Title:
Child seat cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fabric seat cover that is rolled into a compact shape when not in use. A strap on the seat cover is used both to secure the child to the underlying seat and to allow the seat cover to be easily carried when not in use.



Inventors:
Sganga, Paige (Stevenson Ranch, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/950168
Publication Date:
04/21/2005
Filing Date:
09/24/2004
Assignee:
SGANGA PAIGE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/00; A47C31/11; (IPC1-7): A47C31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GARRETT, ERIKA P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KNOBBE MARTENS OLSON & BEAR LLP (IRVINE, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A seat cover for covering an underlying seat for a child, said seat cover comprising: a shell shaped to include an upper opening which is sized to surround the torso of a child, at least one lower opening adapted to allow a child's legs to pass through, a fastener attached to the shell to permit the shell to be rolled and secured in the rolled configuration, and a strap secured to the shell which allows the shell to be carried when in the rolled configuration.

2. The seat cover of claim 1 wherein the fastener is formed by a hook and pile material.

3. The seat cover of claim 1 wherein the strap also secures the child to the seat.

4. The seat cover of claim 3 wherein the strap is secured to the seat cover by passing through at least one slot in the seat cover.

5. The seat cover of claim 1 further comprising a member secured to the seat cover so that toys may be removably connected to the member.

6. The seat cover of claim 5 wherein said member comprises a strap.

7. The seat cover of claim 1 wherein said lower opening comprises a pair of holes, one for each leg.

8. A seat cover for covering an underlying seat for a child, said seat cover comprising: a shell shaped to include an upper opening which is sized to surround the torso of a child, at least one lower opening adapted to allow a child's legs to pass through, means for securing the shell in a compact configuration, and means for carrying the seat cover when the shell is in a compact configuration.

9. The seat cover of claim 8 wherein the securing means is a fastener formed by a hook and pile material.

10. The seat cover of claim 8 wherein the means for carrying also comprises means for securing the child to the seat.

11. The seat cover of claim 10 wherein the means for carrying and securing comprises a strap secured to the seat cover.

12. The seat cover of claim 8 further comprising a means for removably securing toys to the seat cover.

13. The seat cover of claim 12 wherein said securing means comprises a strap stitched to said seat cover at two or more locations.

Description:

PRIORITY INFORMATION

This application is based on and claims priority to Provisional Patent Application No. 60/506,368, filed Sep. 26, 2003, the entire contents of which is hereby expressly incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Infants and toddlers are often seated in high chairs or other specialized seats, such as those in supermarket shopping carts. To protect the child from unsanitary conditions and to provide a soft, comfortable seating surface regardless of the nature of the underlying child seat, removable seat covers have been developed.

One such prior art seat cover is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The seat cover is formed from a cushioned fabric with elasticized edges. A large opening is formed at the top and a pair of leg holes is located at the base of the seat cover. A strap with a clip fastener is looped through slots located above the leg holes. The strap extends both within and outside the seat cover, and can be wrapped around both the child and a fixed portion of the underlying child seat, in order to secure the child in place.

When the seat cover is not in use, the fabric can be rolled into a more compact shape. The strap can be wrapped around the seat cover to secure the fabric in the rolled condition.

While such a design has been satisfactory for certain uses, it is not easily carried when not in use. Ease of portability is a particular concern for parents of small children who are often carrying their small child, the portable seat cover, as well as other items simultaneously. Thus, a need exists for a more portable child's seat cover.

Applicant has developed a novel solution to address these needs, as disclosed below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a seat cover for a small child that is designed to be easily transported. The seat cover is preferably a shell that is bowl-shaped and includes a large upper opening and two leg holes. At least one, and preferably two, slots are provided to allow a strap to pass through the seat cover and wrap around both the child and a segment of the underlying chair on which the seat cover is placed. The strap has a fastener at either rend to allow it to form a complete loop when the ends are fastened together.

Another set of fasteners, preferably a hook and pile type fastener such as Velcro brand fasteners, are provided on the fabric portion of the seat cover as well. This fastener is designed to allow the seat cover to be rolled or folded into a compact shape and to be retained in that shape by securing the fastener. Thus, the strap is not required to be used to retain the compact shape of the seat cover. With the strap looped through the slots and the ends of the strap secured together, the strap can be drawn to the outside of the seat cover to form a carrying handle. The strap is preferably long enough to be slung over the shoulder, thus freeing one's hands entirely while carrying the seat cover.

The seat cover is preferably formed from an inner and outer fabric shells which sandwich a cushioning fill layer.

