Aquarium fittings as medical equipment for therapy toy

MySquishy
Member
Hey y’all!
So my cousin’s baby was born with some health challenges, among them difficulty breathing and eating independently. She’ll be coming home from the NICU with a trach and a feeding tube.
So I made her 2yo big sister a teddy with the same tubies as baby. It can be used it as a teaching tool to explain what’s going on, and she’ll have a “baby” to take care of too. (and tubes she’s allowed to touch!)

Anyway, I couldn’t have done it without fish lore. Seriously!

Most of the information/ tutorials online on how to modify a toy like this assume you already have a child with a trach/ G-tube/ PEG tube, in which case you can just use an old one after you’ve replaced your child’s with a new tube. ( they have to be changed out every so often)
I had no such old tube, so I had to get creative. Pretty quickly, I hit on the idea of using the plug from something inflatable, like a beach ball or water wings, for the G-tube. My brilliance was verified when I found an entry on a child life specialist’s blog using that very idea. Bingo!

Finding an alternative to an actual trach tho, was hard. It needed to be both realistic looking, and able to be sewn in securely since I’m giving it to a toddler. I thought of, and subsequently filled my amazon history with, long beads, plastic drinking straws, silicone drinking straws, pvc pipe, (but alas, the smallest diameter is too big.) pacifiers, (to hold the straw and serve as kind of a trach collar kind of thing) cord ties, pex pipe...
And after hours ( days) of looking at every kind of straw imaginable and wondering what in the world is going to work, I gave up and pulled up fish lore for some mindless reading.
At some point halfway down a thread, the light bulb went off and I realized: everything that made PVC pipe perfect is true of air hose fittings!! In no time flat I had located a T connector with an air pressure valve, and boom. Problem solved!
Because it’s hollow inside, I could sew it on like a button, secure as can be. And I glued the twisty knob in with superglue so it’s essentially one piece now. The trach collar is cloth with button holes sewn in for the “trach” to poke through, and for the elastic trach tie to go through.
Also, aquarium tubing fits perfectly on the top of a 60ml med syringe I had, and together with another T valve I modified as the tip, makes a feeding tube extension set. (because the female end of the T piece happens to fit just snugly in the open “g- tube” port and stays instead of falling right out like the plain aquarium tubing does.)

Tada!

!
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Lvmyfsh
Member
You should patent this quick!! I've had idea stolen not that j wanted the money but now there rich and I'm well I'm surviving lol wjat a great person you are to of figured this out what a great idea and cool solution but honestly patent it and save the proceeds for this kids medical in future god only know what medical care will cost during her lifetime
 
  • Thread Starter
MySquishy
Member
Can repurposing one item for a different purpose be patented? I’m pretty sure it has to be a complete new thing, not just an idea or suggestion.
It’s only the “aquarium tube/fitting as tracheotomy diy” that’s my idea.
I came up with the inflatable-valve-as-g-tube independently, but someone else had already done it years ago.
I don’t think there’s necessarily money in this niche.... since there’s multiple similar toys patented already, ( port-a-cath duckie, medi bear, what’s-his-name-the-*trach*easaurous...) and multiple charities that make similar toys. (Tubie Friends, “Just Like Me” dolls... I forget one other. ) They can acquire real medical devices in bulk from the manufacturer, ones that are defective or expired.
For most folks who’ll be interested, there are better options.
I wouldn’t have necessarily thought to patent this idea, but it’s worth looking into.
there’s someone on Etsy who 3D prints fake trachs, Gtubes, and ports, for dolls and stuffed animals. Their idea probably trumps mine, I just don’t have a 3D printer.
I don’t have a blog or anything, but I was kinda thinking I’d like to get this idea out there for others to use. There have to be other relatives like me looking for an affordable option for this kind of thing, or kids who want more than one special toy. ( typically the charities give one per kid, to spread out the impact to as many as they can.) But it’s an out of the box idea, using relatively obscure supplies- unless you’re into fish you wouldn’t know these fittings exist.

Edit:
I just looked it up:
You have to to pay for your patent to stay current. Even if it qualified, I’m not sure I can afford that if I wanted to.
Thx tho!
 
Lvmyfsh
Member
Either way go you for figuring that out your the bomb! What a lucky kid to have you in there life I work with special needs and u know the NEED for this type of thing not just for kid but for parent and even to train someone like me this would of been useful in so many ways I wish it would hit the market for others is all. Great job you!
MySquishy said:
Can repurposing one item for a different purpose be patented? I’m pretty sure it has to be a complete new thing, not just an idea or suggestion.
It’s only the “aquarium tube/fitting as tracheotomy diy” that’s my idea.
I came up with the inflatable-valve-as-g-tube independently, but someone else had already done it years ago.
I don’t think there’s necessarily money in this niche.... since there’s multiple similar toys patented already, ( port-a-cath duckie, medi bear, what’s-his-name-the-*trach*easaurous...) and multiple charities that make similar toys. (Tubie Friends, “Just Like Me” dolls... I forget one other. ) They can acquire real medical devices in bulk from the manufacturer, ones that are defective or expired.
For most folks who’ll be interested, there are better options.
I wouldn’t have necessarily thought to patent this idea, but it’s worth looking into.
there’s someone on Etsy who 3D prints fake trachs, Gtubes, and ports, for dolls and stuffed animals. Their idea probably trumps mine, I just don’t have a 3D printer.
I don’t have a blog or anything, but I was kinda thinking I’d like to get this idea out there for others to use. There have to be other relatives like me looking for an affordable option for this kind of thing, or kids who want more than one special toy. ( typically the charities give one per kid, to spread out the impact to as many as they can.) But it’s an out of the box idea, using relatively obscure supplies- unless you’re into fish you wouldn’t know these fittings exist.
I just looked it up:
You have to to pay for your patent to stay current. Even if it qualified, I’m not sure I can afford that if I wanted to.
Thx tho!
 
