Patent application title: Fun Bath Splash Guard
Vincent Spingola (Palm Coast, FL, US)
Sharon Debaene (Palm Coast, FL, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47K300FI
Class name: Baths, closets, sinks, and spittoons tubs convenience accessories
Publication date: 2011-10-27
Patent application number: 20110258768
A child safe bathtub splash guard is provided for preventing a bathing
child from splashing water out onto a bathroom floor where it can create
a dangerously slick surface. The splash guard has a wall portion for
deflecting water that is connected to a horizontal supporting shelf. The
shelf is adapted to accommodate children's toys, and has a textured
surface to create better grip on wet toys. Attached to the horizontal
shelf and opposing the wall member is an overhanging lip that extends
down the inner wall of the tub to direct water back into the bathtub. The
splash guard is constructed of a semi-rigid material such as rubber and
may be decorated with a variety of themes.
1) A bathtub splash guard for preventing water from leaving a bathtub
while a child is bathing, comprising: a vertical wall member with an
upper and lower edge, and extending along a bathtub rim; a horizontal
supporting shelf member attached to said wall member lower edge and
extending perpendicularly therefrom; an overhanging lip portion attached
to said horizontal supporting shelf member along a side opposite said
wall member; a plurality of suction cups spaced beneath said horizontal
supporting shelf member.
2) The device of claim 1, wherein said horizontal supporting shelf member is angled downwards from the horizontal to allow water run-off into said bathtub.
3) The device of claim 1, wherein said wall member end terminations are "L-shaped" to fit snuggly against the walls of a shower.
4) The device of claim 1, wherein said horizontal supporting shelf member has a width capable of accommodating items being placed upon its surface.
5) The device of claim 1, wherein said horizontal supporting shelf member has a textured surface.
6) The device of claim 1, wherein said overhanging lip portion is curved away from a bathtub rim.
7) The device of claim 1, wherein said splash guard device is constructed of a semi-rigid material such as rubber or plastic.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/327,114 filed on Apr. 23, 2010, entitled "Fun Bath Splash Guard."
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to bathtub safety devices and more specifically the invention is a water splash guard mountable on a bathtub rim for the purpose of preventing water from spilling out of the bathtub onto the floor where it can create a dangerously slick floor surface.
 As children grow older they become too large to be bathed in a sink or child tub, and too mature to bathe with their parents. The transition to supervised bathing in a bathtub is a natural part of child development. Often children are excited by what they see as an opportunity to play in the bathtub and use the time to splash around in the water or to play with toys. This frolicking can lead to large volumes of water being thrown onto a supervising caregiver or onto the floor. Excess water on a bathroom floor can result in hazardously slick conditions for children and caregivers alike.
 To reduce the risk of injury, as well as the mess caused by water being splashed out of a bathtub, parents or guardians will sometimes close the shower curtain while a child is bathing. This creates a risk of drowning or other injury because the supervising adult is not able to clearly see what a child is doing behind the curtain. A splash guard placed along the edge of a tub can solve this problem by allowing the supervisor to remain in clear sight of a bathing child, while providing an extended deflecting surface for keeping water in a bathtub.
 Some splash guards are permanently mounted to the rim of a bathtub which is inconvenient for adults getting in and out of the shower who must step over the barrier. Other splash guards are mounted on the side walls of the shower and are not adapted to prevent a bathing child who is positioned near the rim of the bathtub from flinging water. Those splash guards that are removably affixable to the rim of a bathtub are constructed of sheets that are made rigid by stretching supporting rods along the length of a bathtub rim. These rods can be dangerous to children who can easily slip and fall while playing in a bathtub, introducing a risk of becoming impaled. None of these splash guards discuss a self supporting splash guard that provides a shelf for children or parents to place items on.
 2. Description of the Prior Art
 The prior art contains a variety of bathtub safety devices for preventing water from splashing onto a bathroom floor. These devices have familiar design and structural elements for the purposes of keeping splashed water from getting out of the bathtub, however they are not adapted for the task of providing a self-supporting semi-rigid barrier nor do they disclose a shelf for holding bath toys.
