Title:
Child seating apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A child seating apparatus equipped with swiveling seats and a telescopically-modifiable structure that facilitates adult user-selected modification of seating arrangement and/or configuration, wherein activity walls, activity bars and/or dividers are selectively and removably secured to each seat so as to permit a parent or caregiver to either shield each child from another, to permit each child to interact with another, to permit a child to entertain him/herself while the parent or caregiver feeds another child, to permit each seated child to entertain him/herself in the presence and/or brief absence of the parent or caregiver, and/or to visually convince each child that he/she is receiving the parent's or caregiver's full and undivided attention, and/or to temporarily distract the child(ren) from such perceived needs for direct adult attention.



Inventors:
Dickinson, Rebekah (Alpharetta, GA, US)
Application Number:
10/778279
Publication Date:
10/28/2004
Filing Date:
02/13/2004
Assignee:
DICKINSON REBEKAH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47D1/00; A47D1/10; (IPC1-7): A47D1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCPARTLIN, SARAH BURNHAM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BakerHostetler (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a first seat; a second seat; and a telescopically-adjustable support frame, said first and second seats mounted on said support frame and adapted to permit user-selected independent multi-directional positioning of said first and second seats relative to one another.

2. The child seating apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first and second seats are swiveling seats.

3. The child seating apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first and second seats are each adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray.

4. The child seating apparatus of claim 3, wherein at least one of said first and second seats or at least one of said trays of each said seat is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

5. The child seating apparatus of claim 4, wherein said trays of said first and second seats are slidably adjustable.

6. The child seating apparatus of claim 1, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support frame permits the selective distancing of said first and second seats from one another.

7. The child seating apparatus of claim 1, wherein said support frame comprises a plurality of telescopically adjustable support legs, and wherein telescopic adjustment of said support legs permits the selective height adjustment of said apparatus.

8. The child seating apparatus of claim 1, wherein said support frame comprises a plurality of foldable support legs, wherein folding of said support legs permits the near floor-level positioning of said apparatus for operable use of said first and second seats.

9. The child seating apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first and second seats comprise adjustable seatbacks.

10. The child seating apparatus of claim 9, wherein said first and second seats each comprise an adjustable handle to accommodate adjustment of said seatbacks.

11. The child seating apparatus of claim 10, wherein at least one of said handles is adapted to removably receive an article storage bag.

12. The child seating apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of lockable wheels for facilitating the wheeled transport of said apparatus across a selected surface.

13. The child seating apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least one of said first and second seats is adapted to be selectively adjusted in an upward or downward direction upon disengagement of a release member carried thereby.

14. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a plurality of seats disposed on a telescopically-adjustable support frame, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support frame permits the selective distancing of said plurality of seats from one another.

15. The child seating apparatus of claim 14, wherein said plurality of seats are swiveling seats.

16. The child seating apparatus of claim 14, wherein said plurality of seats are each adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray.

17. The child seating apparatus of claim 16, wherein at least one of said plurality of seats or at least one of said trays of said plurality of seats is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

18. The child seating apparatus of claim 14, wherein said support frame comprises a plurality of telescopically adjustable support legs, and wherein telescopic adjustment of said support legs permits the selective height adjustment of said apparatus.

19. The child seating apparatus of claim 14, wherein said support frame comprises a plurality of foldable support legs, wherein folding of said support legs permits the near floor-level positioning of said apparatus for operable use of said plurality of seats.

20. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a plurality of seats disposed on a telescopically-adjustable support frame, said support frame comprising a plurality of telescopically adjustable support legs, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support legs permits the selective height adjustment of said apparatus.

21. The child seating apparatus of claim 20, wherein said plurality of seats are swiveling seats.

22. The child seating apparatus of claim 20, wherein said plurality of seats are each adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray.

23. The child seating apparatus of claim 22, wherein at least one of said plurality of seats or at least one of said trays of said plurality of seats is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

24. The child seating apparatus of claim 20, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support frame permits the selective distancing of said plurality of seats from one another.

25. The child seating apparatus of claim 20, wherein said plurality of support legs are foldable to permit the near floor-level positioning of said apparatus for operable use of said plurality of seats.

26. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a plurality of seats disposed on a telescopically-adjustable support frame, said support frame comprising a plurality of foldable support legs, wherein folding of said support legs permits the near floor-level positioning of said apparatus for operable use of said plurality of seats.

27. The child seating apparatus of claim 26, wherein said plurality of seats are swiveling seats.

28. The child seating apparatus of claim 26, wherein said plurality of seats are each adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray.

29. The child seating apparatus of claim 28, wherein at least one of said plurality of seats or at least one of said trays of said plurality of seats is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

30. The child seating apparatus of claim 26, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support frame permits the selective distancing of said plurality of seats from one another.

31. The child seating apparatus of claim 26, wherein said plurality of support legs are telescopically adjustable to permit the selective height adjustment of said apparatus.

32. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a plurality of seats supported via a plurality of foldable support legs, wherein folding of said support legs permits the near floor-level positioning of said apparatus for operable use of said plurality of seats.

33. The child seating apparatus of claim 32, wherein said plurality of seats are swiveling seats.

34. The child seating apparatus of claim 32, wherein said plurality of seats are each adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray.

35. The child seating apparatus of claim 34, wherein at least one of said plurality of seats or at least one of said trays of said plurality of seats is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

36. The child seating apparatus of claim 32, further comprising a telescopically adjustable support frame in communication with said plurality of seats or said plurality of support legs, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support frame permits the selective distancing of said plurality of seats from one another.

37. The child seating apparatus of claim 32, wherein said plurality of support legs are telescopically adjustable to permit the selective height adjustment of said apparatus.

38. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a plurality of seats disposed on a telescopically-adjustable support frame, said support frame comprising a plurality of foldable and telescopically adjustable support legs, wherein the folding of each said support leg permits the near floor-level positioning of said apparatus for operable use of said plurality of seats.

39. The child seating apparatus of claim 38, wherein said plurality of seats are swiveling seats.

40. The child seating apparatus of claim 38, wherein said plurality of seats are each adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray.

41. The child seating apparatus of claim 40, wherein at least one of said plurality of seats or at least one of said trays of said plurality of seats is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

42. The child seating apparatus of claim 38, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support frame permits the selective distancing of said plurality of seats from one another.

43. The child seating apparatus of claim 38, wherein telescopic adjustment of said plurality of support legs permit the selective height adjustment of said apparatus.

44. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a first seat; a second seat; and a telescopically-adjustable support frame, said first and second seats disposed on said support frame, wherein said first and second seats are each adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

45. The child seating apparatus of claim 44, wherein said first and second seats are swiveling seats.

46. The child seating apparatus of claim 44, wherein said first and second seats are each adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray.

47. The child seating apparatus of claim 46, wherein at least one of said trays of said first and second seats is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

48. The child seating apparatus of claim 46, wherein said trays of said first and second seats are slidably adjustable.

49. The child seating apparatus of claim 44, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support frame permits the selective distancing of said first and second seats from one another.

50. The child seating apparatus of claim 44, wherein said support frame comprises a plurality of telescopically adjustable support legs, and wherein telescopic adjustment of said support legs permits the selective height adjustment of said apparatus.

51. The child seating apparatus of claim 44, wherein said support frame comprises a plurality of foldable support legs, wherein folding of said support legs permits the near floor-level positioning of said apparatus for operable use of said first and second seats.

52. The child seating apparatus of claim 44, wherein said first and second seats comprise adjustable seatbacks.

53. The child seating apparatus of claim 52, wherein said first and second seats each comprise an adjustable handle to accommodate adjustment of said seatbacks.

54. The child seating apparatus of claim 53, wherein at least one of said handles is adapted to removably receive an article storage bag.

55. The child seating apparatus of claim 44, further comprising a plurality of lockable wheels for facilitating the wheeled transport of said apparatus across a selected surface.

56. The child seating apparatus of claim 44, wherein at least one of said first and second seats is adapted to be selectively adjusted in an upward or downward direction upon disengagement of a release member carried thereby.

57. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a seat disposed on a plurality of telescopically-adjustable support legs, wherein said seat is adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray, and wherein at least one of said seat and said tray is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

58. The child seating apparatus of claim 57, wherein said seat is a swiveling seat.

59. The child seating apparatus of claim 57, wherein said tray of said seat is slidably adjustable.

60. The child seating apparatus of claim 57, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support legs permits the selective height adjustment of said apparatus.

61. The child seating apparatus of claim 57, wherein said plurality of support legs are foldable to permit the near floor-level positioning of said apparatus for operable use of said seat.

62. The child seating apparatus of claim 57, wherein said seat comprises an adjustable seatback.

63. The child seating apparatus of claim 62, wherein said seat comprises an adjustable handle to accommodate adjustment of said seatback.

64. The child seating apparatus of claim 63, wherein said handle is adapted to removably receive an article storage bag.

65. The child seating apparatus of claim 57, further comprising a plurality of lockable wheels for facilitating the wheeled transport of said apparatus across a selected surface.

66. The child seating apparatus of claim 57, wherein said seat is adapted to be selectively adjusted in an upward or downward direction upon disengagement of a release member carried thereby.

67. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a seat swivelably mounted on a plurality of telescopically-adjustable support legs for permitting user-selected swiveling and positioning of said seat, wherein said seat is adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray, and wherein at least one of said seat and said tray is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

68. The child seating apparatus of claim 67, wherein said tray of said seat is slidably adjustable.

69. The child seating apparatus of claim 67, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support legs permits the selective height adjustment of said apparatus.

70. The child seating apparatus of claim 67, wherein said plurality of support legs are foldable to permit the near floor-level positioning of said apparatus for operable use of said seat.

71. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a seat supported via a plurality of telescopically adjustable support legs, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support legs permits the selective height adjustment of said seat; and, said seat adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray, wherein at least one of said seat and said tray is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

72. The child seating apparatus of claim 71, wherein said seat is a swiveling seat.

73. The child seating apparatus of claim 71, wherein said tray of said seat is slidably adjustable.

74. The child seating apparatus of claim 71, wherein said plurality of support legs are foldable to permit the near floor-level positioning of said apparatus for operable use of said seat.

75. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a seat disposed on a plurality of foldable support legs, wherein folding of said support legs permits the near floor-level positioning of said seat for operable use thereof.

76. The child seating apparatus of claim 75, wherein said seat is a swiveling seat.

77. The child seating apparatus of claim 75, wherein said seat is adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray.

78. The child seating apparatus of claim 77, wherein at least one of said seat and said tray is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

79. The child seating apparatus of claim 77, wherein said tray of said seat is slidably adjustable.

80. The child seating apparatus of claim 77, wherein said support legs are telescopically adjustable to permit the selective height adjustment of said apparatus.

81. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a seat disposed on a telescopically-adjustable support frame, said support frame comprising a plurality of foldable and telescopically adjustable support legs, wherein the folding of each said support leg permits the near floor-level positioning of said seat for operable use thereof; and, said seat adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray, wherein at least one of said seat and said tray is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

82. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a seat disposed on a plurality of foldable and telescopically adjustable support legs, wherein the folding of each said support leg permits the near floor-level positioning of said seat for operable use thereof; and, said seat adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray, wherein at least one of said seat and said tray is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

83. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a plurality of seats disposed on a telescopically adjustable support frame, wherein said support frame permits the complete separation of said plurality of seats from one another to yield a plurality of independently standing child seating apparatuses.

