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Title:
Clothing for maintaining a baby's normal body temperature
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A sack for a baby is provided. The sack may be worn by a baby while sleeping to ensure that the baby is kept warm during cold nights. The sack also provides additional protection to the baby from overheating via a heat vent which allows hot air from within the sack to pass therethrough as the inside temperature of the sack rises to an unacceptable level. The heat vent may be covered with a mesh which allows hot air to pass therethrough but prevents a baby's legs and feet from passing therethrough.


Inventors:
Mcconnell, Michael T. (Santa Ynez, CA, US)
Mcconnell, Thomas E. (Santa Ynez, CA, US)
Hacquard, Francois (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/974371
Publication Date:
06/09/2005
Filing Date:
10/27/2004
Assignee:
MCCONNELL MICHAEL T.
MCCONNELL THOMAS E.
HACQUARD FRANCOIS
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
374/E13.002
International Classes:
G01K13/00; (IPC1-7): A41D1/00; A41B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STETINA BRUNDA GARRED & BRUCKER (75 ENTERPRISE, SUITE 250, ALISO VIEJO, CA, 92656, US)
Claims:
1. A sack for a baby to maintain a normal body temperature of the baby, the sack comprising: a. a clothing body sized and configured to accommodate a body of the baby therewithin, the clothing body defining a lower portion and an upper portion, the lower portion having a vent for transferring heat from within the clothing body to an environment, the upper portion having a neck aperture, left arm aperture and right arm aperture for receiving a neck and arms of the baby; and b. a mesh extending across the venting aperture.

2. The sack of claim 1 further comprising a zipper extending across a front side of the clothing body from the neck aperture to the lower portion of the clothing body for removeably fitting the baby in the clothing body.

3. The sack of claim 2 further comprising a strap attached to opposing sides of the clothing body adjacent an upper terminal end of the zipper.

4. The sack of claim 1 wherein the left arm aperture, the right arm aperture and the neck aperture are fabricated from a soft plush material.

5. The sack of claim 1 further comprising elastic bands sewn in seams of the left arm aperture, right arm aperture and neck aperture.

6. The sack of claim 1 wherein the clothing body is fabricated from a cotton fabric.

7. The sack of claim 1 wherein the mesh is more permeable compared to the clothing body.

8. The sack of claim 1 further comprising a zipper across the vent to selectively open or close the vent.

9. The sack of claim 1 further comprising a resilient member about a periphery of the vent to maintain the vent in an open position.

10. A sack for an baby to maintain a normal body temperature of the baby wearing the sack, the sack comprising a clothing body sized and configured to fit the baby therein, the clothing body defining a lower portion and a plurality of apertures formed at a lower portion of the clothing body for flowing hot air from inside the clothing body to outside the clothing body, the apertures each being sufficiently small to prevent a foot of the baby from passing therethrough.

11. A method for maintaining a normal temperature level of a baby, the method comprising: a. providing a sack having a clothing body sized and configured to fit the baby therein, the clothing body defining a neck aperture, a left arm aperture and a right arm aperture for respectively receiving a neck, left arm and right arm of the baby, the clothing body having a plurality of apertures formed at a lower portion of the clothing body to flow air from inside to outside the clothing body; and b. placing the baby within the sack.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the sack further comprises a zipper attached to the clothing body and extending from the neck aperture to the lower portion of the clothing body for selectively placing the baby within the sack.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein the step of placing the baby within the sack comprises: i. traversing the zipper to an unzipped position; ii. placing the arms and neck of the baby within the arm apertures and neck aperture, respectively; and iii. traversing the zipper to a zipped position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Application No. 10/701,050, filed Nov. 4, 2003, the contents of which are expressly incorporated herein by reference.