Catappa
Member
MySquishy said:
Hey y’all!
So my cousin’s baby was born with some health challenges, among them difficulty breathing and eating independently. She’ll be coming home from the NICU with a trach and a feeding tube.
So I made her 2yo big sister a teddy with the same tubies as baby. It can be used it as a teaching tool to explain what’s going on, and she’ll have a “baby” to take care of too. (and tubes she’s allowed to touch!)

Anyway, I couldn’t have done it without fish lore. Seriously!

Most of the information/ tutorials online on how to modify a toy like this assume you already have a child with a trach/ G-tube/ PEG tube, in which case you can just use an old one after you’ve replaced your child’s with a new tube. ( they have to be changed out every so often)
I had no such old tube, so I had to get creative. Pretty quickly, I hit on the idea of using the plug from something inflatable, like a beach ball or water wings, for the G-tube. My brilliance was verified when I found an entry on a child life specialist’s blog using that very idea. Bingo!

Finding an alternative to an actual trach tho, was hard. It needed to be both realistic looking, and able to be sewn in securely since I’m giving it to a toddler. I thought of, and subsequently filled my amazon history with, long beads, plastic drinking straws, silicone drinking straws, pvc pipe, (but alas, the smallest diameter is too big.) pacifiers, (to hold the straw and serve as kind of a trach collar kind of thing) cord ties, pex pipe...
And after hours ( days) of looking at every kind of straw imaginable and wondering what in the world is going to work, I gave up and pulled up fish lore for some mindless reading.
At some point halfway down a thread, the light bulb went off and I realized: everything that made PVC pipe perfect is true of air hose fittings!! In no time flat I had located a T connector with an air pressure valve, and boom. Problem solved!
Because it’s hollow inside, I could sew it on like a button, secure as can be. And I glued the twisty knob in with superglue so it’s essentially one piece now. The trach collar is cloth with button holes sewn in for the “trach” to poke through, and for the elastic trach tie to go through.
Also, aquarium tubing fits perfectly on the top of a 60ml med syringe I had, and together with another T valve I modified as the tip, makes a feeding tube extension set. (because the female end of the T piece happens to fit just snugly in the open “g- tube” port and stays instead of falling right out like the plain aquarium tubing does.)

Tada!

!
BFA245B6-B4B5-413F-8842-2DC117427D51.jpeg

FFC92835-8AE8-4394-866A-CAAF243B8712.jpeg

CFC12744-942B-4DDF-91C8-7D8FD740BF70.jpeg


6BB2E0CE-517A-4C21-832E-9E19A50B1B73.jpeg

45698BAE-0466-46AB-9E18-FD88CFEB519B.jpeg
It is wonderful that you did this! Please keep safety issues in mind. Small parts can (ironically) be a choking hazard.

I designed toys industrially and also one-of-a-kinds. I also designed for parents of handicapped children and once for a burns unit of a Red Cross hospital, so I know a lot about protecting designs, etc. Don't bother! Rejoice that you were able to do this and forget about commercial applications. I applaud your creativity!

Editing to add: you could consider sharing your idea with a support group -- or ask the occupational therapist for suggestions. There are also craft publications (I'm no longer in the loop) that might like a diy article about this.
 
  • Thread Starter
MySquishy
Member
Catappa said:
It is wonderful that you did this! Please keep safety issues in mind. Small parts can (ironically) be a choking hazard.
Believe me, that was at the forefront of my mind. The “ accessories” are sewn in securely, snd then some. If a tube did come loose, it’d get lost inside the bear before it’d fall out to be eaten. The little blue tip is superglued in the “feeding extension set.”

But I’m also including a safety warning just in case. Until miss E is a couple years older this might be better sat on a shelf when someone can’t watch her play with it.

Catappa said:
I designed toys industrially and also one-of-a-kinds. I also designed for parents of handicapped children and once for a burns unit of a Red Cross hospital, so I know a lot about protecting designs, etc. Don't bother! Rejoice that you were able to do this and forget about commercial applications. I applaud your creativity!

Editing to add: you could consider sharing your idea with a support group -- or ask the occupational therapist for suggestions. There are also craft publications (I'm no longer in the loop) that might like a diy article about this.
Thanks! I hadn’t thought of a support group yet. I definitely do want to share the idea- parents aren’t likely to have as much free time as I do to puzzle over optional projects.
Lvmyfsh said:
Either way go you for figuring that out your the bomb! What a lucky kid to have you in there life I work with special needs and u know the NEED for this type of thing not just for kid but for parent and even to train someone like me this would of been useful in so many ways I wish it would hit the market for others is all. Great job you!
Truly!
I’d love for these type of toys to be in the main stream market instead of only available through specific charities or medical companies.
 

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