84. The child seating apparatus of claim 83, wherein said plurality of seats are swiveling seats.

85. The child seating apparatus of claim 83, wherein said plurality of seats are each adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray.

86. The child seating apparatus of claim 85, wherein at least one of said plurality of seats or at least one of said trays of each said plurality of seats is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates.

87. The child seating apparatus of claim 85, wherein said trays of said plurality of seats are slidably adjustable.

88. The child seating apparatus of claim 83, wherein telescopic adjustment of said support frame permits the selective distancing of said plurality of seats from one another.

89. The child seating apparatus of claim 83, wherein said support frame comprises a plurality of telescopically adjustable support legs, and wherein telescopic adjustment of said support legs permits the selective height adjustment of said apparatus.

90. The child seating apparatus of claim 83, wherein each seat of said plurality of seats comprises a plurality of telescopically adjustable support legs extending therefrom so as to permit independent standing of each said seat of said plurality of seats upon complete separation of each said seat of said plurality of seats from one another via separating said support frame, and wherein telescopic adjustment of said support legs permits the selective height adjustment of each said seat.

91. The child seating apparatus of claim 83, wherein said support frame comprises a plurality of foldable support legs, wherein folding of said support legs permits the near floor-level positioning of said apparatus for operable use of said plurality of seats.

92. The child seating apparatus of claim 83, wherein each seat of said plurality of seats comprises a plurality of support legs extending therefrom so as to permit independent standing of each said seat of said plurality of seats upon complete separation of each said seat of said plurality of seats from one another via separating said support frame, and wherein each support leg of said plurality of support legs is foldable to permit the near floor-level positioning of each said seat of said plurality of seats for operable use thereof.

93. The child seating apparatus of claim 83, wherein said plurality of seats comprise adjustable seatbacks.

94. The child seating apparatus of claim 93, wherein each seat of said plurality of seats comprises an adjustable handle to accommodate adjustment of said seatback.

95. The child seating apparatus of claim 94, wherein at least one of said handles is adapted to removably receive an article storage bag.

96. The child seating apparatus of claim 83, further comprising a plurality of lockable wheels for facilitating the wheeled transport of said apparatus across a selected surface.

97. The child seating apparatus of claim 83, wherein at least one seat of said plurality of seats is adapted to be selectively adjusted in an upward or downward direction upon disengagement of a release member carried thereby.

98. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a first mounting means adapted to carry a first seat; a second mounting means adapted to carry a second seat, wherein said first and second mounting means are disjoined one from the other; and a telescopically-adjustable support frame adapted to carry said first and second mounting means in spaced-apart relationship.

99. A child seating apparatus, comprising: a plurality of swiveling seats disposed on a telescopically-modifiable structure to facilitate user-selected modification of seating arrangement and configuration, wherein said plurality of seats are each adapted to selectively and removably receive a tray, and wherein at least one of said plurality of seats or at least one of said trays of said plurality of seats is adapted to selectively and removably receive a member selected from the group consisting of activity walls, dividers, activity bars, and kick plates, wherein selective swiveling of said plurality of seats, selective telescopic modification of said support structure, and selective application of at least one of said members to at least one of said plurality of seats or at least of said trays of said plurality of seats, permits a caregiver to control the actions of each child seated within a seat of said plurality of seats, said action selected from the group consisting of shielding each child from another, permitting each child to interact with another, permitting a child to entertain him/herself while another child is fed, permitting each seated child to entertain him/herself in the presence of the caregiver, permitting each seated child to entertain him/herself in the brief absence of the caregiver, visually convincing each child that he/she is receiving the caregiver's full and undivided attention, temporarily distracting at least one child from perceived needs for direct attention from the caregiver, and combinations thereof.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE AND PRIORITY CLAIM TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] To the fullest extent permitted by law, the present nonprovisional patent application claims priority to and the full benefit of provisional patent application entitled “Two Seater Highchair”, filed on Apr. 22, 2003, having assigned Ser. No. 60/464,803, and provisional patent application entitled “Child Seating Apparatus”, filed on Nov. 19, 2003, having assigned Ser. No. 60/524,111.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates generally to seating units for children, and more specifically to a multi-child seating apparatus for accommodating and entertaining multiple infants, toddlers, and/or other suitably aged and sized children. The present invention is particularly advantageous in use and application due to its ability to permit parents, caretakers, or the like, to contemporaneously feed and/or entertain multiple infants, toddlers, or the like, or, alternatively, to permit the children safely to entertain themselves in the brief absence or diversion of adult supervision.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Parenthood is unquestionably a physically and mentally demanding responsibility that seemingly absorbs every moment of the parents' lives. Although nurturing and rearing one child certainly has its challenges, parents of two or more children are often faced with mental and physical stresses that easily surpass those of single-child parents. As such, parents of two or more children must quickly learn to effectively multitask to provide each child with the requisite care. This is especially true for parents of two or more children of the same age, as in twin or multiple birth circumstances, and for parents with children of close or similar ages. Of course, daycare providers, caregivers of children in institutional settings, and the like, certainly face similar challenges.

[0004] Consequently, many parents and caregivers often utilize childcare devices to facilitate the parent's or caregiver's ability to multitask, wherein such devices permit a parent or caregiver to both care for and meet each child's needs, and attend to household, family, or other immediate obligations. For instance, many parents and caregivers often utilize activity centers or playpens to preoccupy and entertain one child, while tending to another child's feeding demands or other regimen. Where the other child's needs center around feeding activities, that child is typically seated within a highchair to facilitate the feeding process. However, because many infants and toddlers are often fed in the kitchen or other dining-specific area, a parent or caregiver tending to a hungry child is usually unable to effectively supervise, entertain, and/or otherwise interact with a second child playpen-bound in a different room. As such, the parent or caregiver must often move between each child to ensure that each child's demands are met and/or to pacify an irritated child.

