Title:
Juvenile high chair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A juvenile chair having convenience features including a folding mechanism, an adjustable tray mechanism and a tray insert having decorative indicia thereon.



Inventors:
Ventrola, Todd (Liberty Township, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/643003
Publication Date:
06/28/2007
Filing Date:
12/20/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B39/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LYNCH, PATRICK D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP (Indianapolis, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A juvenile high chair comprising: a support frame including front legs and rear legs; a seat including a back, a seating surface, and armrests, wherein the seat is attached to and supported by the frame; a tray detachably connectable to the seat, the tray including a front latch handle, at least one side latch handle having a portion shaped to detachably engage a portion of said seat, and a sled slidably attached to an underside of the tray, the sled including a front latch handle attached thereto; at least one rigid pivot arm pivotably connected to the underside of the tray and being operatively connected to the sled and the side latch handle such that sliding movement of the front latch handle pivots the rigid pivot arm causing the side latch handle portion to disengage the seat portion.

2. The juvenile high chair of claim 1 wherein the seat portion comprises recesses formed on the armrests and the side latch handle portion includes nubs formed thereon for detachably engaging said recesses.

3. The juvenile high chair of claim 1 wherein the center sled includes a spring housing formed therein for receiving a spring, said spring biasing the side latch handle portions into engagement with the seat portions.

4. The juvenile high chair of claim 1 wherein the sled includes a pivot arm connection recess having an incline portion and a shoulder portion, wherein the connection recess is shaped to receive a first end of the pivot arm such that when the sled is moved the pivot arm pivots in the direction the sled is moved.

5. The juvenile high chair of claim 1 wherein the side latch handle includes a rib formed thereon shaped to engage a ramp portion on an end of the pivot arm such that pivoting of the pivot arm away from the side latch handle biases the side latch handle portion to disengage the seat portion.

6. The juvenile high chair of claim 5 wherein the side latch handle is pivotably coupled to the underside of the tray.

7. The juvenile high chair of claim 6 wherein said side latch handle is resiliently biased such that the side latch handle portion normally engages the seat portion.

8. A juvenile high chair comprising: a support frame including front legs and rear legs; a seat including a back, a seating surface, and armrests, wherein the seat is attached to and supported by the frame; a tray detachably connectable to the seat, a support frame including front legs and rear legs; a seat including a back, a seating surface, and armrests, wherein the seat is attached to and supported by the frame; a tray detachably connectable to the seat, the tray including a front latch handle, at least one side latch handle pivotably attached to the underside of the tray having a nub shaped to detachably engage a recess located on said armrests, and a sled slidably attached to an underside of the tray, the sled including a front latch handle attached thereto; at least one rigid pivot arm pivotably connected to the underside of the tray and being operatively connected to the sled and the side latch handle such that sliding movement of the front latch handle pivots the rigid pivot arm causing the side latch handle portion to disengage the seat portion.

9. The juvenile tray of claim 8 wherein the side latch handles and center sled are resiliently biased.

10. The juvenile tray of claim 8 wherein the side latch handles include gripping portions thereon to facilitate disengagement of the side latch handles.

11. A juvenile high chair comprising: a support frame including front legs and rear legs, said front and rear legs being connected together by a connector and wherein at least one of said front and rear legs are pivotably attached to the connector; a seat including a back, a seating surface, and armrests, wherein the seat is attached to and supported by the frame; wherein the pivotably attached legs include at least one sliding collar thereon shaped to slide up and down on said leg and engage a portion of said connector such that when said collar is engaged with said connector pivoting movement of said legs is locked and when said collar is disengaged from said connector, pivoting movement of said legs is facilitated.

12. The juvenile high chair of claim 11 wherein said sliding collar includes a spring attached thereto for resiliently biasing said collar into the engaged position.

13. The juvenile high chair of claim 11 wherein the collar includes a shoulder that is shaped to be received in a corresponding notch provided in the connector such that when the collar is engaged with the connector the top and/or sides of the shoulder engage the corresponding portions of the notch preventing motion of the legs.

14. The juvenile high chair of claim 11 further comprising gripping rings on the collar to facilitate gripping and movement thereof.

15. The juvenile high chair of claim 11 wherein when said collar is pulled downwardly said shoulder is disengaged from said notch allowing pivoting movement of said legs.

16. A juvenile high chair comprising: a support frame including front legs and rear legs; a seat including a back, a seating surface, and armrests, wherein the seat is attached to and supported by the frame; a tray detachably connectable to the seat; a tray insert sized and shaped to be received in said tray, said tray insert including decorative indicia in the bottom thereof.