Another aspect of the invention is a second strap which is attached to the inside of the seat cover and above the leg holes. This second strap is secured to the fabric, preferably in a permanent manner such as by stitching. The stitching is spaced so that portions of the strap are loose, allowing toys, pacifiers, or other suitable items to be secured to the strap. Thus, the items are retained within reach of the child, but will not fall to the floor.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of a prior art seat cover when unrolled.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the prior art seat cover of FIG. 1 when in a rolled configuration.

FIG. 3 is a top view of an embodiment of the present invention when unrolled.

FIG. 4 is a top view of an embodiment of the present invention when unrolled.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a front portion of the seat cover shown in FIGS. 2-4.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the seat cover in FIGS. 2-4 when in a partially rolled configuration.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the seat cover of FIGS. 2-4 when in a fully rolled configuration.

FIG. 8 is a front view of the seat cover of FIG. 2-4 while in use.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Shown in FIG. 1 is a prior art seat cover 10 formed from a layered, cushioned fabric. The top of the seat cover has an elasticized band 12 surrounding a large upper opening 14, and a pair of leg holes 16 formed at the bottom. A strap 18 is attached to the back of the seat cover, and passes through a small slot in the fabric. A buckle 20 mis attached to either end of the strap.

The seat cover can be placed on an underlying seat, and the child's legs can be passed through the upper opening 14 of the seat cover 10 first, and then through the leg openings 16. To secure the child in place, the strap 18 can be wrapped around the child, and also around a portion of the underlying seat, and the ends of the strap buckled together with buckle 20.

When not in use, the seat cover 10 can be rolled up and the ends of the strap 18 buckled together in order to retain the seat cover in the rolled configuration, as shown in FIG. 2. To maintain the seat cover tightly rolled in a compact configuration, there is no slack in the strap 18 once buckled.

A seat cover 20 according to the present invention is shown in FIGS. 3-8. The seat cover 20 is formed from fabric and is a generally bowl-shaped shell. Preferably, a stain resistant outer fabric is used, such as a 50% polyester/50% cotton blend. A soft fabric, such as a 100% cotton flannel, is used to line the inner surface of the seat cover 20. A suitable cushioning material, such as polyester filling, is sandwiched between inner and outer fabric shells.

As is best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, a large, generally circular upper opening 22 in the seat cover is surrounded by an elasticized edge 24. At the base of the seat cover a pair of smaller leg holes 26 are formed. As is best seen in FIG. 5, a pair of slots 28 are formed on the back side of the seat cover. A strap 30 formed preferably from 1½ inch webbing extends through the slots. Alternatively, a single slot may be employed for the strap 30 to pass through and the strap can be stitched in place on the seat cover. At either end of the strap is a plastic clip buckle 31 so that the ends of the strap 28 can be connected together and the strap 30 can be tightened. Other types of fasteners could be employed to secure the ends of the straps together, such as other buckles, snaps, Velcro, magnetic fasteners, etc.

As best shown in FIGS. 5 and 8, on the inside of the front of the seat cover 20 preferably a second strap 32 formed of the same fabric as the first strap 30 is secured to the fabric of the seat cover, such as by a series of sections that are stitched to the seat cover, interspersed by sections that are loose. By spacing the stitching 34, the second strap has enough slack to allow the child's toys 36 or other items to be clipped to the strap so that the items do not drop to the floor.

As shown in FIG. 8, when in use, the seat cover is placed on an underlying seat 38 and the elasticized upper portion of the seat cover 20 can be folded over most, if not all, of the periphery of the underlying seat so that the seat cover protects the surfaces of the underlying seat 38 that the child could come into contact with. The child's feet are then passed through the leg holes 26 and the child is seated. The strap 30 is wrapped around the child, and preferably around a stationary portion of the underlying seat, and the ends of the strap are buckled together. The slack in the strap can be adjusted to securely retain the child in place.

When not in use, the seat cover can be rolled up, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. To retain the seat cover in the rolled position, a fastener 40 is provided on the fabric. While a variety of fasteners could be employed, preferably a hook and pile type fastener is used, such as a Velcro. Other fasteners could be employed as well, such as a snap, buckle, magnet, or reusable adhesive, for example. One section of the fastener is attached to the upper edge of the seat cover, while another is attached to the outside of the seat cover, near the leg holes 26. When the fasteners 40 are joined, the seat cover 20 is held in a compact roll.

To aid in carrying the rolled seat cover, the strap 30 is buckled together and pulled through the slot 28 so as to be exposed on the outside of the seat cover. Preferably the strap is about 30 inches in overall length so as to permit the strap to be easily slung over the shoulder and carried so as to free the user's hands.

While a preferred embodiment is described above, variations may be made while still employing the present invention, which is specified in the following claims.