Title:
Senior-Friendly Child-Resistant Cap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A senior-friendly child-resistant cap includes an inner cap having an axis and an outer cap having a periphery defining an outside diameter. The outer cap coaxially surrounds the inner cap and the outer cap is rotatable and axially movable with respect to the inner cap so that axial pressure and rotation of the outer cap rotates of the inner cap. The outer cap includes lugs extending outwards from the periphery to improve grip and at least some of the lugs extend radially outward from the periphery a distance within the range of 3% to 6% of the outside diameter to offer a user improved rotational leverage.



Inventors:
Titherington, Philip D. (Peru, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/689882
Publication Date:
07/21/2011
Filing Date:
01/19/2010
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D55/02
View Patent Images:
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Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A child-resistant cap, comprising: an outer cap having an axis, a periphery and an outside diameter; an inner cap; the outer cap coaxially surrounds the inner cap, the outer cap being rotatable and axially movable with respect to the inner cap so that axial pressure and rotation applied to the outer cap rotates the inner cap; the outer cap periphery includes lugs; and at least some of the lugs extend radially outward from the periphery a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter.

2. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 1, wherein the at least some of the lugs extend from the periphery a distance of at between 4% and 6% of the outside diameter.

3. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 1, wherein the at least some of the lugs extend from the periphery a distance of approximately 5% of the outside diameter.

4. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 1, wherein the at least some of the lugs have a width within the range of 0.06 to 0.15 inches.

5. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 1, wherein the at least some of the lugs have a length, the length has a generally uniform curvature with a radius of curvature of less than 0.3 inches.

6. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 1, wherein the at least some of the lugs have a length, the length has a generally uniform radius of curvature of approximately 0.226 inches; and the at least some of the lugs have a top portion having a top portion radius of curvature, the top portion radius of curvature being within the range of 0.150 to 0.170 inches.

7. A child-resistant cap, comprising: an outer cap having a axis, a periphery and an outside diameter; an inner cap; the outer cap coaxially surrounding the inner cap, the outer cap being rotatable and axially movable with respect to the inner cap so that axial pressure and rotation applied to the outer cap enables rotation of the inner cap; the outer cap periphery includes lugs; and at least some of the lugs extend from the periphery a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter and these lugs are spaced at an angle of at least thirty degrees apart.

8. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 7, having ten lugs extending from the periphery a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter and these ten lugs are spaced are spaced at an angle of thirty-six degrees apart.

9. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 7, having eight lugs extending from the periphery a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter and these eight lugs are spaced are spaced at an angle of forty-five degrees apart.

10. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 7, having six lugs extending from the periphery a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter and these six lugs are spaced at an angle of sixty degrees apart.

11. A child-resistant cap, comprising: an outer cap having an axis, a periphery and an outside diameter; an inner cap coaxially disposed within the outer cap, the inner cap normally being rotatable and axially moveable within the outer cap, wherein axial pressure and rotation applied against the outer cap rotates the inner cap; and the outer cap includes eight lugs extending radially outwards from the periphery, and the lugs are uniformly spaced at an angle of 45 degrees apart.

12. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 11, wherein the at least some of the lugs extend from the periphery a distance of at between 4% and 6% of the outside diameter.

13. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 11, wherein the at least some of the lugs extend from the periphery a distance of approximately 5% of the outside diameter.

14. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 11, wherein the lugs have a length, the length has a generally uniform curvature of less than 0.3 inches.

15. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 11, wherein the lugs have a length, the length has a generally uniform radius of curvature of approximately 0.226 inches; and the lugs have a top portion having a top portion radius of curvature, the top portion radius of curvature being within the range of 0.150 to 0.170 inches.

16. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 11, wherein the at least some of the lugs have a length, the length has a generally uniform radius of curvature of less than 0.3 inches; the lugs have a beveled top portion.

17. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 11, wherein the lugs have a thickness within the range of 0.08 to 0.15 inches.

18. A child-resistant bottle, comprising: a bottle having a threaded neck; an inner cap having a threaded interior for mating with the threaded neck of the bottle, and an axis; an outer cap having a periphery defining an outside diameter, and a top; the outer cap surrounding the inner cap, the outer cap being rotatable and axially movable with respect to the inner cap so that axial pressure and rotation of the outer cap rotates the inner cap; the outer cap includes lugs extending outwards from the periphery; and at least some of the lugs extend radially outward from the periphery a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter.

19. A child-resistant bottle as set forth in claim 18, wherein the at least some of the lugs extend from the periphery a distance of at between 4% and 6% of the outside diameter.

20. A child-resistant cap as set forth in claim 18, wherein the at least some of the lugs extend from the periphery a distance of approximately 5% of the outside diameter.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to child-resistant bottles having a cover that rotates to open and close the bottle. More particularly the invention relates to child-resistant caps that are easily opened by adults, while maintaining child-resistance.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Child-resistant caps reduce the risk that a child will open a bottle and cause harm associated with ingesting the contents of the bottle. Unfortunately, many people that need medication find that such caps are difficult to open. It is not uncommon for adults, particularly seniors, to develop arthritis of the hand. Arthritis may weaken the hand, making opening child-resistant caps even more difficult.

Child-resistant caps have been made in the past with an inner and an outer cap in combination. These turn together in a clockwise direction to close the bottle. When the outer cap is counter-rotated, however, the inner cap rotates only when axial pressure is applied to the outer cap. Such axial pressure is difficult for a child to apply and more easily applied by an adult.

The typical cap has a textured outer surface to facilitate grip. The texture may include axially extending ridges. While these ridges offer improved grip, they fail to offer significant additional rotational leverage.

