and 2. From the seat body 94 extends an integral elongate connection web or tail piece 96 located at the free extremity thereof which is angulated upwardly and rearwardly from the insert body 94 and having pivot connection means 98 which is oriented in downwardly and forwardly inclined relation with the free extremity 100 of the tail piece 96 . At the raised position of the insert 92 the free end 100 of the tail piece will contact the upper surface 102 of the toilet fixture 104 thereby providing a stop function to limit rearward pivoting of the insert. At its raised and stopped position as shown in broken line in Fig. 13, the tail piece 96 will prevent contact of the toilet seat insert with the inner surface of the toilet seat cover. This feature effectively prevents soiling of the toilet seat cover in the event the toilet seat insert should be pivoted upwardly to its upstanding position after having been soiled.

In view of the foregoing, it is evident that the present invention is one well adapted to attain all of the objects and features hereinabove set forth, together with other objects and features which

are inherent in the apparatus disclosed herein.

With the same spirit that drives the science of ergonomics to seek and adapt work or working conditions to suit the worker this invention provides a toilet seat assembly that is ergonomically designed so as to address not only the issues of effective use by people of all ages but to facilitate safe and effective use of toilet seat assemblies by a wide range of the population, including adults and children of a wide age range.

As will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, the present invention may be produced in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The present embodiment, is therefore, to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the claims rather than the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of the equivalence of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.