Title:
Front seat child seat and restraint device known as "Stay Secur Seat"
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for use in vehicles for infants called a Stay Secur Seat. This device is comprised of a seat; an essentially vertical belt system to augment the existing seat belt; a means to connect the vertical belt to the seat; a means to removably connect the vertical belt to the existing seat support bar; and a means to adjust the vertical belt's length and resultant tension. A person normally has to accept the rear mount seats based on warnings associated with front seat air bags. The new Stay Secur Seat device features very few parts and is self-attaching. In operation, the new Stay Secur Seat device is easily affixed to the vehicle seat without the need of any special tools or fasteners. The device eliminates the need for the driver to continually monitor the rear seat to see the child or infant in the seat restraint.



Inventors:
Perry, Henry (Indianapolis, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/786812
Publication Date:
10/18/2007
Filing Date:
04/13/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C1/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NELSON JR, MILTON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RITCHISON LAW OFFICES, PC (Anderson, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is:

1. An attachment device for use with a child seat in a vehicle with a seat belt for securely and safely holding the child seat, comprising: (a) the child seat; (b) an essentially vertical belt system; (c) a means for connecting the vertical belt system to the child seat; (d) a means to removably connect the vertical belt to a seat support bar of the vehicle; and (e) a means to adjust the length and tension of the vertical belt whereby the device is installable to the vehicle and child seat and the security of the seat is increased.

2. The device according to claim 1 wherein the vertical belt system which is comprised of an upper belt, a lower belt and a means to removably and securely connect the upper and lower belts.

3. The device according to claim 2 wherein the means for connecting the upper belt to the lower belt is a standard seatbelt latch used in vehicles with a spring closure feature.

4. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means for connecting the belt system to the child seat is by a feature integral to the child seat.

5. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means for connecting the belt system to the child seat is by a sleeve feature that encompasses the top of the child seat.

6. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means for connecting the belt system to the seat support bar is a latch with a spring closure feature.

7. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means for connecting the belt system to the seat support bar is a latch with a spring closure feature.

8. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means for connecting the belt system to the seat support bar is essentially a “J” hook at lower the end of the belt system Whereby the hook engages the seat bar and is held in place when the belt system is under tension.

9. An attachment device for use with a child seat on a boat deck with a pair of seat belts for securely and safely holding the child seat, comprising: (a) the child seat; (b) a pair of belt systems; (c) a means for connecting the belt system to the child seat; and (d) a means to removably connect each of the belt systems to the boat deck whereby the device is installable to the boat deck and child seat and the security of the seat is increased.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/792,059 filed April 14, by Henry Perry, and titled Front Seat Child Seat and Restraint Device known as “Stay Secur Seat”.

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention pertains to a child or infant seat utilized with a motor vehicle seat with at least one passenger seat which has attachment devices for improved safety with the child's seat that can be attached to the vehicle passenger seat. Particularly this child seat device is related to devices and methods to allow and permit placing a child or infant seat in the front compartment of the vehicle even when the vehicle has air bags. The secure safety seat device may be featured with the original equipment as a manner to protect children and infants or as an after market enhancement to for individuals desiring this safety improvement.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

None.

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

None.

BACKGROUND-FIELD OF INVENTION AND PRIOR ART

The new Front Seat Child Seat and Restraint Device known as “Stay Secur Seat”. The device described in this specification is a product that is designed to easily and quickly provide a new and unique child seat that may be used in the front seat even in the presence of airbags. The product considers the shortfalls of current car-seats for infants and overcomes the limitations, as will be evident in the descriptions below.

A. Introduction of the Problems Addressed

In motor vehicles, a child's safety seat is usually attached to the passenger seat together with the child to be transported using safety belts and belt locks which are present on the passenger seat and/or child's safety seat. These are placed in the rear seats due to the presence of air bags in the front compartments of many vehicles. The disadvantage here is that the air bag, which is located in front of the child's safety seat, may represent a considerable danger to the child in the case of its activation. In order for the child in the safety seat to be better protected and better monitored, the child's safety seat is frequently positioned on the passenger seat, especially on the front passenger seat, with the back cushion part to the front in the direction of travel and secured with a safety belt. This positioning of the child's safety seat on the passenger seat, however, is not acceptable on a vehicle for safety reasons because, in the case of a collision, the opening air bag will strike against the back rest of the child's safety seat and thus would cause serious injuries to the child. To avoid this, the Stay Secur Seat device has been configured to eliminate this risk. For all types of previous attachments, the child's safety seat could not until now be fastened to the passenger seat with a simple tensioning of the seat with an additional belt to resist the air bag and prevent injury to the child.