It is desirable to have a bottle with a cap that inhibits children from opening the bottle and that offers more leverage to more easily enable seniors to open the bottle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A child-resistant cap is particularly dimensioned to enable adults, even those with a lack of dexterity and strength, to firmly grip and open the cap. This enables those suffering from arthritis of the hand and other physical weakness to more readily open child-resistant caps.

A bottle in accordance with the present invention includes a threaded neck and a cover that engages the threaded neck. The cover includes an inner cap and an outer cap. The inner cap has internal threads that engage the neck of the bottle.

The inner cap defines an axis. The outer cap has a periphery and a top. The outer cap surrounds the inner cap and is normally rotatable and axially movable with respect to the inner cap. Axial pressure against the outer cap causes the outer cap to engage the inner cap. With axial pressure applied, rotation of the outer cap rotates the inner cap and opens the bottle.

The outer cap has a periphery that defines an outside diameter and includes lugs extending outwards from the periphery to enable an adult to firmly grip the outer cap. At least some of the lugs extend radially outward from the periphery a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter, which optimizes the grip and which also enables improved leverage on the outer cap to enable an adult to more easily open the cap.

In various embodiments of the invention, the lugs extend from the periphery of the outer cap a distance of at between 4% and 6% of the outside diameter. In another embodiment of the invention of the lugs extend from the periphery a distance of approximately 5% of the outside diameter.

For example, with a bottle having an approximate 1.5 inch neck size, the cap is configured so that the lugs have a thickness of 0.06 to 0.15 inches, and preferably a thickness of about 0.087 inches.

Optimizing both the number of lugs and the thickness of the lugs improves adult grip. In accordance with the present invention, the outer cap 16 includes a maximum of twelve lugs that extend from the periphery of the outer cap at a distance of between 4% and 6% of the outside diameter 28 of the outer cap. In various embodiments, there are twelve, ten, eight and six lugs. Preferably these lugs are equally spaced at 30 degrees, 36 degrees, 45 degrees or 60 degrees, respectively.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings like reference numerals identify like elements, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a bottle, an inner cap and an outer cap.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the outer cap of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side view of a lug as seen along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 includes a child-resistant bottle 10. The bottle 10 includes a bottle 12 with a threaded neck 14, an outer cap 16 and an inner cap 18. The inner cap 18 and the outer cap 16 define a common axis 22. The outer cap 16 surrounds the inner cap 18. Normally the inner cap 18 seats within the outer cap 16 and allows the outer cap 16 to rotate with respect to the inner cap 18. The inner cap 18 threadibly engages the threaded neck 14 of the bottle 12 to close the bottle 12.

The outer cap 16 has a periphery 24 defining and a top surface 26 and an interior with teeth 21. The inner cap 18 has a periphery with teeth 20. The teeth 20 of the inner cap 18 mate against the teeth 21 of the outer cap 16. During operation, axial pressure against the top surface 26 of the outer cap 16 causes the teeth 21 of the outer cap 16 to operatively maintain engagement with the teeth 20 of the inner cap 16. With axial pressure applied, rotation of the outer cap 16, in turn, rotates the inner cap 18 to open the bottle 12.

Although the outer cap 16 surrounds the inner cap 18, it is understood that portions of the inner cap may, in an alternate embodiment of the invention, visibly extend from the outer cap 16.

FIG. 2 shows the outer cap 16. The outer cap 16 periphery 24 defines an outside diameter 28 and includes lugs 30. The lugs 30 have a width 32, and a length 34. The lugs 30 extend radially outwards from the periphery 24 to enable an adult to firmly grip the outer cap 16 and to provide improved leverage to enable an adult hand to more easily turn the outer cap 16.

The lugs 30 preferably extend radially outward from the periphery 24 a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter, which optimizes the grip and which also enables improved leverage points on the outer cap to enable an adult to more easily open the cap. The lugs 30 also increase the difficulty for children with small hands to effectively grip the outer cap 16. The width 32 of the lugs 30, as shown is generally uniform, but may vary in accordance with alternate aspects of the invention.

In one embodiment of the invention the lugs 30 extend radially outwards from the periphery a distance of between 4% and 6% of the outside diameter 28. Preferably, the lugs 30 extend radially outwards from the periphery a distance of approximately 5% of the outside diameter 28.

In another embodiment of the invention the length 34 of the lugs 30 is curved. The length 34 has a generally uniform curvature with a radius of curvature of less than 0.3 inches, and preferably a radius of curvature of approximately 0.226 inches to improve grip.

The lugs 30 are uniformly spaced from each-other at an angle α. Preferably, there are no more than twelve lugs extending from the periphery a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter. The angle α of the lugs is at least thirty degrees.

In one embodiment there are ten lugs extending from the periphery a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter and these ten lugs are spaced at an angle α of thirty-six degrees apart.

In another embodiment, there are eight lugs extending from the periphery a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter and these eight lugs are spaced are spaced at an angle α of forty-five degrees apart.

In yet another embodiment, there are six lugs extending from the periphery a distance of at least 3% of the outside diameter and these six lugs are spaced at an angle α of sixty degrees apart.

Although lugs extending a al least 3% of the outside diameter of the outer cap are shown, it should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that additional lugs of a smaller width can be interposed between the lugs 30 in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows a side view of a single lug 30 extending out from the outer cap 16 as seen generally along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2. The lug 30 has a top portion 36 that is rounded, having a radius of curvature 38. The top portion 36 radius of curvature 38 is within the range of 0.150 to 0.170 inches to improve adult grip. In an alternate embodiment the top portion 36 is beveled.

The width 32 of the lug 30 is within the range of 0.06 to 0.15 inches to simultaneously improve adult grip while decreasing the leverage a child's small hand can apply.

The various objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from this description and the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood, however, that the drawings and the written descriptions are illustrative and not exhaustive. The bounds and limits of the invention should be understood with reference to the appended claims.