Title:
Pediatric crib with alarm mechanism for indicating that a gate is not in a locked position
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pediatric crib (10) includes a frame (11), a gate (18,19,20,21) mounted on the frame for movement relative thereto between raised and lowered positions, a locking mechanism (27) for selectively holding the gate in a particular position relative to the frame, and a warning device (30) operatively interposed between the gate and frame for indicating when the gate is not in its raised position after passage of a period of time.



Inventors:
Godin, William N. (Williamsville, NY, US)
Merkin, Arkadi (Williamsville, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/051207
Publication Date:
07/24/2003
Filing Date:
01/18/2002
Assignee:
Hard Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/940, 340/568.1, 5/93.1
International Classes:
A47D7/02; (IPC1-7): A47D7/02
View Patent Images:
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20090259152Device and Method for Alleviating Back PainOctober, 2009Nguyen
20020020019Thematic furniture covers with recreational sleep enhancing accessoriesFebruary, 2002Koenig
20040040090Fitted bedclothes having elastic segments at cornersMarch, 2004Wootten
20080078022INTEGRAL SLEEP SURFACE SUPPORT AND BEDDING STRUCTURE BASEApril, 2008Wecker



Primary Examiner:
LUU, TUYET PHUONG PHAM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PHILLIPS LYTLE LLP (BUFFALO, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A bed, comprising: a frame; a gate mounted on said frame for movement relative thereto between first and second positions; a locking mechanism operatively arranged between said gate and frame for selectively holding said gate in a particular position relative to said frame; and a warning device operatively interposed between said gate and frame for indicating when said gate is not in said first position.

2. A bed as set forth in claim 1 wherein said warning device is arranged to audibly indicate that said gate is not in said first position.

3. A bed as set forth in claim 1 wherein said warning device includes a proximity switch operatively interposed between said gate and frame.

4. A bed as set forth in claim 1 wherein said frame has two corner posts, wherein said gate has adjacent portions proximate each of said corner posts, and wherein said warning device has a switch operatively arranged between each of said corner posts and the adjacent portions of said gate to indicate that any of said adjacent gate portions is not in said raised position.

5. A bed as set forth in claim 1 wherein said warning device has an electrical circuit powered by a battery.

6. A bed as set forth in claim 5 and further comprising an indicator light for visually indicating that said warning device is operating.

7. A bed as set forth in claim 1 and further comprising a signaling device for indicating that said gate is not in said first position to a location remote from the location of said bed.

8. A bed as set forth in claim 7 wherein said signaling device includes a transmitter mounted on said crib and a receiver arranged at such remote location.

9. A bed as set forth in claim 1 and further comprising an indicator for indicating the operational status of said warning device.

10. A bed as set forth in claim 9 wherein said indicator includes a light.

11. A bed as set forth in claim 1 wherein said frame has four corner posts, wherein there are a plurality of said gates, each gate being arranged between a pair of adjacent corner posts, and wherein said warning device includes switches to operatively arranged to indicate when any of said gates is not in said first position.

12. A bed as set forth in claim 1 wherein said bed is a pediatric crib.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates generally to beds and cribs having patient-restraining gates or rails, and, more particularly, to an improved bed having an alarm mechanism for indicating that a gate is not in the upper locked position.

[0002] 1. Background Art

[0003] Pediatric cribs typically have a wheeled frame that includes four vertically-disposed comer posts. A mattress is horizontally supported on this frame. Each side of the crib typically has a gate that may be selectively movable between an upper patient-restraining position and a series of lower out-of-the-way position.

[0004] When an attendant moves away from a crib, it is important to know that the four gates are in their upper locked positions. Otherwise, a child might possibly cause one of the gates to fall, and thereafter cause injury to himself.

[0005] Accordingly, there is believed to be a need for an improved bed, particularly a pediatric crib, that has a means or mechanism for indicating that a gate is not locked in the raised position.

[0006] 2. Disclosure of the Invention

[0007] With parenthetical reference to the corresponding parts, portions or surfaces of the disclosed embodiment, merely for purposes of illustration and not by way of limitation, the present invention broadly provides an improved bed, such as a pediatric crib (10).

[0008] The improved bed broadly includes a frame (11); at least one gate (18,19,20,21) mounted on the frame for movement relative thereto between first and second positions; a locking mechanism (27) operatively arranged between the gate and frame for selectively holding the gate in a particular position relative to the frame; and a warning device (30) operatively interposed between the gate and frame for indicating when the gate is not in the first position after a period of time.