B. Prior Art

Historically, the infant and child seats have been only connected by the seat belts. Since the advent of the air bags, these seats in the front compartment of a vehicle have been exposed to hurting the child by “crushing them” when the bag inflated. The historical devices just were not strong enough or installed properly to resist the pressure from the bags. State laws were enacted which essentially caused most seats to only meet codes when placed in the rear seats away from air bag exposure. The new Front Seat Child Seat and Restraint Device known as “Stay Secur Seat” changes that shortfall.

Early examples of prior child seats and equipment begin with U.S. Pat. No. 3,934,934 to Farrell, Jr. (1976) which teaches a child seat that is attached only with the standard lap belt in a vehicle. No attachment to the seat frame is discussed. Another patent U.S. Pat. No. 4,231,612 was issue to Meeker (1980). This teaches an infant car seat having a seat, back and sides. Support stands are connected to a plate member within compartments on either side of said seat which are in turn, pivotally connected to the side members of the seat. The seat also contains two recesses, one on either side of the upper face of the side of the seat, which accept the auto seat belt when the seat is facing in the rearward direction in the automobile.

Another improvement for a car seat was issued to Schrader as U.S. Pat. No. 4,707,024 (1987). It teaches a safety seat for the conveyance of babies and very small children in vehicles. The frame of the device permits some resistance against the back of the seat but is not integrally attached to the seat except for the lap belt. Other examples of protective seats include a “cocoon” like device taught by Davalos et al in the U.S. Pat. No. 4,790,593 issued in 1988. The device is front facing and is attached by only the seat belts.

A U.S. Pat. No. 5,468,014 issued to Gimbel et al (1995) teaches a child seat for a motor vehicle which has attachment devices for a child's safety seat that can be attached to it and at least one air bag in the region of the passenger seat. The invention proposes that at least one attachment device for the child's safety seat be provided with a sensor for deactivating the air bag which reacts to the attachment of the child's safety seat. This assures that during the transportation of the child in the child's safety seat, the air bag in front of the child's safety seat is deactivated. Another safety seat concept is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,524,965 issued to Barley (1996) that teaches a rather complex system where a child safety seat has a seat body, a support structure, a first releasable coupling for connecting the support structure to a motor vehicle and a second releasable coupling for connecting the seat body to the support structure. The support structure includes an upwardly facing abutment surface positioned above the seat portion of an adult vehicle seat and in front of the backrest portion thereof, when the first coupling is engaged. The second coupling is arranged to hold the seat body in rigid abutment with the abutment surface on the support structure either so that the seat body is facing forwardly in the vehicle or so that the seat body is facing rearwardly in the vehicle. The device has some connection means beyond just the seat belt but is much more complex than the simple, yet effective new Front Seat Child Seat and Restraint Device known as “Stay Secur Seat”.

Another safety seat is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 5,716,095 issued to Lopez (1998) that teaches a child safety seat accessory apparatus for use in conjunction with a conventional child car seat which allows placement of the child car seat within an inner containment cavity from a seat containment casing. This casing includes a protective shield which protects the child occupant from the impact of an air bag and other flying debris in the event of an accident. The device differs and far more complex than the new Front Seat Child Seat and Restraint Device known as “Stay Secur Seat”. Another U.S. Pat. No. 6,354,648 issued to Allan et al (2002) demonstrates a mounting for a for child-restraint system in a vehicle. The child-restraint system is mounted in relation to a seat of a motor vehicle by a mount which includes a base portion secured to the vehicle structure and a mounting portion which extends to an accessible position upon the seat where it may be engaged by the restraint system, the mounting portion being able to be moved from its position on the seat when it is not required to be engaged by the child-restraint system. The mounting requires tools and special assembly and is more complex than the new “Stay Secur Seat”.

As far as known, there are no Stay Secur Seat devices at the present time which fully meet this need with as few of components and superior operation as the present Stay Secur Seat device. It is believed that this device is made with fewer parts, of a more durable design, and with much less expense than any previous child seat restraint device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A Stay Secur Seat device has been developed for use by a person to secure a child or infant in the front or rear seat of a vehicle, boat or airplane including those vehicles with air bags. The preferred embodiment of this device is comprised of a child seat; an essentially vertical belt system to augment the existing seat belt; a means to connect the vertical belt to the child seat; a means to removably connect the vertical belt to the existing seat support bar; and a means to adjust the vertical belt's length and resultant tension.