 Carter, U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2004/023145 discloses a shower splash guard assembly removably affixed to a side wall of a shower by suction cups and having two wall portions to channel water back into the shower
 Solomon, U.S. Pat. No. 5,365,619 discloses a bathtub splash shield that is permanently affixable to a bathtub rim by means of screws. The shield wall is hinged at the base to allow it to be placed in an upright or folded down position.
 Roberts, U.S. Pat. No. 6,341,388 discloses a bathtub splash guard comprising a sheet member having rigid rods spaced along its length; the rigid rods being attached to suction cups that removably affix the guard to a bathtub rim.
 Haq, U.S. Pat. No. 6,701,543 discloses a bathtub splash guard comprising a sheet removably affixed to a tub by magnets or suction cups, the sheet having plastic support members spaced through its length. The splash guard extends out over the rim of the rub at an upward angle to funnel splashed water back into the bathtub.
 Miller, U.S. Pat. No. 7,269,861 discloses a shower splash guard having a wall member extending vertically above the rim of a bathtub; a curved channel member positioned below the inside of the bathtub rim for funneling water down into the shower area; and hooks for securing the splash guard onto the side of a bathtub.
 The devices disclosed by the prior art do not address the need for a semi-rigid wall member that does not contain supporting rod members that pose a risk of serious injury to playing children. The prior art also does not address the need for a shelf attached to the wall member for holding bath toys. The current invention relates to a device for a child-safe bathtub splash guard that prevents water from being splashed onto the floor without the use of hazardous supporting rods. It substantially diverges in design elements from the prior art, consequently it is clear that there is a need in the art for an improvement to the existing bathtub splash guard devices. In this regard the instant invention substantially fulfills these needs.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of bathtub splash guard devices now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new child safe rigid splash guard wherein the same can be utilized for preventing bathing children from splashing water onto the floor and thus making it unsafe to walk on. The child safe bathtub splash guard comprises a wall member for deflecting water; a horizontal supporting shelf member for holding bathtub toys; an overhanging lip for redirecting water back into the tub; and a plurality of suction cups for removably affixing the splash guard to the rim of a bathtub.
 The splash guard device is used by a parent or guardian during the process of bathing a child. The horizontal shelf of the device is positioned along the length of a bathtub and then pressed down by the user to create suction and secure the guard in place. While the child is bathing he or she may splash around and throw water about. The wall of the splash guard deflects water, preventing it from exiting the bathtub. Deflected water then runs down the wall member, across the horizontal shelf member, and down the overhanging lip portion back into the bathtub. Children bathing in a bathtub may place toys along the horizontal shelf and parents or guardians may find it helpful to place soap or bathing products thereupon. To further this use, the horizontal shelf may have a textured surface that creates a stronger grip on items placed on it. The splash guard device may be decorated with a themed design on the inner surface of the wall member, and can be sold with bath toys that match that theme.
 It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved child safe bathtub splash guard device that has all of the advantages of the prior art and none of the disadvantages.
 A further object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved child safe bathtub splash guard device for the purpose of preventing a bathing child from splashing water out of the tub where it can fall on the floor, creating a dangerously slick surface.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved child safe bathtub splash guard device that contains a self supporting wall member having no rods that could injure a bathing child.
 Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved child safe bathtub splash guard device having a shelf suited for holding bathtub toys.
 Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved child safe bathtub splash guard device that removably attaches to the rim of a bathtub by means of suction cups.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved child safe bathtub splash guard device that is has resilient and durable construction.
 Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS
 The above invention will be better understood and the objects set forth above as well as other objects not stated above will become more apparent after a study of the following detailed description thereof. Such description makes use of the annexed drawings wherein:
 FIG. 1 is a rear perspective view of the present invention in use in connection with a bathtub. The rear of the device is shown as it is positioned along the length of the rim of a bathtub.