[0005] Although many parents and caregivers often resort to seating all their children within highchairs to simultaneously monitor each child during feeding of a select child (or children), such a strategy is rarely without headache. For instance, the child/children not being fed may quickly become irritated in the perceived absence of the parent's or caregiver's constant and undivided attention, now focused toward the hungry child, or jealous, and therefore aggravated, in view of the parent's or caregiver's conscious effort to direct his/her attention to the hungry child. As such, the parent or caregiver is forced to simultaneously pacify or entertain the irritated child and feed the hungry child. Additionally, if the parent or caregiver is feeding more than one child, the parent or caregiver must ensure that each child properly interacts with his/her sibling(s) or other nearby child(ren), and refrains from any activity, such as throwing food at one another, that would otherwise provoke or aggravate his/her sibling(s) or neighbor(s).

[0006] Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for a multi-child seating apparatus for accommodating multiple infants, toddlers, and/or other suitably-aged and sized children, wherein parents and other caregivers can effectively and simultaneously distribute their attention to a number of children to selectively feed, entertain, or otherwise interact with same. There is a further need for such an apparatus that permits a child to entertain himself within the presence of the parent or caregiver, yet permit the parent or caregiver to provide the child's sibling(s) or nearby child(ren) with a short period of undivided attention. There is still a further need for such an apparatus that visually convinces each child that he/she is receiving the parent's or caregiver's full and undivided attention. There is yet another need for such an apparatus that permits children to safely entertain themselves in the brief absence or diversion of adult supervision. As will be more fully detailed hereinbelow, it is to the provision of such an apparatus that the present invention is directed.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and meets the recognized need for such a device by providing embodiments directed to a multi-child seating apparatus equipped with swiveling seats and a telescopically-modifiable structure that facilitates user-selected modification of seating arrangement and/or configuration, wherein activity walls, activity bars, and/or dividers are selectively and removably secured to, or proximate, each seat so as to permit a parent or caregiver to either shield each child from one another, permit each child to interact with one another, to permit a child to entertain him/herself while the parent or caregiver feeds another child, to permit each seated child to entertain him/herself in the presence and/or brief absence of the parent or caregiver, and/or to visually convince each child that he/she is receiving the parent's or caregiver's full and undivided attention, and/or to temporarily distract the child(ren) from such perceived needs for direct adult attention.

[0008] According to its major aspects and broadly stated, the present invention in its preferred form is a multi-child seating apparatus having a first swiveling seat telescopically connected to a second swiveling seat, wherein the first and second seats are supported via an arrangement of telescopically and pivotally manipulatable legs, and wherein a system of activity walls, bars and/or dividers are removably securable to, or proximate, the seats to facilitate care of children seated therein.

[0009] More specifically, the present invention is a multi-child seating apparatus having a first swiveling seat telescopically connected to a second swiveling seat, wherein each seat may be selectively swiveled within a prescribed radius, and wherein the distance between each seat may be selectively adjusted via a telescoping arm extending therebetween. The first and second seats are preferably supported via an arrangement of telescoping legs that permit overall height adjustment of the apparatus, wherein each leg further incorporates a lockable pivot mechanism to permit the inward folding of same, and, thus, the near floor-level seating of infants, toddlers, or the like. Each leg further comprises a lockable wheeled-base or caster to facilitate wheeled transport of the apparatus. Additionally, the seatbacks of each seat may be tilted or pivotally adjusted to accommodate children of varying size or general child growth.

[0010] Preferably, each seat incorporates a feeding tray, wherein each tray is adapted to selectively and removably receive an activity wall and/or activity bar to entertain the child(ren) seated within the seat(s). Alternatively, dividers or separating walls may be removable secured to each tray so as to visually shield a first seated child from the sight of a second seated child; thereby, visually convincing each child that he/she is receiving the parent's or caregiver's full and undivided attention, and/or to further prevent each child from physically interacting with another in a confrontational manner (i.e., throwing food, dishware, toys, and the like at one another). Additionally, each seat may further selectively and removably receive a kick plate to shield or guard the swinging or kicking legs and feet of one seated child from those of another. Each tray is further capable of being slidably adjusted to accommodate children of varying size or general child growth. Furthermore, each seat comprises a rearwardly disposed handle to facilitate movement and positioning of the apparatus, and to further removably receive a storage bag thereon, wherein the storage bag may be utilized to store toys, personal articles, or the like.

[0011] In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, the feeding trays are replaced with support bars that permit activity walls, activity bars, and/or dividers to be selectively and removably secured thereto, wherein the support bars incorporate storage compartments to facilitate the expeditious storage and retrieval of crayons, pacifiers, moist towelettes, bibs, or the like. It is further contemplated that the support bars could be removably secured to the seats and that removable feeding trays could be engaged thereover, wherein the support bars could effectively restrain a child seated within a respective seat when the feeding trays are removed, and wherein removal of the support bars could be effectuated via adult intervention only. In such an embodiment, it is contemplated that the support bars could be removably secured to leg dividers formed on the seats.

[0012] Accordingly, a feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to accommodate multiple infants, toddlers, and/or other suitably aged children.

[0013] Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to enable parents and caregivers to effectively and simultaneously distribute their attention to a number of children in order to selectively feed, entertain, and/or otherwise interact with same, wherein such a feature and advantage is implemented via telescopically adjusting the configuration and/or general arrangement of the apparatus, via swiveling the first and second seats to a selected position, and/or via the application of dividers or separating walls between each seat structure.