A person normally has to accept the marketed rear mount seats since there has been much concern and warnings communicated in association with front seat air bags and potential injury or death to child seat occupants placed in the front compartment. Legislation, in fact, has obligated most parents and guardians to place the children in the rear passenger seat. This places additional limitations on the vehicle driver to safely monitor the condition of the child or infant. The driver must “turn around or use a mirror to track and review the child's condition. This turning motion often diverts that driver's attention from the safe operation of the vehicle.

The newly invented Stay Secur Seat device features very few parts and is self attaching. In operation, the new Stay Secur Seat device may be easily affixed to front or rear vehicle seat without the need of any tools or special fasteners.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

There are several objects and advantages of the Stay Secur Seat device. There are currently no known child seat restraining devices or systems that are effective at providing the objects of this invention.

One advantage and object of the present invention is that affords a safe manner and device to locate the child's seat in the front seat of the vehicle. By eliminating the damage to the seat from the onset of an airbag, the child may be located into easy sight and reach of the vehicle's driver.

Another object for the Stay Secur Seat device is to provide a device that no longer requires the driver of a vehicle to turn and remove their eyes from the driving path for a long period of time. The child is in the front seat and requires only a quick eye glance to assess the condition of the child in the seat. Currently, a driver needs to turn around or monitor the child by a mirror and remove that driver's eyes from the vehicles path for a considerable period of time. Depending on traffic, speed and/or weather, dangerous hazards may present themselves for the driver's reaction to immediately address these hazards.

There has been another object of the present invention which is to have a low manufacturing cost. This is accomplished by using existing belt materials, fastening means, and adjustment means. This invention provides new uses for a new device with a new configuration and combination to well-known materials and devices in the field of automotive safety.

A further advantaged offered with the Stay Secur Seat versatile in use. The device may be configured for use with original equipment vehicles; as an aftermarket add to older vehicles; as a security method for boats and watercraft; and for use with air travel.

Another advantage is expected with the Stay Secur Seat device which is that it is durable. Use of existing, well tested materials and attachment and adjustment means permit this new invention to enter the market with unquestioned strength and durability.

Finally, other advantages and additional features of the present Stay Secur Seat device will be more apparent from the accompanying drawings and from the full description of the device. For one skilled in the art of devices and improvements for child seat devices, it is readily understood that the features shown in the examples with this mechanism are readily adapted to other types of child seat improvements.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS—FIGURES

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the Stay Secur Seat device that is preferred. The drawings together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of the Stay Secur Seat device. It is understood, however, that the Stay Secur Seat device is not limited to only the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

FIG. 1 is a sketch of the general assembly of the Stay Secur Seat device.

FIG. 2 is a sketch of the general assembly of the Stay Secur Seat device with many of the component parts noted.

FIG. 3A through 3C are drawings and photographs of the Stay Secur Seat device showing added components.

FIGS. 4 including 4A through 4D are sketches of the belt for the Stay Secur Seat device showing the various features.

FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C are photographs of a typical Child seat adapted for a Stay Secur Seat device.

FIGS. 6A and 6B are photographs that provide details of the Stay Secur Seat belt details.

FIGS. 7A and B are sketches that show the original equipment embodiment and the marine/aqua seat alternative embodiment with component details.

FIGS. 8A through 8C are sketches that show the aftermarket sleeve system for seats that need an alternative attachment means for use.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS—REFERENCE NUMERALS

The following list refers to the drawings:

  • 31 general assembly of the Stay Secur Seat
  • 32 infant or child seat—Original Equipment or after market
  • 33 passenger seat (front) or rear
  • 34 existing seat belt
  • 35 floor of vehicle
  • 36 existing vehicle seat bar (under seat 33)
  • 37 means to attach belt 38 (to seat bar 36)
  • 37A secure retention means to keep latch 37 fastened to bar 36 (spring mechanism or the like)
  • 38 lower Stay Secur Seat belt
  • 39 upper Stay Secur Seat belt
  • 40 means to removably and securely fasten upper belt 39 to lower belt 38
  • 40A exemplary—not limiting—male portion of fastening means
  • 40B exemplary—not limiting—female portion of fastening means
  • 41 seat attachment means (to enable loop 42 to attach to seat 32)
  • 42 means to fasten Velcro™ (36) or the like to the vinyl (37)
  • 43 means for adjustment to belt length and tension
  • 44 front passenger air bag (deployed position)
  • 44A Front vehicle dash
  • 44B Front vehicle windshield
  • 45 aqua/marine child seat
  • 46 means to attach belt to deck
  • 47 fastening means (screw, bolt, or the like)
  • 48 sock boot that slides over seat 32
  • 49 means to attach belt 39 to boot 48

