Title:
Diaper with swing-attachment strap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A diaper for securing a child to a swing or other object. An elongate strap extends from the diaper for placement around the object. Releasable attachment features such as hook-and-loop closure elements are provided on the ends of the strap for securing the child to the swing or other object.



Inventors:
Groff, Kaya J. (Marietta, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/214209
Publication Date:
03/01/2007
Filing Date:
08/29/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63G9/00
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Primary Examiner:
MCPARTLIN, SARAH BURNHAM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GARDNER GROFF & GREENWALD, PC (Marietta, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for securing a child to an object, said apparatus comprising: a diaper portion having front and rear panels and a crotch portion therebetween; and an elongate strap affixed to said diaper portion, and having at least one free end for placement around an object to which a child wearing the diaper is to be secured, the at least one free end comprising attachment means.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the elongate strap has a medial portion affixed to the rear panel of the diaper, and first and second ends extending from said medial portion.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the diaper is a disposable diaper.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the attachment means comprises hook-and-loop closure elements.

5. A method of securing a child to an object, said method comprising applying a diaper having an elongate strap affixed thereto to the child, placing the elongate strap about the object, and attaching the strap to releasably secure the child to the object.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the strap has a medial portion affixed to a rear panel of the diaper, and wherein the strap is secured to a front panel of the diaper.

7. In a disposable diaper having front and rear panels with an interconnecting crotch portion, attachment tabs for releasably securing adjacent side portions of the front and rear panels, elastic portions along each side of the crotch portion, an absorbent inner lining, and a moisture-repellant outer shell, the improvement comprising: an elongate safety strap for securing a wearer of said diaper to an object, said safety strap being flexible and substantially tear-resistant, and having a medial portion affixed to the back panel of said diaper, with two free ends extending in opposite directions from the medial portion and having attachment means provided thereon.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to the field of diapers, and more particularly to a diaper with a safety attachment strap for securing a child wearing the diaper to a swing or other object.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Children enjoy playing on swings. Smaller children often use safety swings that have chair-like seats with backs and safety features for securing the child within the seat, whereas older children typically use standard swings with a flat rigid seat or a flexible belt-like seat suspended between a pair of chains or ropes. The safety features on safety swings are helpful for preventing younger children, who may not yet be able to hold on to the ropes or chains, from falling from the swing and possibly injuring themselves.

But when younger children see older children using standard swings, they often no longer want to use their safety swings, desiring to be more like the “big kids”. During the transition period from a safety swing to a standard swing, younger children must learn to stay seated on the swing and hold on at all times. Often, this learning process involves falls from the swing, resulting in bumps, bruises, annoying crying, and possibly serious injuries.

Accordingly, it can be seen that needs exist for methods and apparatus for preventing such falls, and assisting children to transition from safety swings to standard swings. It is to the provision of methods and apparatus meeting these and other needs that the present invention is primarily directed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In example embodiments, the present invention provides methods and apparatus for preventing falls from swings, and for assisting children to transition from safety swings to standard swings. The invention takes advantage of the fact that most children at the age where they want to transition from a safety swing to a standard swing are still in diapers. Preferred forms of the invention provide a diaper with an attached safety strap, whereby the strap may be secured about the swing to prevent falls.

In one aspect, the present invention is a diaper having an elongate safety strap with a medial portion thereof securely attached to a back panel of the diaper. Ends of the safety strap include attachment means for releasably attaching the ends of the straps to one another or to a front panel of the diaper.

In another aspect, the invention is a method of securing a child to a standard swing or other object using such a diaper. A child wearing such a diaper is seated onto the swing, the ends of the straps are wrapped around the swing along the child's sides, and the ends of the straps are attached at the front, along the child's abdomen. In this manner, even if the child does not hold onto the swing, they will be less likely to suffer a fall.

In still another aspect, the invention is an apparatus for securing a child to an object. The apparatus preferably includes a diaper portion having front and rear panels and a crotch portion therebetween. The apparatus preferably also includes an elongate strap affixed to said diaper portion, and having at least one free end for placement around an object to which a child wearing the diaper is to be secured, the at least one free end comprising attachment means.

In another aspect, the invention is a method of securing a child to an object, the method preferably including applying a diaper having an elongate strap affixed thereto to the child, placing the elongate strap about the object, and attaching the strap to releasably secure the child to the object.