[0014] Still another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to enable a child to entertain himself within the presence of the parent or caregiver, yet permit the parent or caregiver to provide other children or sibling(s) with undivided attention, wherein such a feature and advantage is implemented via telescopically adjusting the configuration and/or general arrangement of the apparatus, via swiveling the first and second seats to a selected position, and/or via the application of dividers or separating walls between each seat structure.

[0015] Yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to enable a parent to visually convince each child that he/she is receiving the parent's or caregiver's full and undivided attention, wherein such a feature and advantage is implemented via telescopically adjusting the configuration and/or general arrangement of the apparatus, via swiveling the first and second seats to a selected position, and/or via the application of dividers or separating walls between each seat structure.

[0016] Yet still another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to permit children to safely entertain themselves in the brief absence of adult supervision.

[0017] A further feature and advantage of the present invention is its provision of activity walls, activity bars and/or dividers selectively and removably securable to each seat, so as to permit a parent or caregiver to either shield each child from another, to permit each child to interact with another, and/or to permit a child to entertain him/herself.

[0018] Still a further feature and advantage of the present invention is its incorporation of swiveling seats and a telescopically-modifiable structure that facilitates user-selected modification of seating arrangement and/or configuration; thereby, providing a parent or caregiver with the ability to selectively shield and/or distance each child from one another, or permit each child to interact with one another.

[0019] Yet still a further feature and advantage of the present invention is its incorporation of telescoping legs that permit overall height adjustment of the apparatus.

[0020] Still another and further feature and advantage of the present invention is its incorporation of telescopically-adjustably legs having lockable pivot mechanisms to permit the inward folding of same, and, thus, the near floor-level seating of infants, toddlers, or the like.

[0021] Yet still another and further feature and advantage of the present invention is its incorporation of removable kick plates for shielding or guarding the swinging or kicking legs and feet of one seated child from those of another.

[0022] Yet a further feature and advantage of the present invention is its incorporation of adjustable seatbacks and feeding trays to accommodate children of varying size or general child growth.

[0023] These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0024] The present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:

[0025] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0026] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0027] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0028] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0029] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0030] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0031] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0032] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0033] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0034] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0035] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0036] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0037] FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

[0038] FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

[0039] FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

[0040] FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

[0041] FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a single-child seating apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention; and,

[0042] FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a multi-child seating apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS

[0043] In describing the preferred and alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-18, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

[0044] Referring now to FIG. 1-3, the present invention in a preferred embodiment is a multi-child seating apparatus 10, comprising, in general, first swivel seat 20, second swivel seat 60, and telescopically-adjustable support frame 100.

[0045] Specifically, first swivel seat 20 preferably comprises seat bottom 22 and seat back 24, wherein seatback 24 is preferably connected to seat bottom 22 via pivot mechanism 26, as best illustrated in FIG. 2. Preferably, pivot mechanism 26 permits seatback 24 to be tilted or pivotally adjusted to accommodate children of varying size or general child growth, as best illustrated in FIG. 3. Preferably extending from upper surface 22a of seat bottom 22 is leg divider 28, wherein leg divider 28 permits the comfortable separation of a child's legs when the child is seated within seat 20, and, further, prevents the child from sliding from seat bottom 22 when placed thereon, as is known within the art. Additionally, preferably extending from lower surface 22b of seat bottom 22 is footrest 30, wherein footrest 30 preferably permits a child to comfortably place and support his/her feet thereon, as is known within the art.

[0046] Preferably formed on sidewalls 22c and 22d of seat bottom 22 are armrests 32 and 34, respectively, wherein handle 36 is preferably telescopically-engaged therewith, and extends around rear wall 24a of seatback 24. Preferably, handle 36 may be selectively telescopically adjusted or extended to permit seatback 24 to be tilted back or pivotally adjusted into a selected position or angle, as best illustrated in FIG. 3. It should be recognized that telescopically-adjustable handle 36 could be manually extended and/or retracted upon tilting or pivotally adjusting seatback 24, or, alternatively, could automatically extend and/or retract upon tilting or pivotally adjusting seatback 24, wherein such automatic extension and/or retraction could be facilitated via any suitable mechanism, such as, for exemplary purposes only gears, levers, and the like. As more fully described below, handle 36 is preferably utilized to facilitate movement and positioning of apparatus 10, and to further removably receive storage bag 37 thereon, wherein storage bag 37 may be utilized to store toys, personal articles, or the like.

[0047] Preferably slidably and adjustably engaged with armrests 32 and 34 is feeding tray 38, wherein slidably adjusting feeding tray 38 over armrests 32 and 34 preferably permits the comfortable accommodation of children of varying size and/or general child growth, and wherein slidable adjustment of tray 38 is preferably facilitated via any suitable mechanism such as, for exemplary purposes only, telescoping members, ratchet-based adjustment mechanisms, ridge-and-channel configurations, lever-and-groove systems, plunger-and-recess systems, or the like. Feeding tray 38 preferably possesses a conventional compartmentalized surface that accommodates the convenient placement and support of bottles, drinking cups, dishes, and the like thereon. Additionally, and as more fully described below, feeding tray 38 is preferably adapted to selectively and removably receive an activity wall and/or activity bar to entertain a child seated within seat 20, or, alternatively, dividers or separating walls so as to visually shield the child seated within seat 20 for purposes more fully described below.

[0048] Preferably, foot rest 30 is adapted to selectively and removably receive kick plate 40, wherein kick plate 40 is preferably utilized to shield or guard the swinging or kicking legs and feet of a child seated within seat 20 from those of a child seated within seat 60.

