Title:
INFANT AND CHILD CAR SEAT FOR THERMALLY CONDITIONING A BODY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is both an apparatus and method for thermally conditioning a body in an infant or child car seat. The apparatus includes an envelope containing a phase change material and an insert compartment residing within the car seat adapted to receive the envelope wherein the envelope resides within the insert. The method providing an envelope containing a phase change material and inserting the envelope into a compartment residing within the car seat adapted to receive the envelope for conditioning the body.



Inventors:
Doherty, Brian (West Melbourne, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/849144
Publication Date:
06/12/2008
Filing Date:
08/31/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEVEN L. SCHMID (FLEMING ISLAND, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An infant or child car seat for thermally conditioning a body comprising: an envelope containing a phase change material; and an insert compartment residing within the car seat adapted to receive the envelope whereby the envelope resides within the insert.

2. The car seat of claims 1, wherein the envelope further comprises baffling.

3. The car seat of claim 1, wherein the phase change material is exothermic between the temperatures of about 50 to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. The car seat of claim 1, wherein the phase change material is endothermic between the temperatures of about 90 to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. The car seat of claim 1, wherein the insert compartment further includes padding whereby additional support and comfort is provided to a user of the seat.

6. A method of thermally conditioning a body in an infant or child seat comprising the steps of: providing an envelope containing a phase change material; and inserting the envelope into a compartment residing within the car seat adapted to receive the envelope for conditioning the body.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the envelope further comprises baffling.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein the phase change material is exothermic between the temperatures of about 50 to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. The method of claim 6, wherein the phase change material is endothermic between the temperatures of about 90 to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

10. The method of claim 6, wherein the insert compartment further includes padding whereby additional support and comfort is provided to a user of the seat.

11. An infant or child car seat cover for thermally conditioning a body comprising: a cover body; an envelope containing a phase change material; and an insert compartment formed within the cover body and adapted to receive the envelope whereby the envelope resides within the insert.

12. The car seat of claims 11, wherein the envelope further comprises baffling.

13. The car seat cover of claim 11, wherein the phase change material is exothermic between the temperatures of about 50 to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

14. The car seat cover of claim 11, wherein the phase change material is endothermic between the temperatures of about 90 to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

15. The car seat cover of claim 11, wherein the phase change material is exothermic between the temperatures of about 45° F. to 65° F. degrees Fahrenheit.

16. The car seat cover of claim 11, wherein the phase change material is endothermic between the temperatures of 85° F. to 110° F. degrees Fahrenheit.

17. The car seat cover of claim 11, wherein the phase change material is exothermic between the temperatures of about 50° F. to 59° F. degrees Fahrenheit.

18. The car seat cover of claim 11, wherein the phase change material is endothermic between the temperatures of 91° F. to 105° F. degrees Fahrenheit.

19. The car seat cover of claim 11, wherein the insert compartment further includes padding whereby additional support and comfort is provided to a user of the seat.

20. The car seat cover of claim 11, wherein the car seat cover further includes a securing means for closing the insert compartment.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application relies upon U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/824,354 filed Sep. 1, 2006, the content of which is hereby incorporated in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a personal cooling and/or warming device to be adapted, used or integrated into an infant/child car seat as an insert to prevent the child from overheating and to reduced sweating which results in less body fluid loss while the child is seated or strapped into the car seat itself in hot weather or to provide added body warmth in cold weather.

BACKGROUND

Child car seats are a critical part of the lives of millions of families with babies and small children. Virtually all U.S. states and Canadian provinces require these seats by law. Most modern child car seats, while suitable for providing safety, are not particularly comfortable for the child or baby. Many have rough edges and have hard surfaces. Moreover, they often do not match the upholstery of the rest of the vehicle.

There are many known baby seat covers. One example includes a covering for children's seating devices such as car seats, strollers, swings, infant carriers or the like includes a main body portion forming a pocket that fits over a seating device, and at least one blanket flap portion provided inset from a side of the main body portion. The blanket flap portion is foldably coupled to the main body portion to cover a child seated in the seating device when inwardly folded. Once the covering has been fastened to the seating device, a child is placed thereon so that the rear of the child comes into contact with the main body portion, which covers the seating device. Harness straps of the seating device, which serve to secure the child within the seating device, can be engaged through a divided opening through the main body portion prior to fitting it over the seat. The blanket flap portion is then folded over the body of the child so as to insulate the child in the manner of a blanket.