STATEMENT RE: FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to baby clothing, and more particularly to baby clothing for maintaining a baby's normal body temperature within the baby clothing while the baby is sleeping.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is an unexplained sudden death of a healthy baby. SIDS occurs in babies typically between the ages of one (1) month to one (1) year. It occurs more prevalently in babies between the ages of one (1) month and four (4) months. Further, most deaths occur during the fall, winter and early spring. Despite scientific research into the cause of SIDS, scientists are still unsure of its exact cause. However, certain precautions may help reduce the possibility of SIDS. For example, scientists believe that a baby's sleep position may provide protection against SIDS. In particular, scientists believe that placing the baby on their back during sleep reduces the possibilities of SIDS. Moreover, scientists believe that overheating the baby may also increase the possibilities of SIDS.

Overheating the baby may in part be caused by concerned parents. In particular, in cold environments, parents dress their babies in warm clothing to ensure that their baby does not catch a cold. For example, parents may dress babies in warm clothing during sleep time to ensure that as the temperature drops throughout the night, the baby will not become cold thereby becoming susceptible to catching a cold. However, by dressing the baby in warm clothing during sleep, the baby may become too warm thereby increasing the possibility of SIDS. As such, parents may underdress their baby prior to placing their baby to sleep. However, as discussed above, the baby may become too cold increasing the possibility of catching a cold. In this regard, the options for parents are either to increase the baby's risk of catching a cold or to increase the baby's risk of SIDS. Both choices appear to be undesirable with the later having an unacceptable risk (i.e., SIDS).

Accordingly, there is a need in the art for baby clothing which may maintain a baby's normal body temperature even though ambient temperatures fluctuates such that the baby is not at risk to catch a cold nor at risk of SIDS.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a sack which may comprise a cloth body. The cloth body may have three openings, namely, a left arm aperture, right arm aperture and a neck aperture. These apertures may be sized and configured to receive the left arm, right arm and neck of a baby, respectively. Further, the cloth body may have a pouch configuration. Accordingly, the baby when wearing the sack may have their torso and legs contained within the sack with their arms and head outside of the sack. The sack of the present invention may also have a heat vent or venting aperture formed at a lower portion of the cloth body. The vent may be operative to pass hot air from an inside to an outside of the cloth body when the temperature within the cloth body is raised to an unacceptable level for the baby. The vent may be sized and configured such that a sufficient amount of heat is expended from within the sack such that the baby wearing the sack does not overheat.

However, if the vent is too large then the baby's feet may protrude through the vent to expose the baby's feet to the environment which may be too cold for the baby. As such, the vent may further be covered with a mesh having a plurality of apertures. The plurality of apertures may prevent the baby's feet from protruding through the vent yet allow hot air from within the sack to be expelled therefrom to cool down the inside temperature thereof. Accordingly, parents and caretakers may rest assured that the baby wearing the sack is warmed by the sack and hot air within the sack is expelled through the vent to maintain the sack's inside temperature at an acceptable level.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

An illustrative and presently preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a sack worn by a baby wherein the sack incorporates a vent;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the sack of FIG. 1 with a temperature measuring member positioned within the sack and a zipper in an unzipped position;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the temperature measuring member in communication with a temperature displaying member;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the sack of FIG. 1 with the baby removed from the sack and the zipper in a zipped position; and

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the vent of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings which are for the purposes of illustrating the preferred embodiments of the present invention, and not for the purpose of limiting the same, FIG. 1 illustrates a sack 10 of the present invention with a baby 12 fitted therein. The sack 10 shown in FIG. 1 may comprise a clothing body 14 with a left arm aperture 16 (see FIGS. 1 and 2), a right arm aperture 18 (see FIGS. 1 and 2) and a neck aperture 20 (see FIGS. 2 and 4). The left and right arm apertures 16, 18 are shown without a sleeve (not shown) and may be sized and configured to receive the shoulder joints of the baby 12, as shown in FIG. 1. The left and right arm apertures 16, 18 may be lined with a soft plush material 22a, 22b (see FIG. 2) such as cotton such that the left and right arm apertures 16, 18 do not irritate or cause discomfort to the baby 12 wearing the sack 10. Furthermore, the left and right arm apertures 16, 18 may have an elastic band (not shown) sewn in its seams such that the left and right arm apertures 16, 18 may snugly fit onto the baby's shoulder joint, as shown in FIG. 1. It is also contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the left and right arm apertures 16, 18 may further have sleeves (not shown) attached thereto to cover arms 26 of the baby 12.