[0049] Preferably identical in structure and function to seat 20, second swivel seat 60 preferably comprises seat bottom 62 and seatback 64, wherein seatback 64 is preferably connected to seat bottom 62 via pivot mechanism 66, as best illustrated in FIG. 2. Preferably, pivot mechanism 66 permits seatback 64 to be tilted or pivotally adjusted to accommodate children of varying size or general child growth, as best illustrated in FIG. 3. Preferably extending from upper surface 62a of seat bottom 62 is leg divider 68, wherein leg divider 68 permits the comfortable separation of a child's legs when the child is seated within seat 60, and further prevents the child from sliding from seat bottom 62 when placed thereon, as is known within the art. Additionally, preferably extending from lower surface 62b of seat bottom 62 is footrest 70, wherein footrest 70 preferably permits a child to comfortable place and support his/her feet thereon, as is known within the art.

[0050] Preferably formed on sidewalls 62c and 62d of seat bottom 62 are armrests 72 and 74, respectively, wherein handle 76 is preferably telescopically-engaged therewith, and extends around rear wall 64a of seatback 64. Preferably, handle 76 may be selectively telescopically adjusted or extended to permit seatback 64 to be tilted back or pivotally adjusted into a selected position or angle, as best illustrated in FIG. 3. It should be recognized that telescopically-adjustable handle 76 could be manually extended and/or retracted upon tilting or pivotally adjusting seatback 64, or, alternatively, could automatically extend and/or retract upon tilting or pivotally adjusting seatback 64, wherein such automatic extension and/or retraction could be facilitated via any suitable mechanism, such as, for exemplary purposes only gears, levers, and the like. As more fully described below, handle 76 is preferably utilized to facilitate movement and positioning of apparatus 10, and to further removably receive storage bag 77 thereon, wherein storage bag 77 may be utilized to store toys, personal articles, or the like.

[0051] Preferably slidably and adjustably engaged with armrests 72 and 74 is feeding tray 78, wherein slidably adjusting feeding tray 78 over armrests 72 and 74 preferably permits the comfortable accommodation of children of varying size and/or general child growth, and wherein slidable adjustment of tray 78 is preferably facilitated via any suitable mechanism such as, for exemplary purposes only, telescoping members, ratchet-based adjustment mechanisms, ridge-and-channel configurations, lever-and-groove systems, plunger-and-recess systems, or the like. Feeding tray 78 preferably possesses a conventional compartmentalized surface that accommodates the convenient placement and support of bottles, drinking cups, dishes, and the like thereon. Additionally, and as more fully described below, feeding tray 78 is preferably adapted to selectively and removably receive an activity wall and/or activity bar to entertain a child seated within seat 60, or, alternatively, dividers or separating walls so as to visually shield the child seated within seat 20 for purposes more fully described below.

[0052] Preferably, foot rest 70 is adapted to selectively and removable receive kick plate 80, wherein kick plate 80 is preferably utilized to shield or guard the swinging or kicking legs and feet of a child seated within seat 60 from those of a child seated within seat 20.

[0053] Referring now to FIGS. 4-6, with continued reference to FIGS. 1-3, preferably, swivel seats 20 and 60 are supported via telescopically-adjustable support frame 100, wherein support frame 100 preferably comprises telescopically-adjustable mid-base 110, and an arrangement of telescoping legs 120, 130, 140 and 150 extending therefrom, as more fully described below.

[0054] More specifically, mid-base 110 preferably comprises first support platform 112 and second support platform 114, wherein platforms 112 and 114 are preferably connected via telescopically-adjustable support arm 116. Preferably, first swivel seat 20 and second swivel seat 60 are swivelly or rotatably mounted on platforms 112 and 114, respectively; thus, permitting seats 20 and 60 to be selectively swiveled or rotated within a prescribed radius, wherein various exemplary positions of seats 20 and 60 are best illustrated in FIGS. 1-6. Preferably, the swivel actuation or rotational movement of seats 20 and 60 is facilitated via any suitable rotary or swivel mechanism, such as, for exemplary purposes only, bearing mechanisms, ridge-and-channel configurations, ball-bearing mechanisms, or the like. It should be recognized that swivel seats 20 and 60 would advantageously enable a parent or caregiver to strategically position seats 20 and 60 so as to regulate and/or control the amount and/or type of interaction between the children seated therewithin, wherein a selected seat configuration and/or position may place the children seated within seats 20 and 60 in a face-to-face, back-to-back, side-to-side, side-to-back, front-to-side, and/or front-to back configuration.

[0055] Preferably, the distance between seats 20 and 60 may be selectively adjusted via telescopically-adjustable support arm 116; thereby, permitting seats 20 and 60 to remain in substantial proximity to one another, or alternatively, at any user-selected distance permitted via the telescopic capacity of support arm 116. It should be recognized that regulating the distance between seats 20 and 60 via telescopically-adjusting support arm 116 would advantageously enable a parent or caregiver to strategically distance seats 20 and 60 so as to regulate and/or control the amount and/or type of interaction between the children seated therewithin, wherein the benefits afforded thereunder are further enhanced in view of the benefits proffered by the swivel-actuated movement or positioning of seats 20 and/or 60, as described above.