A further example includes a seat pad is formed of isotonic foam or encapsulated gel material to insulate an infant or small child from the hard surface of the safety seat. The pad includes a back portion and a hingedly joined seat portion. The back portion includes a number of slots designed to accommodate the seat belt webbing of the child safety seat. The seat portion includes a notch to provide space for the buckle of the seat belt. A removable washable cover is provided for the seat pad. The cover includes reinforced openings aligned with the slots in the back portion of the pad. In versions of the seat pad designed for larger children, a lumbar support pas is attached to the lower end of the back portion and an additional seat pad is attached to the upper end of the seat portion. The side edges of the back and seat portions are tapered to eliminate additional padding material from accumulating in the safety seat when the seat pad is fold to fit within the seat.

A further example uses sheepskin or other animal hide which is very popular in vehicle adult seat covers. Such skins provide warmth in the winter and provides insulation from heat in the summer. However, animal skins only provide a small degree of protection against warm summer temperatures.

What is needed is an apparatus and method which can both cool and heat a child residing in a child car seat from extreme temperature changes.

SUMMARY

The present invention includes an apparatus and method for thermally conditioning a human body in an infant or child car seat. The apparatus includes an envelope containing a phase change material and an insert compartment residing within the car seat adapted to receive the envelope wherein the envelope resides within the insert. The method of thermally conditioning a body in an infant or child seat includes the steps of providing an envelope containing a phase change material and inserting the envelope into a compartment residing within the car seat adapted to receive the envelope for conditioning the body.

In greater detail the present invention includes an infant or child car seat for thermally conditioning a body comprising an envelope containing a phase change material and an insert compartment residing within the car seat adapted to receive the envelope whereby the envelope resides within the insert. The envelope may further include baffling. The phase change material is exothermic between the temperatures of about 50 to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit and endothermic between the temperatures of about 90 to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The insert compartment may also further include padding whereby additional support and comfort is provided to a user of the seat.

An additional embodiment includes a method of thermally conditioning a body in an infant or child seat comprising the steps of providing an envelope containing a phase change material; and inserting the envelope into a compartment residing within the car seat adapted to receive the envelope for conditioning the body. The may also include baffling the envelope.

A further embodiment includes an infant or child car seat cover for thermally conditioning a body comprising a cover body and an envelope containing a phase change material. The seat cover further includes an insert compartment formed within the cover body and adapted to receive the envelope whereby the envelope resides within the insert. The envelope also includes baffling. The car seat cover may further include a securing means for closing the insert compartment.

The phase change material may be exothermic between the temperatures of about 50 to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit and endothermic between the temperatures of about 90 to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore the phase change material is exothermic between the temperatures of about 45° F. to 65° F. degrees Fahrenheit and endothermic between the temperatures of 85° F. to 110° F. degrees Fahrenheit. An additional embodiment includes the phase change material is exothermic between the temperatures of about 50° F. to 59° F. degrees Fahrenheit and endothermic between the temperatures of 91° F. to 105° F. degrees Fahrenheit.

DRAWINGS

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 illustrates the infant or child seat having an insert compartment for receiving and containing an envelope of a phase change material;

FIG. 2 depicts the infant or child seat having an insert portion for containing a phase change material within the insert compartment; and

FIG. 3 illustrates the infant or child seat cover embodiment of the present invention having an insert portion for containing a phase change material within the insert compartment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Disclosed is an apparatus and method for thermally conditioning a human body in an infant or child car seat. The apparatus includes an envelope containing a phase change material and an insert compartment residing within the car seat adapted to receive the envelope wherein the envelope resides within the insert. The method of thermally conditioning a body in an infant or child seat includes the steps of providing an envelope containing a phase change material and inserting the envelope into a compartment residing within the car seat adapted to receive the envelope for conditioning the body.

When used for cooling, this personal cooling device will be especially effective in preventing heat related illnesses or death caused from prolonged exposure to excessive heat as in a vehicle in hot weather. During cold weather, this device can be used to provide additional body warmth to prevent overcooling and hypothermia.

Phase Change Material

The temperature range may be between 50° F. to 59° F. and 91° F. to 105° F. in one embodiment and in a further embodiment the temperature range may be between 53° F. to 57° F. and 95° F. to 100° F. Additionally, the temperature range of the phase change material may be between about 45° F. to 65° F. and 85° F. to 110° F. A further embodiment includes a temperature range may be between 50° F. to 60° F. and 90° F. to 105° F.