In another aspect, the invention is an improvement to a disposable diaper of the type having front and rear panels with an interconnecting crotch portion, attachment tabs for releasably securing adjacent side portions of the front and rear panels, elastic portions along each side of the crotch portion, an absorbent inner lining, and a moisture-repellant outer shell. The improvement preferably includes the provision of an elongate safety strap for securing a wearer of said diaper to an object, the safety strap being flexible and substantially tear-resistant, and having a medial portion affixed to the back panel of said diaper, with two free ends extending from the medial portion and having attachment means provided thereon.

These and other aspects, features and advantages of the invention will be understood with reference to the drawing figures and detailed description herein, and will be realized by means of the various elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following brief description of the drawings and detailed description of the invention are exemplary and explanatory of preferred embodiments of the invention, and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a child seated on a swing with a diaper according to an example embodiment of the present invention, with the safety strap partially placed about the swing, but unattached.

FIG. 2 shows the child seated on the swing, as in FIG. 1, but with the safety strap attached.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

The present invention may be understood more readily by reference to the following detailed description of the invention taken in connection with the accompanying drawing figures, which form a part of this disclosure. It is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the specific devices, methods, conditions or parameters described and/or shown herein, and that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments by way of example only and is not intended to be limiting of the claimed invention. Also, as used in the specification including the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include the plural, and reference to a particular numerical value includes at least that particular value, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, an example embodiment of the present invention comprises a diaper 10 having a safety strap 20 affixed thereto. Exclusive of the safety strap 20, the diaper 10 is preferably substantially similar in design to typical commercially available diapers, having a front panel for placement about the front of a child's lower abdomen, a back panel for placement about the child's lower back and bottom, and a crotch portion extending between the front and back panels. The diaper optionally has an hourglass shape, with the crotch portion being relatively narrow, and the wider front and back panels tapering outwardly therefrom. Attachment tabs comprising adhesive, hook and loop fastener materials, or other fasteners may be provided along side edges of the front and/or rear panels for securing the diaper onto a child. Elastic is optionally provided along the sides of the crotch portion of the diaper for more secure attachment around the legs of the child when worn. In other forms, the diaper is in the form of panties having a pair of leg openings and an elastic waist, so that it can be more easily pulled up and down for potty-training purposes. In certain example forms, the diaper 10 is a disposable diaper formed of paper, cellulose, synthetic or other disposable materials, having an absorbent inner lining, and a moisture repellant outer shell. In alternate forms, the diaper 10 is a reusable cloth diaper.

The safety strap 20 is preferably formed of natural or synthetic woven or non-woven fabric, cellulose material, or other flexible material(s). The strap 20 is preferably about 1½″ to 3″ wide, and is preferably substantially inelastic and resistant to tearing. The strap is preferably at least about 20″ to 30″ in length, although shorter or longer strap length may be utilized for smaller or larger sized children. For example, it may be desirable to provide diapers of several standard sizes for use with different ranges of ages and sizes of children, and provide the strap 20 with a length of about 1.5 to 2.0 times the median waist measurement of each standard diaper size.

In one example form of the invention, a medial portion 22 of the strap 20 is permanently or releasably secured to the back panel or other portion of the diaper 10, as by adhesive or hook and loop fasteners, or extends through slots in the diaper, or is integrally formed with the diaper. The strap 20 preferably further comprises two elongate sections extending in opposite directions from the medial portion 22, terminating in free ends 24, 26. The ends 24, 26 of the strap 20 preferably include adhesive, hook and loop fastener materials, buckle couplings, or other attachment means for securing the ends of the strap to one another or to the front panel or other portions of the diaper 10.

In another example form of the invention, a first end of the strap 20 is permanently or releasably secured to the back panel or other portion of the diaper 10, and a free end of the strap extends therefrom for wrapping about the child and the object to which the child is to be secured. The free end of the strap 20 preferably includes attachment means for securing to a cooperating portion of the diaper 10 or strap 20.

In use, the diaper 10 is applied to the child in standard fashion. The child is then seated on a swing 30 or other object. The strap 20 is then positioned around the object, and the end(s) of the strap are fastened in a manner to secure the child to the object and prevent falls. When desired, the strap is unfastened, so the child can move away from the object.

In another application, the diaper of the present invention can be utilized to secure a child to a chair to prevent the child from standing up during mealtime, or to secure a child to various other objects for various purposes. And the present invention may also be useful for purposes other than securing a child to an object. For example, the strap may be wrapped about the child's waist and attached at a location on or near the back panel of the diaper where the child cannot easily reach, in order to prevent the child from removing the diaper.

While the invention has been described with reference to preferred and example embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that a variety of modifications, additions and deletions are within the scope of the invention, as defined by the following claims.