[0056] Preferably extending from first platform 112 are telescopically-adjustable legs 120 and 130. Similarly, preferably extending from second platform 114 are telescopically-adjustable legs 140 and 150, wherein telescopic-adjustment of legs 120, 130, 140 and 150 collectively permit overall height adjustment of apparatus 10. Specifically, leg 120 preferably comprises telescopically adjustable upper portion 122 and telescopically adjustable lower portion 124, wherein upper and lower portions 122 and 124, respectively, are preferably connected via lockable pivot mechanism 126, and wherein pivot mechanism 126 preferably permits the inward folding of lower portion 124 for purposes more fully described below. Similarly, leg 130 preferably comprises telescopically adjustable upper portion 132 and telescopically adjustable lower portion 134, wherein upper and lower portions 132 and 134, respectively, are preferably connected via lockable pivot mechanism 136, and wherein pivot mechanism 136 preferably permits the inward folding of lower portion 134 for purposes more fully described below. Likewise, leg 140 preferably comprises telescopically adjustable upper portion 142 and telescopically adjustable lower portion 144, wherein upper and lower portions 142 and 144, respectively, are preferably connected via lockable pivot mechanism 146, and wherein pivot mechanism 146 preferably permits the inward folding of lower portion 144 for purposes more fully described below. Leg 150 preferably comprises telescopically adjustable upper portion 152 and telescopically adjustable lower portion 154, wherein upper and lower portions 152 and 154, respectively, are preferably connected via lockable pivot mechanism 156, and wherein pivot mechanism 156 preferably permits the inward folding of lower portion 154 for purposes more fully described below.

[0057] As best illustrated in FIGS. 7-9, upon the inward folding of lower portions 124, 134, 144 and 154 of legs 120, 130, 140 and 150, respectively, via lockable pivot mechanisms 126, 136, 146 and 156, respectively, apparatus 10 preferably lowers, and, thus, permits the near floor-level seating of infants, toddlers, or the like. The overall height of apparatus 10 when in such a near-floor level position may be selectively adjusted via telescopically-adjusting upper portions 122, 132, 142 and 152 of legs 120, 130, 140 and 150, respectively.

[0058] It is contemplated in an alternate embodiment that either upper and/or lower portions of legs 120, 130, 140 and 150 could be manufactured as rigid portions, or, alternatively, portions that possess telescopic capabilities. It is further contemplated that legs 120, 130, 140 and 150 could be manufactured without lockable pivot mechanisms 126, 136, 146 and 156, and/or that additional lockable pivot mechanisms could also be incorporated at the upper end of each upper portion 122, 132, 142 and 152 of legs 120, 130, 140 and 150, respectively, proximal respective support platforms 112 and 114, so as to permit inward folding of same.

[0059] As best illustrated in FIG. 6, preferably formed at the lower or distal ends of lower portions 124, 134, 144 and 154 of legs 120, 130, 140 and 150, respectively, are lockable wheels or casters 160, 162, 164 and 166, respectively. Casters 160, 162, 164 and 166 preferably facilitate the wheeled transport of apparatus 10, wherein handles 36 and 76 of seats 20 and 60, respectively, preferably cooperatively assist in the transportation, movement, and/or positioning of apparatus 10 via casters 160, 162, 164 and 166.

[0060] Referring now more specifically to FIGS. 10-13, with continued reference to FIG. 2, trays 38 and 78 of seats 20 and 60, respectively, each preferably comprise a series of protuberances or pegs 90 extending from the upper front edges 38a and 78a thereof. Preferably, activity walls 170 and/or dividers 180 may be selectively and removably secured to trays 38 and/or 78 via engagement of slots or holes 170a or 180a of activity walls 170 or dividers 180, respectively, with pegs 90 formed on trays 38 and/or 78. Preferably, activity walls 170 comprise conventional activities (i.e., dry-erase board, interactive learning modules, games, and/or the like) suitable for infants, toddlers, and/or children of suitable age, wherein activity walls 170 may be utilized to entertain a child in the presence and/or brief absence of parental or caregiver supervision. Dividers 180 may be utilized to visually shield a first seated child from the sight of a second seated child; thereby, visually convincing each child that he/she is receiving the parent's or caregiver's full and undivided attention, and/or to further prevent each child from physically interacting with the other in a confrontational manner (i.e., throwing food, dishware, toys, and the like at one another). It should be recognized that activity walls 170 and/or dividers 180 could be selectively and removably secured to seats 20 and/or 60 via engagement of slots or holes 170a or 180a of activity walls 170 or dividers 180, respectively, with suitable protuberances or pegs formed on seats 20 and 60.

[0061] As best illustrated in FIG. 13, activity bar 190, having slots or holes 190a, may also be selectively and removably secured to trays 38 and/or 78 via engagement of slots or holes 190a with pegs 90 formed on trays 38 and/or 78. Activity bar 190 may be utilized to suspend toys, mobiles, and the like therefrom so as to entertain a child seated within seat 20 and/or 60. It should be recognized that activity bars 190 could be selectively and removably secured to seats 20 and/or 60 via engagement of slots or holes 190a with suitable protuberances or pegs formed on seats 20 and 60.

[0062] It should be further recognized that the selective and/or collective utilization of swivel positioning of seats 20 and/or 60, telescopically-adjustable support bar 116, telescopically-adjustable support frame 100, activity walls 170, dividers 180 and/or activity bar 190, preferably enable parents and caregivers to effectively and simultaneously distribute their attention to a number of children to selectively feed, entertain, and/or otherwise interact with same. Moreover, by telescopically adjusting the configuration and/or general arrangement of apparatus 10, swiveling seats 20 and/or 60 into a selected position, and/or applying activity wall 170 and/or dividers 180, parents and caregivers are able to visually convince each child that he/she is receiving the parent's or caregiver's full and undivided attention.

[0063] Referring now more specifically to FIGS. 14-16, illustrated therein is an alternate embodiment of apparatus 10, wherein the alternate embodiment of FIGS. 14-15 is substantially equivalent in form and function to that of the preferred embodiment detailed and illustrated in FIGS. 1-13 except as hereinafter specifically referenced. Specifically, the embodiment of FIGS. 14-15 replaces feeding trays 38 and 78 of seats 20 and 60, respectively, with support bars 138 and 178, respectively. Similar to feeding trays 38 and 78, support bars 138 and 178 comprise pegs 90 for receiving and removably securing activity walls 170, dividers 180, and/or activity bars 190 thereto. The present alternate embodiment further incorporates storage compartments 138a and 178a disposed on support bars 138 and 178, respectively, to facilitate the expeditious storage and retrieval of crayons, pacifiers, moist towelettes, bibs, or the like, wherein storage compartments 138a and 178a could be interchangeable and/or integrally formed with support bars 138 and 178.

[0064] It is contemplated in another alternate embodiment that feeding trays 38 and 78 could be manufactured as removable feeding trays, wherein support bars 138 and/or 178 could be selectively removably secured to seats 20 and/or 60 in place of feeding trays 38 and 78, as best illustrated in FIG. 16. It is further contemplated that support bars 138 and 178 could be removably secured to seats 20 and 60, respectively, and that removable feeding trays could be engaged thereover, wherein support bars 138 and 178 could effectively restrain a child seated within respective seats 20 and 60, and wherein removal of support bars 138 and 178 could be effectuated via adult intervention only. In this latter embodiment, it is contemplated that support bars 138 and 178 could be removably secured to leg dividers 28 and 68 of seats 20 and 60, respectively.

[0065] Referring now more specifically to FIG. 17, illustrated therein is an alternate embodiment of apparatus 10, wherein the alternate embodiment of FIG. 17 is substantially equivalent in form and function to that of the preferred embodiment detailed and illustrated in FIGS. 1-13 except as hereinafter specifically referenced. Specifically, the embodiment of FIG. 17 illustrates a single-seating apparatus, comprising only seat 20, wherein seat 20 is supported via telescopically adjustable support legs 120, 130, 140 and 150, and wherein seat 20 similarly provides for the application of activity walls 170, dividers 180 and/or activity bars 190 thereto.

[0066] It is contemplated in another alternate embodiment that apparatus 10 could be manufactured with any selected number of swivel seats.

[0067] It is contemplated in still another alternate embodiment that telescopically-adjustable support arm 116 could be separable to permit the complete separation of seat 20 from seat 60, wherein additional telescopically-adjustable support legs could be removably secured to lower surfaces 22b and 62b of separated seats 20 and 60, respectively, to provide the requisite support therefor. Alternatively, additional support legs could be incorporated into lower surfaces 22b and 62b of separated seats 20 and 60, respectively, and extended and/or retracted when necessary.

[0068] It is contemplated in yet another alternate embodiment that telescopically-adjustable support arm 116 could be separable to permit the complete separation of seat 20 from seat 60, wherein respective support legs 120, 130, 140 and 150 of separated seats 20 and 60 could be inwardly folded to lower separated seats 20 and 60 into a near-floor position; thereby, permitting separated seats 20 and 60 to “sit” alone, as best illustrated in FIG. 18. In such an embodiment, it is contemplated that a truncated support leg 320 could be removably secured to a rear portion of respective lower surfaces 22a and 62a of separated seats 20 and 60; thereby, providing additional support. Alternatively, each seat 20 and 60 could receive a telescopically adjustable support leg 420 removably secured to a rear portion of respective lower surfaces 22a and 62a (or incorporated therewith); thereby, permitting each separated seat 20 and 60 to stand alone. As a result, any and all features, including, without limitation, kick plate 40 and/or 80, activity walls 170, dividers 180, activity bar 190, support bars 138 and/or 178, and the storage bag, are selectively applicable to the separated single seats 20 and 60.

[0069] It is contemplated in still another alternate embodiment that telescopically-adjustable support arm 116 could incorporate a lockable pivot mechanism to permit pivotal movement and adjustment of same.

[0070] It is contemplated in still yet another alternate embodiment that apparatus 10 could incorporate the requisite lockable pivot mechanisms to permit folding, and, thus, the convenient storage of apparatus 10.

[0071] It is still further contemplated that apparatus 10 could incorporate LCD monitors and/or other digital or visual displays to permit the viewing of children's movies, televisions shows, and the like; thereby, providing the children seated within seats 20 and 60 with yet another form of entertainment. In such an embodiment, the visual display could be selectively removably secured to trays, 38, 78, 138 and 178, or, alternatively, retrievable via a pivot arm connected to apparatus 10.

[0072] In still another alternate embodiment, it is contemplated that seats 20 and/or 60, and/or alternate embodiments thereof, could comprise a suitable adjustment or biasing means to permit the selective adjustment or biasing of seats 20 and/or 60 in either an upward or downward direction upon disengagement or actuation of a suitable release lever, wherein such adjustment or biasing means could comprise, without limitation, pneumatic mechanisms, hydraulic mechanisms, spring actuated mechanism, and/or the like. It is contemplated that such an alternate embodiment could be utilized to raise, boost, and/or lower a child seated within seat 20 or 60 to kitchen countertop level, tabletop level, or to the level of any other selected surface.

[0073] It should be recognized that the telescoping members, portions and/or components described herein, whether of telescopically-adjustable support frame 100 or otherwise, are preferably manufactured and designed such that telescopic extension and/or retraction of same into a desired position is fixed or secured, and only subsequently re-adjustable upon an adult user's adjustment or modification; thereby, preventing unwanted or accidental extension and/or retraction of same. Such telescoping members, portions and/or components may be selected from a group comprising, without limitation, frictional locking telescoping members, frictional turn-and-lock telescoping members, and/or telescoping members incorporating lock pins, resilient locking tabs, spring-loaded ball locks, spring-loaded locking pins, and/or the like. It is further contemplated, however, that the telescoping members, portions and/or components described herein, whether of telescopically-adjustable support frame 100 or otherwise, could be telescopically actuated, or be in the form of, pneumatic mechanisms, hydraulic mechanisms, suitable biasing means, or the like.

[0074] Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.