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present device is a mechanism is a Stay Secur Seat device 31 has been developed for use by a person to secure a child or infant in the front or rear seat of a vehicle, boat or airplane including those vehicles with air bags. The device is comprised of a child seat 32; an essentially vertical belt system 38, 39, and 40 to augment the existing seat belt 34; a means to connect the vertical belt to the child seat 41; a means to removably connect the vertical belt to the existing seat support bar 37; and a means to adjust 43 the vertical belt's length and resultant tension. A person having ordinary skill in the field of seat belt and child restraint devices appreciates the various manners that may be used to physically permit this Stay Secur Seat device 31 to be produced and utilized.

The improvement over the existing art is providing a device that:

    • a. affords a safe manner and device to locate the child's seat in the front seat of the vehicle;
    • b. provides a device that no longer requires the driver of a vehicle to turn and remove their eyes from the driving path for a long period of time;
    • c. has a low manufacturing cost;
    • d. is versatile in use; and
    • e. is durable.

There is shown in FIGS. 1-8 a complete operative embodiment of the Stay Secur Seat device 31. In the drawings and illustrations, one notes well that the FIGS. 1-8 demonstrate the general configuration and use of this invention. The preferred embodiment of the device is comprised of only a few parts as shown in the drawings. These members or parts of a Stay Secur Seat device are comprised of and include, but are not limited to a child seat 32; an essentially vertical belt system 38, 39, and 40 to augment the existing seat belt 34; a means to connect the vertical belt to the child seat 41; a means to removably connect 37 the vertical belt 38,39, and 40 to the existing seat support bar 36; and a means to adjust 43 the vertical belt's length and resultant tension. Various important features of these member components are delineated in FIGS. 1-8 of the drawings and are described below in appropriate detail for one skilled in the art to appreciate their importance and functionality to the Stay Secur Seat device 31.

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the Stay Secur Seat device 31 that is preferred. The drawings together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of the Stay Secur Seat device 31. It is understood, however, that the Stay Secur Seat device 31 is not limited to only the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown. For example, the preferred embodiment of the Stay Secur Seat device may have various embodiments as will be demonstrated.

FIG. 1 is a sketch of the general assembly 31 of the Stay Secur Seat device. The overall placement of the device on a vehicular seat is illustrated.

FIG. 2 is a sketch of the general assembly of the Stay Secur Seat device 31 with many of the component parts noted. Here the child seat 32 is shown placed onto the vehicle seat 33. The child seat 32 is secured to the vehicle seat 33 by the existing infant seat belt 34. Then, the child seat 32 is attached further to the vehicles structure. This further attachment is by means of the Stay Secur Seat device 31 including the upper belt 39, lower belt 38, connection means 40 for the belt sections (38 and 39), adjustment device 43 and an attachment means 37 to connect the belt system to the existing seat bar structure 36. The seat 32 rests on the vehicle's floor 33 and is adjacent to the vehicles dash 38 with an air bag 44. A loop 42 in the upper belt 39 is interposed through a means to connect 41 (slot or the like) in the structure of the seat 32.

FIG. 3A through 3C are drawings and photographs of the Stay Secur Seat device 31 showing added components. Similarly to FIG. 2, in FIG. 3A the infant seat 32 rests on the passenger seat 33 and is attached by the existing seat belt 34. The vertical belt system (38, 39 and 40) is attached to the passenger seat bar 36 by an attachment means 37. The same belt system components (38, 39, and 40) are attached to the uppermost section of the child seat 32 by means 41 and a loop 42 in the belt system. The belt system is then adjusted for length and tension by an adjustment means 43. In FIG. 3B, a side view with the same components as in FIG. 3A are shown. In FIG. 3C a photograph shows a typical seat 33 with a structural bar 36.

FIGS. 4 including 4A through 4D are sketches of the belt for the Stay Secur Seat device 31 showing the various features. In FIG. 4A, the uppermost belt section 39 has the adjustment means 43. This uppermost section 39 is directly and securely attached to the male connection means 40A. The female connection means 40B is directly connected to the lower belt section 38 at its upper distal end. The lower belt section 38 has the beam connection means 37 at its distal end. Additionally, there is a retention means 37A to secure and keep secure the connection between the means 37 and the seat bar or beam 36. For example, this connection means 37 may incorporate a spring feature, may be a “J” hook, or other fastening means.