The neck aperture 20 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 may be interposed between the left and right arm apertures 16, 18 wherein the neck aperture 20, left arm aperture 16 and right arm aperture 18 are sized and configured to receive a neck 24 (see FIG. 1) and arms 26a, 26b (see FIG. 1) of the baby 12. The neck aperture 20 may be lined with a soft plush material 22c (see FIG. 2) such as cotton similar to the arm apertures 16, 18 such that the neck aperture 20 does not irritate the baby 12 wearing the sack 10. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, a zipper 28 may extend from the neck aperture 20 toward a lower portion 30 of the sack 10 on its frontal side 32. The zipper 28 enables the baby's caretaker to slip the sack 10 on and off of the baby 12. The zipper 28 may be placed in a zipped position (see FIG. 4) or unzipped position (see FIG. 2). A strap 34 (see FIGS. 1 and 4) may be engaged to the opposing sides 36a, 36b of the clothing body 14 adjacent an upper terminal end 38 of the zipper 28. The strap 34 may be engaged to opposing sides 36a, 36b of the clothing body 14 via a system of hooks and loops, button snaps, button/button hole system or other types of engagement mechanism. It is also contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the zipper 28 may be substituted with other types of closure members such as hooks and loops. Additionally, the neck aperture 20 may also have an elastic band (not shown) sewn in its seams such that the neck aperture 20 may snugly fit around the baby's neck 24.

The clothing body 14 may also be fabricated from a soft material to provide comfort to the baby 12 wearing the sack 10. More particularly, the clothing body 14 may be fabricated from material with a low heat transfer rate (i.e., an insulator) such as cotton to keep the baby 12 warm. The cloth body 14 may also be fabricated from a material that does not allow air to pass or impedes air passage therethrough (i.e., low permeability). Additionally, as shown in FIG. 1, the sack 10 may encapsulate the baby's torso and legs within a single cavity. In this regard, the baby 12 may still be allowed to freely twist and turn within the sack 10 such that the baby 12 may have a full range of motion within the sack 10. Since the legs and torso are contained within a single cavity, the warmth of the legs and torso synergistically heat the cavity faster and more efficiently.

The sack 10 may be effective and efficient in retaining heat generated from the baby 12 fitted therein to keep the baby 12 warm in cold environments. However, the retained heat within the sack 10 may cause the baby 12 to be too warm. As such, a vent 40 (see FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and 5) may assist in releasing excess heat 42 retained within the sack 10 to maintain the proper temperature within the sack 10 for the baby 12. The vent 40 may be formed at the lower portion 30 (see FIGS. 2 and 4) of the clothing body 14 to allow the excess heat 42 retained within the sack 10 to escape therethrough, as shown in FIG. 5.

The vent 40 may be a single large aperture formed at the lower portion 30 of the clothing body 14. The vent 40 may define a periphery 44 (see FIG. 5) which may have attached thereabout an optional resilient semi-rigid member (not shown) such as a wire member or rubber resilient member to maintain an open position (see FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and 5) of the vent 40 even when the baby 12 is fitted therein. This assists in ensuring that the vent 40 is open to allow hot air to pass therethrough and to allow cold air to be drawn within the sack, as appropriate. It is also contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the vent 40 may have an optional zipper (not shown) attached to the vent 40 to allow the vent 40 to be selectively closed and opened.