[0009] In the preferred embodiment, the warning device is arranged to audibly indicate that the gate is not locked and in the top position. The warning device may include a proximity switch (33) operatively arranged between each corner post and the adjacent portions of the gate to indicate that any adjacent gate portion is not in its raised position. The warning device may include electrical circuit powered by a battery (31), and may further include an indicator light (45) for visually indicating that the warning device is operating. The improved apparatus may further include a signaling device, such as a radio transmitter (47), for indicating that the gate is not in the first position, to a location remote from the location of the bed.

[0010] Accordingly, the general object of the invention is to provide a safer pediatric crib.

[0011] Another object is to provide an improved bed.

[0012] Still another object is to provide an improved pediatric crib having an alarm mechanism for indicating that a gate is not up and in a locked position.

[0013] These and other objects and advantages will become apparent from the foregoing and ongoing written specification, the drawings, and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] FIG. 1 is an isometric view looking at the right front corner of a pediatric crib, this view showing the spring as being in an articulated position, and with the mattress removed for clarity of illustration.

[0015] FIG. 2 is a schematic circuit of the alarm system employed in the improved crib.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] At the outset, it should be clearly understood that like reference numerals are intended to identify the same structural elements, portions or surfaces, consistently throughout the several drawing figures, as such elements, portions or surfaces may be further described or explained by the entire written specification, of which this detailed description is an integral part. Unless otherwise indicated, the drawings are intended to be read (e.g., cross-hatching, arrangement of parts, proportion, degree, etc.) together with the specification, and are to be considered a portion of the entire written description of this invention. As used in the following description, the terms “horizontal”, “vertical”, “left”, “right”, “up” and “down”, as well as adjectival and adverbial derivatives thereof (e.g., “horizontally”, “rightwardly”, “upwardly”, etc.), simply refer to the orientation of the illustrated structure as the particular drawing figure faces the reader. Similarly, the terms “inwardly” and “outwardly” generally refer to the orientation of a surface relative to its axis of elongation, or axis of rotation, as appropriate.

[0017] Referring now to the drawings, and, more particularly, to FIG. 1 thereof, the present invention broadly provides an improved bed, such as a pediatric crib, generally indicated at 10.

[0018] Crib 10 is shown as having a wheeled frame, generally indicated at 11, having four rectangularly-spaced vertical comer posts, severally indicated at 12. Each comer post is supported on a caster wheel 13. In the form shown, an articulable bedspring, generally indicated at 14 is operatively arranged within the frame. The head and foot portions thereof are arranged to be articulated by means of cranks 15, 15 located at the foot of the bed. In FIG. 1, the mattress has been omitted for clarity of illustration.

[0019] Still referring to FIG. 1, the crib is shown as having four gates on its respective four sides. The front gate is indicated at 16, the rear gate is indicated at 18, the left gate is indicated at 19, and right gate is indicated at 20. Each of these gates is pivotally mounted between an adjacent pair of frame posts for vertical movement between an upper position, such as shown for rear, left and right gates 18, 19 and 20, respectively, and a lowered position, such as indicated for front gate 16. More particularly, each gate is mounted for slidable movement on a pair of rods, 21, 21.

[0020] The improved crib also includes a locking mechanism 27 that is operatively arranged between the gate and frame for selectively holding the gate in a particular position relative to the frame. This locking mechanism may simply be a pair of biased washer-like members that mounted on the gate that are arranged to engage rods 21. Indeed, rods 21 may have notches or recesses therein so as to receive the locking members to retain the gates in their upper position. This constitutes a positive interlock against unintentional lowering of the gate.

[0021] The improved crib further includes a warning device that is operatively interposed between each gate and the frame for indicating when the gate is not in its raised and locked position.

[0022] The warning device is generally indicated at 30 in FIG. 2.

[0023] Referring now to FIG. 2, the warning device is shown as having a battery 31 and a manually-operated main switch 32. A plurality of normally-closed reed-type proximity switches, severally indicated at 33, are operatively arranged adjacent the upper portions of the frame posts, and are selectively activated by magnets (not specifically shown) carried by the proximate portions of each gate. It should be noted that the switches for each end of a particular gate are arranged in parallel, and are connected by quick connectors, severally indicated at 34. Current from the battery is supplied through main switch 32 and conductor 35 to the sensors 33. When these switches are closed, a current passes through the closed switches to a conductor 36 which leads to a conductor 38. A dual timer 39 is arranged between conductor 38 and return conductor 40, which communicates via conductor 41 with the opposite side of the battery.