17. The juvenile high chair of claim 16 wherein said decorative indicia is etched in the bottom of the insert.

18. The juvenile high chair of 17 wherein the decorative indicia is chemically etched into the bottom of the insert.

19. The juvenile high chair of 17 wherein the decorative indicia is mechanically etched into the bottom of the insert.

20. A juvenile high chair comprising: a support frame including front legs and rear legs; a seat including a back, a seating surface, and armrests, wherein the seat is attached to and supported by the frame; a tray detachably connectable to the seat, the tray including a front latch handle, at least one side latch handle having a portion shaped to detachably engage a portion of said seat, and a sled slidably attached to an underside of the tray, the sled including a front latch handle attached thereto; at least one rigid pivot arm pivotably connected to the underside of the tray and being operatively connected to the sled and the side latch handle such that sliding movement of the front latch handle pivots the rigid pivot arm causing the side latch handle portion to disengage the seat portion; and a tray insert having decorative indicia on the bottom thereof.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation of and claims priority under 35 U.S.C. ยง 120 from U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/751,799, filed Dec. 20, 2005, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to juvenile chairs, and particularly to convenience features associated therewith. More specifically, the invention relates to folding mechanisms, adjustable tray assemblies, and tray inserts for use in connection with juvenile high chairs.

Juvenile high chair trays having convenience features are known. Specifically, juvenile high chairs having adjustable trays are known. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,992,932 to Kain et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,615 to Haut, et al. Generally, it is considered desirable for such adjustable trays to not only to be easily adjustable into several positions horizontally, but which also may be simply and easily removed by a caregiver, preferably with one hand.

Additionally, juvenile high chairs incorporating a folding mechanism that allows the legs of the high chair to be folded are also known. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,050,643 to Kain et al., et al. Generally it is considered desirable for such folding mechanisms to be simply and easily operable by a caregiver so that the high chair may be folded for easy storage.

Also, tray inserts for use in connection with juvenile high chairs are also known. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,920,831 to Asbach et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,851,375 to Guard et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,497,452 to Catelli, et al. Generally it is considered desirable for such trays to not only be dishwasher safer, but also to be visually stimulating for a child using the high chair.

According to the present invention, a juvenile high chair is provided which meets these desired conditions. In particular, a juvenile high chair having improved features according to the present invention includes a tray adjustment mechanism which may be operated with one hand, a leg folding mechanism that is structurally sound and easy to operate, and a tray insert which is dishwasher safe and visually stimulating for an infant seated in the chair.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of preferred embodiments exemplifying the best mode of carrying out the invention as presently perceived. The drawings are only to serve for reference and illustrative purposes, and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The detailed description particularly refers to the accompanying Figures in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a juvenile high chair in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of a tray for use in connection with the high chair of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a partial front perspective view of the high chair of FIG. 1 with the tray removed;

FIG. 4 is a underside perspective view of the tray of FIG. 2 showing a tray adjustment mechanism in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a partial perspective view of the tray adjustment mechanism as shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of a connection member of the tray adjustment mechanism shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a partial perspective view of a stopping rib of the tray adjustment mechanism shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a side elevation view of a leg folding mechanism for use with a juvenile high chair in accordance with the present invention showing the leg in an unfolded, use position;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of the folding mechanism of FIG. 7 showing the leg as it is being moved to a folded position;

FIG. 10 is a front perspective view of the folding mechanism of FIG. 8 showing the leg as it is being moved to a folded position; and

FIG. 11 is a tray insert for use in connection with a juvenile tray having decorative indicia etched and molded therein in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As shown best in the appended drawings as described above, the present invention is comprised of a juvenile high chair 10. Juvenile chair 10 preferably includes a frame 12 and a seat 14. The seat 14 is preferably mounted to frame 12 and includes a seat back 16, a seating surface 18, a center post 19, and armrests 20, 22 positioned to lie on either side of the seating surface 18. The frame 12 preferably includes front legs 24 and rear legs 26 which are connected together by a connector 28. Preferably the high chair 10 includes a tray assembly 30 comprised of a main tray 32 and a tray insert 34. The main tray 32 preferably includes side latch handles 36, 38, a front latch handle 40 and a tray adjustment mechanism 42 attached to the underside thereof. Tray 32 is preferably shaped to be coupled to and extend across the armrests 20, 22 of seat 24 of the juvenile chair 10. The side latch handles 36, 38 preferably include nubs 44 positioned thereon which are shaped to engage corresponding recesses 46 positioned on the top portions of the armrests 20, 22 to keep the tray 32 latched to the armrests 20, 22. Preferably multiple recesses 46 are provided so that the tray 32 may be adjusted to several different horizontal positions as may be desired.

Preferably, the tray 32 includes tray adjustment mechanism 42 attached to an underside thereof which is comprised of a center sled 50, two rigid pivot arms 52, 54, and two side latches 36, 38. The front latch handle 40 is preferably attached to center sled 50 which is preferably slidingly attached to the underside of tray 32 in any of many operable manners as is known to those of ordinary skill in the art. The center sled 50 preferably includes a spring housing 56 formed therein for receiving a spring 58 to bias the tray adjustment mechanism 42 into the latched position. The spring housing 56 includes slots 60, 62 therein for slidingly receiving a rib 64 formed on the underside of tray 32. The rib 64 acts as stop that prevents forward movement of the spring 58 when the sled 50 is pulled forward by the front latch handle 40 thereby resiliently biasing the tray adjustment mechanism 42 into the latched position. The sled 50 preferably includes slots 70 positioned therein for receiving sliding posts 72. The slots 70 may include a shoulder portion 74 shaped to slidingly receive the head portion of screws 76 which retain the sled 50 on the underside of the tray 32 while allowing the sled 50 to slide about the sliding posts 72. The sliding posts 72 are preferably threaded to receive the screws 76.