The vent 40 may be large enough to cool down the inside temperature of the sack 10. However, a vent 40 large enough to accomplish this function may also be large enough for the baby's feet (not shown) to pass therethrough which is not a desired result based on a view that the baby's feet may become exposed to cold air. To eliminate the possibility of the baby's feet passing through the vent 40, the vent 40 may be covered with a mesh 46 (see FIG. 5). For example, the mesh 46 may be sewn about the vent periphery 44 (see FIG. 5). The vent 40 may be covered with the mesh 46 (see FIG. 5) to allow the transfer of hot and cold air therethrough. As used herein, the mesh 46 may be any material which is more permeable compared to the cloth body material. In particular, the mesh 46 may be a cotton cloth fabric with a plurality of apertures 48.

Alternatively, it is also contemplated within the scope of the present invention that the vent 40 may comprise a plurality of apertures (not shown) formed within the clothing body 14 itself and more particularly, a plurality of apertures formed at the lower portion 30 of the sack 10. In other words, instead of a single large aperture forming the vent 40 with the mesh 46 covering the vent 40, the lower portion 30 of the clothing body 14 may be punched with a plurality of smaller apertures (not shown). These apertures may each be sufficiently small to prevent a baby's foot from passing therethrough but as an aggregate, may be sufficient to cool the inside temperature of the clothing body 14 to an acceptable level for the baby 12.

The clothing body 14 may further comprise a temperature measuring member 50 (see FIGS. 2 and 3) and a temperature displaying member 52 (see FIGS. 1 and 3), the particulars of which are discussed in detail in Application Ser. No. 10/701,050 identified in the CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS section of this application. In this regard, the temperature measuring member 50 and the temperature displaying member 52 are optional aspects of the present invention and are not required to practice the various aspects of the present invention discussed herein.

Generally, the temperature measuring member 50 is positioned within the clothing body 14 (see FIG. 2) and the temperature displaying member 52 is positioned outside of the clothing body 14 (see FIG. 1). The temperature measuring member 50 measures the temperature within the clothing body 14 and communicates the measured temperature to the temperature displaying member 52 which displays the measured temperature. In this regard, the temperature measuring member 50, temperature displaying member 52, vent 40 and vent zipper (not shown) may work in conjunction with each other. For example, the baby 12 may wear the sack 10, and as the temperature within the clothing body 14 increases to keep the baby 12 warm, the temperature measuring member 50 communicates the measured temperature to the temperature displaying member 52 which displays the measured temperature. If the measured temperature displayed via the temperature displaying member 52 is too high for the baby 12, then the baby's mother or caretaker may open the vent zipper (not shown) to allow hot air from within the clothing body 14 to pass therethrough to reduce the temperature within the clothing body 14.

The sack 10 may allow mothers and caretakers to keep the baby 12 warm in cold environments and simultaneously, maintain the temperature level within the sack's clothing body 14 at an acceptable level for the baby 12. For example, as the weather becomes cold, a mother may become concerned that their baby 12 may catch a cold or other illness. In this event, the mother may fit the baby 12 within the sack 10 to keep the baby 12 warm from the cold weather. However, as the mother and baby 12 goes into a department store or other heated/sheltered environment, the baby's body heat may raise the inside temperature of the clothing body 14 to an unacceptable level for the baby 12. Accordingly, hot air may pass through the vent 40 to reduce the temperature within the sack 10 to an acceptable level for the baby 12.

Additionally, parents and caretakers may rest assured that the baby 12 will not overheat while wearing the sack 10 during sleeping periods. In particular, the baby 12 wearing the sack 10 may be warmed throughout the night via the sack 10. However, when inside temperature of the sack 10 is raised to an unacceptable level, heat from within the sack 10 is transferred through the vent 40 into the environment. As such, the inside temperature of the sack 10 may be maintained at an acceptable temperature level. In other words, the sack 10 warms the baby 12 to prevent the baby 12 from catching a cold and the sack 10 releases heat via the vent 40 to prevent SIDS even though the ambient temperature fluctuates.

This description of the various embodiments of the present invention is presented to illustrate the preferred embodiments of the present invention, and other inventive concepts may be otherwise variously embodied and employed. The appended claims are intended to be construed to include such variations except insofar as limited by the prior art.