[0024] Conductors 3 8 and 40 are connected via a branch circuit including resistors R1, R2 and capacitor C7, and by another branch circuit including resistors R3, R4 and capacitor C2.

[0025] The dual timer 39 is an integrated circuit having fourteen terminals. Terminal 1 communicates with a node between resistors R1 and R2. Terminal 2 communicates with the node between resistor R2 and capacitor C7, and with terminal 6. Terminal 3 communicates with return conductor 40 via capacitor C3. Terminal 4 communicates with conductor 38. Terminal 5 communicates with terminal 10. Terminal 6 communicates with terminal 2 and with the node between resistor R2 and capacitor C 1. Terminal 7 communicates with conductor 40. Terminal 8 communicates with the node between resistor R4 and capacitor C2, and with terminal 12. Terminal 9 communicates with conductor 40 via resistor R5 and buzzer 42. Terminal 9 also is connected to a transmitter, indicated by box 47. Terminal 10 communicates with terminal 5. Terminal 11 communicates with conductor 40 via capacitor C4. Terminal 12 communicates with terminal 8, and communicates with the node between resistor R4 and capacitor C2. Terminal 13 communicates with the node between resistors R3 and R4. Terminal 14 communicates with conductor 38.

[0026] Conductor 35 communicates with a conductor 43 via a conductor 44. Conductor 43 communicates with conductor 40 via resistors R6, R7 and a capacitor C6, and communicates with conductor 40 via resistors R8, R9 and a LED 45. Conductors 43 and 40 also communicate with one another via a capacitor C7.

[0027] This circuit further includes a timer chip 46 having eight terminals. Terminal 1 communicates with conductor 40. Terminal 2 communicates with terminal 6 and with the node between resistor R7 and capacitor C6. Terminal 3 communicates with the node between resistors R8 and R9. Terminal 4 communicates with conductor 43. Terminal 5 communicates with conductor 40 through capacitor C5. Terminal 6 communicates with terminal 2, and with a node between resistor R7 and capacitor C6. Terminal 7 communicates with a node between resistors R6 and R7. Terminal 8 communicates with conductor 43.

[0028] When main switch 32 is closed, power is supplied through the normally-closed reed switches to the timer circuit. These various switches, severally indicated at 33, are normally closed when the gate is not in its raised position. However, when each gate is in its raised position, these switches are opened to prevent the loudspeaker circuit from being energized. Should any gate not be its fully raised position, at least one of the reed switches will be closed, to energize the timer. After passage of a predetermined period to time, buzzer 42 will sound to audibly indicate that one of the gates is not in its raised and locked position. If desired, this signal may be transmitted via transmitter 43 to a remote location, such as a nurse's station.

[0029] When the main switch is closed, power is also supplied to the main timer circuit, which illuminates a green LED 45 to indicate that the power is on and the circuitry is operating as intended.

[0030] Thus, the present invention broadly provides an improved bed, such as a pediatric crib 10. The improved bed broadly includes a frame 11, a gate 18-21 mounted on the frame for movement relative thereto between raised and lowered positions, a locking mechanism 27 operatively arranged between the gate and frame for selectively holding the gate in a particular position relative to the frame, and a warning device 30 operatively interposed between the gate and frame for indicating when a gate is not in its raised position.

MODIFICATIONS

[0031] The present invention contemplates that many changes and modifications may be made. For example, the invention may be applied to a pediatric crib, or to another type of bed having gates that are arranged to be moved between raised and lowered positions. These gates may be slidably or pivotally mounted on the frame. It is presently preferred that to use magnetically-operated reed switches as the sensors, inasmuch as these do not require electrical contact between the switch and magnet. Rather, the switches are operated by the influence of a magnet-produced field on the reeds. The beds or cribs may have various shapes and configurations, as desired. Similarly, the beds or cribs may have varied and different types of locking mechanisms for securing them in their upright position and in any intermediate position. The circuitry may be modified so as to provide a visual indication that a gate is not in its raised position. If desired, the transmitter to the remote location, may be omitted. Chips other than the specific integrated circuits, indicated at 39, 46, may also be employed.

[0032] Therefore, while the preferred form of the improved bed has been shown and described, and several modifications thereof discussed, persons skilled in this art will readily appreciate that various additional changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, as defined and differentiated by the following claims.