The pouch or envelope that encapsulates the cooling and/or warming material (e.g. phase change materials such as water, gels, n-tetradecane, n-pentadecane, n-hexadecane, n-heptadecane, n-octadecane, n-eicosane) is placed in a polymer bladder/pack or envelope comprised of a fire retardant material that will hold the Heat Transfer Formula which will keep the infant/child either cool or warm.

For cooling, the pack containing the HTF formula would be placed in a low temperature environment (e.g. refrigerator, freezer or suitable container filled with ice and water) to cause the formula to gain energy or make a phase change to a solid “charged” state. After charging this cool pack or envelope is inserted into the pocket or compartment of the infant/child cool car seat insert. This insert is placed against the back of the car seat exposing the cool pack to the front to allow thermal communication of the back of the infant or child's torso to be exposed to and resting against the cooling pack.

The infant/child car seat cooling or warming insert compartment is comprised of a foam or polyfoam for additional comfort inside a nylon fabric outershell that is washable and water repellant. The foam inside provides additional comfort to the infant/child's back and upper torso.

The cooling pack or envelope is formed with a plurality of separate or sealed chambers and are formed by heat sealing the periphery of two sheets of proprietary polymer of the same peripheral shape to form a bag or pouch and then filling this pouch or pack with the desired HTF exotherm-type phase change formulation (cooling or warming) and sealing the pouch along predetermined lines to form a sealed bladder. The baffling or sealing or partial sealing or dimpling of the pouch prevents the HTF exotherm-type phase change material from slumping to the lowermost part of the pouch under the force of gravity when it is in its liquid or uncharged state for cooling. The dimpling and baffling also provide a more anatomic or ergonomic shape to the pack to provide more comfort for the infant/child. While the pouch/pack is typically in a rectangular shape, other shapes such as egg shape, triangular, octagonal, trapezoidal, oval and/or square shapes also will provide the same amount of cooling and/or warming. The pocket that holds the HTF cool or warm pack formulation will preferably be closed by use of velcro, or zipper or snaps. It will be understood that different HTF exotherm type phase change material blends may be used with different melting/freezing points). It is also understood that larger packs or the entire seat could be filled with HTF materials.

Referring now in greater detail to the drawings in which like numerals indicate like items throughout the several views, FIGS. 1-3 depict the present apparatus and method of for regulating and thermally conditioning the body of a child residing in a child seat, in the various embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 1 illustrates the infant or child seat 2 having an insert compartment 4 for receiving and containing an envelope housing a phase change material. The child seat 2 may take on any form and is not limited to the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1. The inset compartment 4 may be comprised of most any dimension so long as it is able to house or secure the envelope housing a phase change material 6. The inset compartment 4 may be open at one end and closed at the other as shown or may have both ends open wherein the envelope housing a phase change material 6 is simply held in place by friction.

The inset compartment 4 housing a phase change material 6 may be formed integral with the car seat 2 or formed separately there from. Additionally, it is contemplated the inset compartment 4 may be comprised of straps securing the envelope housing a phase change material 6. Furthermore, it is contemplated the inset compartment 4 includes an attachment means for securing the envelope housing a phase change material 6 to the child car seat 2.

FIG. 2 depicts the infant or child seat 2 having an insert portion or compartment 4 for housing an envelope containing a phase change material 6 within the insert compartment 4. The envelope 6 housing the phase change material may be comprised of a polymeric material or similar material. Additional, the envelope 6 may be formed form a woven or nonwoven material. The envelope 6 is closed at all ends to contain the phase change material. The envelope containing a phase change material 6 may be totally or partially housed within the insert compartment 4.

FIG. 3 illustrates the infant or child seat cover 8 embodiment of the present invention having an insert portion or compartment 4 for containing the envelope of phase change material 6 within the insert compartment 4. The seat cover 8 may take on any form to fit any desired child or baby car seat. The seat cover 8 may also be formed from any suitable material.

While Applicant has set forth embodiments as illustrated and described above, it is recognized that variations may be made with respect to disclosed embodiments. Therefore, while the invention has been disclosed in various forms only, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that many additions, deletions and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention, and no undue limits should be imposed except as set forth in the following claims.