 FIG. 2 is a frontal perspective view showing a cross-section of the preferred embodiment of the present invention in use in connection with a bathtub. The front of the device is shown with the wall member depicting a scenic pattern and bath toys are positioned along the shelf member.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Reference is made herein to the attached drawings. Like reference numerals are used throughout the drawings to depict like or similar elements of the claimed child safe splash guard device. For the purposes of presenting a brief and clear description of the present invention, the preferred embodiment will be discussed as used for preventing water from splashing out of a bathtub and onto a floor surface, as well as providing a support surface for play toys and bathing products. It is therefore noted that the associated drawings are for representative purposes only and should not be considered limiting in any respect.
 Referring now to FIGS. 1 & 2, there is shown two perspective views of the preferred embodiment of the child safe splash guard device in use with a bathtub 11. The splash guard device comprises a self-supporting semi-rigid wall member 12; a horizontal supporting shelf member 13; an overhanging lip portion 14, and a means 15 for removably attaching the splash guard to the rim 16 of a bathtub.
 The wall member 12 consists of a cantilevered barrier extending the length of a bathtub 11 and constructed of a semi-rigid, durable material. The wall member 12 may terminate at either end of the shower 11, or alternatively the wall member 12 may terminate with an L-shaped enclosure when view from above, flushly mounted against the shower walls to prevent water from getting out of either side of the splash guard. In one embodiment of the invention, the wall member 12 may be positioned at a ninety degree angle with respect to the rim of a bathtub 16, or in another embodiment the wall 12 may be angled inward to deflect water into the bathtub 11. Attached to the wall member 12 at its base is a horizontal supporting shelf member 13 extending from the wall member 12 approximately the width of a bathtub rim 16. This shelf 13 is constructed of the same durable, semi-rigid material as the wall member 12 and is adapted to hold items such as bathtub toys 17, soap, or bathing articles. The surface of the horizontal shelf member 13 may have a texture pattern to promote increased grip on items placed on its surface.
 Attached to the horizontal supporting shelf member 13 along an edge opposing the wall member 12 is an overhanging lip portion 14. This lip 14 extends downward along the inside of a bathtub's inner wall 18 to direct water back into the bathtub 11. In one embodiment the lip portion 14 is vertical and having no contour, while in another embodiment it may be curved to direct water from the wall of a bathtub 18. Along the underside of the horizontal shelf 13 is a plurality of attachment means such as suction cups 15. The splashguard can be removably attached to a bathtub 11 by an individual who presses downwards on the horizontal shelf 13 once it is positioned along a bathtub rim 16. It can then be removed by a user exerting a peeling motion from one end of the splash guard to the other, or from one side of the rim 16 to the other.
 In its preferred embodiment, the child safe bathtub splash guard device is constructed of rubber or another semi-rigid material such as flexible plastic. Constructing the splash guard of a semi-rigid, one-piece material reduces the risk of injury to a bathing child who may fall against the splash guard while entering and exiting a bathtub 11. To further facilitate ease of transitioning a child in and out of a bathtub, the height of the wall member 12 may be only several inches in height, however it may be greater to accommodate larger children; it is not intended to limit the height of the splash guard to a specific measurement.
 In use a parent or guardian affixes the child safe bathtub splash guard to the rim of a bathtub 16 by positioning the device along the length of a bathtub 11 so that the overhanging lip portion 14 extends over the inner edge of the bathtub rim 16, and the horizontal supporting shelf 13 lies flat. A child is then placed in the bathtub 11 for bathing. When a child splashes in the bathtub 11, water is thrown outward onto the wall member 12. The water runs down the wall member 12, across the horizontal shelf 13 and is directed back into the bathtub 11 by the overhanging lip portion 14. The splash guard also provides a textured surface for the child to place toys 17 and bathing items upon while they are not in use. In a preferred embodiment the splash guard may be decorated along the inner surface of the wall portion with themed designs.
 With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.
 Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
Patent applications in class Convenience accessories
Patent applications in all subclasses Convenience accessories