In FIGS. 4B, and 4C the belt system is shown before and after connection. In FIG. 4D, the adjustment means for adjusting the length of the uppermost belt 39 and the resultant tension is demonstrated. For all these views of the safety belts 38 and 39, it is understood that the belt fabric will be of materials similar to existing seat belts in vehicles. These include for example, but not as a limitation, nylon, reinforced nylon and various other composite materials. It is well understood by those skilled in the art of safety belts that various materials, known and unknown, will fall within the scope and spirit of this Stay Secur Seat device 31

FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C are photographs of a typical Child seat 32 adapted for a Stay Secur Seat device 31. In photograph 5A the child seat 32 is shown where the uppermost belt 39 is attached to the seat 32 by a means 41 and loop 42. In FIG. 5B the open structure of seat 32 shows the means 41 as a slot in the plastic structure of seat 32. In both FIGS. 5B and 5C, the additional details of the uppermost belt 39, the connection means 40, the lowermost belt 38 and the bar attachment means 37 are depicted.

FIGS. 6A and 6B are photographs that provide details of the Stay Secur Seat belt 31. The uppermost belt 39 is shown in FIG. 6A with the male connector 40A ready to be connected to the female 40B attached to the lowermost belt section 38. In FIG. 6B, the sections are connected—by male 40A and female 40B—to complete the connection means 40. In each figure, the uppermost belt 39 has the adjustment means 43 shown and the lowermost belt 38 has the bar connection means 37 depicted.

FIGS. 7A and B are sketches that show the original equipment embodiment 31 and the marine/aqua seat alternative embodiment 45 with component details. In the FIG. 7A, the components have already been well described in the above descriptions. In FIG. 7B, the marine option includes the floatable seat 45 attached by the loop 42 and attachment means 41. Next, the uppermost belt 39 (including the loop 42) includes the adjustment means 43. The uppermost belt 39 is connected to the lowermost belt 38 by an attachment means 40. The lowermost belt 38 is connected to the deck of the watercraft (not shown) by an attachment device 46 and fasteners 47 such as screws, bolts or the like.

FIGS. 8A through 8C are sketches that show the aftermarket sleeve system 48 for seats that need an alternative attachment means for use. Here the sleeve/sock 48 is easily adapted to existing child seats 32 which have no attachment means 41 (such as slots) built into the seat 32. The sock/sleeve 48 is connected to the uppermost belt 39 by some attachment means 49 (such as sewing, riveting, adhesive, heat seal or the like). In the FIGS. 8A, 8B, and 8C, the front side and back views, respectively, are shown.

All of the details mentioned here are exemplary and not limiting. Other specific components specific to describing a Stay Secur Seat device 31 may be added as a person having ordinary skill in the field of child and infant seat restraint devices well appreciates.

OPERATION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The new Stay Secur Seat device 31 has been described in the above embodiment. The manner of how the device operates is described below. One may note well that the description above and the operation described here must be taken together to fully illustrate the concept of the Stay Secur Seat device 31. The preferred embodiment described above is essentially comprised of only a few parts as shown in the drawings. These components are comprised of and include, but are not limited to, a child seat 32; an essentially vertical belt system 38,39, and 40 to augment the existing seat belt 34; a means to connect the vertical belt to the child seat 41; a means to removably connect 37 the vertical belt 38,39, and 40 to the existing seat support bar 36; and a means to adjust 43 the vertical belt's length and resultant tension.

The manner of use is very simple and direct. The child seat 32 is placed on the vehicle seat 33. Next, the existing vehicle belt 34 is attached (through slots or other means) to the seat 32. The new Stay Secur Seat device 31 is attached by connecting the lowermost belt section 38 with the attachment means 37 and 37A to the seat structure bar 36. Next, the uppermost belt section 39 is attached to the child seat 32 by the means 41 and the loop 42. After this, the lowermost belt 38 is connected to the uppermost belt 39 by the connection means 40. Finally, the overall belt system (38, 39 and 40) is adjusted for length and tension by tightening (reducing slack and overall length) the system by the adjustment means 43.

Various uses may employ this new Stay Secur Seat device. Table A includes some examples of uses. These examples are not limiting to the overall Scope and Spirit of the Stay Secur Seat 31.

Table A of Uses
ITEMDESCRIPTION OF USE
1Original Equipment Child Seat option
2After Market add-on to existing units (sleeve device)
3Marine/Aquatic application for security of child on a
watercraft
4Airline application for security of child on an
aircraft (plane, helicopter or other airborne craft)

With this description it is to be understood that the Stay Secur Seat device 31 is not to be limited to only the disclosed embodiments. The features of the Stay Secur Seat device 31 are intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the description.