The sled 50 preferably includes pivot arm connection recesses 80 each having an incline portion 82 and a shoulder portion 84. The pivot arm connection recesses 80 are shaped to receive first ends 86 of the pivot arms 52, 54 and the incline portions 82 and shoulder portions 84 are correspondingly positioned such that when the sled 50 is pulled horizontally outward using the front latch handle 40, the pivot arms 52, 54 are forced to pivot in the direction the handle 40 is being pulled. The pivot arms 52, 54 include pivot holes 90 therein that are shaped to pivotally receive and retain a rivet head 92 extending from the underside of the tray 32. While rivet heads 92 are shown in the drawings, any pivoting connection as known in the art, such as a screw, which retains the arms 52, 54 to the bottom of the tray 32 would be operable and is considered within the scope of the invention. The pivot arms 52, 54 include second ends 96 each having a ramp portion 98 and a retention portion 100. The ramp portions 98 are shaped to engage a rib 102 positioned on the bottom portion of the side latch handles 36, 38. The latch handles 36, 38 are pivotally and resiliently biased to the underside of the tray 32 to a latched position. Pivotal attachment is achieved by the use of nubs 110 which are shaped to be pivotally received in corresponding holes 112 in the side latch handle housings 114 extending from the bottom of the tray 32. Resilient biasing is achieved through the use of springs 116 which are positioned on seats 118 formed on the inside of the side latch handles 36, 38. The ramp portions 98 of the second ends 96 of the pivot arms 52, 54 are shaped and positioned such that horizontal pivoting movement of the pivot arms 52, 54 pulls the ramp portions 98 against the ribs 102 producing vertical pivoting movement in the side latch handles 36, 38 against the biasing action of the springs 116. Accordingly, horizontal adjustment of the tray 32 may be accomplished using the tray adjustment mechanism 42 by the caregiver using either one hand or two. One hand horizontal adjustment may be accomplished by pulling front latch handle 40 horizontally outward while sliding the tray 32 to the desired location. Two hand horizontal adjustment may be accomplished by grasping and pushing in both side latch handles 36, 38 vertically while sliding the tray 32 to the desired horizontal location. In either instance, the vertical pivoting of the side latch handles 36, 38 disengages the nubs 44 from the recesses 46 allowing the tray 32 to be slid horizontally. Further, it is noted that one hand disengagement of the tray 32 from the armrests 20, 22 may be accomplished by depressing either of the side latch handles 36, 38 and tilting the side of the tray 32 on which the latch handle 36, 38 upward or by pulling outward on the front latch handle 40 and pulling the entire tray 32 upward.

Preferably the front legs 24 and the rear legs 26 are mounted to the connector 28 such that at least one pair of legs is attached in a pivotal manner that allows selective folding of the legs 24, 26 so that the chair 10 may be simply and easily folded for easy storage and transportation but which prevents undesired folding when the chair 10 is in use. Preferably front legs 24 are non-movably connected to the connector 28 using at least two rivet pins 130 that are spaced apart and extend through both the connector 28 and a top portion 132 and a lower portion 133 of the front legs 24. Preferably, rear legs 26 are pivotally connected to the connectors 28 using a single rivet pin 134. Each leg 26 also preferably includes a sliding collar 138 that is slidingly attached to the rear legs 26 by a sliding pin 140 that is protrudes through and is attached to the collar 138 and which simultaneously extends through a slot 142 positioned in a lower portion 144 of the rear legs 26. A spring 146 is provided to resiliently bias the collar 138 into a normally locked position and is attached at one end 148 to the top portion 136 of the leg 26 and at the opposite end 150 to the sliding pin 140. The collar 138 includes a shoulder 152 that is shaped to be received in a corresponding notch 158 provided in the connector 28 such that when the collar 138 is resiliently biased upward in the locked position, the top and sides of the shoulder 152 engage the corresponding portions of the notch 158 preventing forward motion of the legs 26. However, when a downward force is applied to the collar 138 to unlock the legs 26 for folding, the shoulder 152 disengages the notch 158 allowing rearward pivoting movement and folding of the chair 10. Preferably, gripping rings 160 are provided on the collar 138 to facilitate gripping and downward movement thereof.

Preferably, the tray insert 34 is made of a clear or opaque plastic material and decorative indicia 200 is provided on a bottom thereof to entertain a user of the chair 10. The decorative indicia is preferably etched in the bottom of the insert 34 following molding of the insert 34 using chemical or mechanical means as is known to those of ordinary skill in the art, but may be molded, or both.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been set forth above for the purpose of disclosure, modifications of the disclosed embodiment of the invention as well as other embodiments thereof may occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the appended claims are intended to cover all embodiments which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention.