Title:
Blanket With Tie Straps
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multipurpose baby blanket with integrated straps and storage pocket. The blanket is composed of several materials, and is therefore suitable for many tasks. Integrated straps with hook and loop fasteners provide an easy method of securing the blanket in place. An integrated pocket provides storage for baby supplies and paraphernalia.



Inventors:
Heide, Lisa (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/058597
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
03/28/2008
Assignee:
Warmy Toasty LLC (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/485, 5/482
International Classes:
A47G9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEE, GILBERT Y
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLEINBERG & LERNER, LLP (LOS ANGELES, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. In a blanket having a plurality of corners, the improvement comprising at least one strap connected to at least one of said corners.

2. The device of claim 1 composed of a synthetic polyester fleece fabric.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein said blanket has more than one corner and at least one strap is connected to each of said corners.

4. The device of claim 1 having a plurality of straps and whereby each of said straps has hook and loop connectors attached to a terminal portion of each of said straps.

5. The device of claim 1 having a plurality of straps and whereby pairs of said straps extend from said corners of said blanket and whereby one of said pair of straps has hook material and the other strap of said pair has loop material.

6. The device of claim 1 whereby each of said straps includes fastening means, said fastening means selected from the group consisting of buttons and button holes, snaps and fasteners, hooks and eyes, clasps, clips and hook and loop connectors.

7. The device of claim 1 wherein said blanket is provided with a pocket on a surface thereof.

8. The device of claim 7 wherein said pocket is non-permanently resealable through sealing means.

9. The device of claim 8 wherein said sealing means are selected from the group consisting of buttons and button holes, snaps and fasteners, hooks and eyes, clasps, clips and hook and loop connectors.

10. The device of claim 1 wherein said blanket consists of two sides and wherein a first side of said blanket consists of a warming material and wherein a second side of said blanket consists of a water-proof material.

11. The device of claim 10 wherein said warming material is selected from the group consisting of synthetic polyester fleece, synthetic polyester, wool, and flannelled cotton.

12. The blanket of claim 10 where said water-proof material is a fabric coated with a waterproofing material selected from a group consisting of rubber, polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, silicone elastomer and wax.

13. The device of claim 10 wherein said first side of said blanket also is provided with a pocket.

14. In a blanket having a plurality of corners, the improvement comprising at least four included straps, whereby a first pair of said straps extends from a first corner of said blanket and a second pair of said straps extends from a second corner of said blanket.

15. The device of claim 14 wherein each of said straps includes fastening means along a terminal portion of each strap, said terminal portion being substantially equal to one third of the length of said strap.

16. The device of claim 15 wherein said fastening means are selected from the group consisting of buttons and button holes, snaps and fasteners, hooks and eyes, clasps, clips and hook and loop connectors.

17. In a blanket having a plurality of corners, the improvement comprising of integrated straps, each of said corners possessing a pair of said straps, said straps extending substantially six inches from said blanket and substantially perpendicular from the edge of said blanket, each of said straps including hook and loop fasteners along a terminal length of said straps, said terminal length being substantially one third the total length of said straps.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is a continuation-in-part, claiming priority from US Provisional Patent 60/908,880, filed Mar. 29, 2007, and entitled Blanket With Tie Straps.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to blankets and more particularly to a blanket with improvements for securing the blanket to strollers, wheelchairs, or other objects. The invention is a blanket with straps at the corners for securing the blanket in place. The straps may be tied, secured with hook and loop fasteners, or snapped in place. In addition, the blanket may include a pocket for storage, and may be composed of multiple materials to serve a multipurpose use.

2. Background of the Invention

New parents face many unique challenges in caring for their babies. Some of these challenges include keeping the baby protected from the elements, providing all the necessary baby supplies, and transporting these supplies from place to place. As described below, the present invention provides a solution that alleviates the burden of these tasks.

One of the challenges facing new parents is to keep the child protected from the cold, wet, or excessive sunlight. Typical solutions include baby clothes, blankets and sunshades. One trial associated with blankets in particular is preventing the blanket from inadvertently slipping off the baby. For example, the baby can kick off the blanket, the blanket can become tangled in the wheels of a stroller, or snagged on another impediment.

Another challenge is in protecting the young child from excess sun or wind exposure. In particular, most strollers are open at the front and/or the top of the stroller, providing no protection from the sun or wind. Some strollers provide sunshades that block the rays of the sun from overhead, but do not protect from the sun or wind from the sides.

Another difficulty facing new parents is that of anticipating and providing for the needs of the infant. In addition to protecting the baby from the elements, the parent must be prepared to change the baby, clean it if dirty, and dry it if wet, among other things. Assembling and transporting the plethora of articles necessary for these eventualities presents a substantial problem for the new parent. In particular, transportation of the various articles is a burden, leading to the proliferation on the market of baby bags and carry-alls. The current invention aims to alleviate these inconveniences by combining into one multi-purpose product a blanket which can be secured into place, replaces several baby articles, and provides storage of baby essentials.

In the prior art, blankets generally do not include any method for securing the blanket in place. As a result, blankets covering a baby in a stroller often fail to remain on the baby, either because they are kicked or blown off, or because they become tangled in the wheels of the stroller. The current invention solves this predicament by providing straps at each corner of the blanket. These straps can be secured to a stroller, baby carrier, or any other convenient object to retain the blanket on top of the baby. The straps further allow attachment in a variety of orientations, to secure the blanket in place as a blanket or as a sunshade. In a preferred embodiment the straps further contain hook and loop fasteners to facilitate securing the blanket.

Additionally, in the prior art, baby blankets generally are made of only one material. As a result, parents frequently carry more than one blanket; for example, one blanket to keep the baby warm, one blanket on which to change the baby, and yet a third blanket to keep the baby dry. The present invention is composed of multiple materials to serve a multipurpose use. In one embodiment, the invention has a warm soft side composed of natural or artificial fibers, while the other side is composed of a slick, water-repellent surface, such as a plastic. This allows the parent to carry only one blanket to perform both the functions of keeping the child warm, and also keeping the child dry. The parent can also use the slick side to change the child, for easy clean-up.

In alternative embodiments, one of the above mentioned sides is replaced by a water absorbent side, to allow the blanket to serve a drying function. In yet other embodiments, multiple portions of a side may be composed of different materials, to further enhance the multifunction use of the blanket. For example, a blanket with one half of a first side composed of an absorbent material, the second half of a first side composed of a slick, water-repellant material, and one second side composed of a soft, warm material will fulfill three roles for a parent with only one blanket.

Furthermore, blankets in the prior art do not provide integrated storage. Parents must carry a multitude of baby paraphernalia, including pacifiers, bottles, diapers, stuffed animals and the like. In the prior art, blankets were generally only stored; they did not provide storage. Parents typically carry their baby supplies in a separate bag. The present invention includes one or more pockets to store some of these baby accoutrement.

Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a blanket which is easily secured into place covering the baby using the included straps.

A further object of the present invention is to provide ease of securing the blanket using the included straps through the use of hook and loop fastener strips on the straps.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a blanket composed of a multitude of materials, to reduce the number of separate blankets parents must carry.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a blanket with an integrated pocket, to provide a method of storage for parents.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide the above mentioned benefits to those confined to wheelchairs through larger embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A blanket with integrated straps is described. This blanket is an improvement over the prior art because it is capable of being securely fastened into place covering a baby, reduces the amount of baby accessories a parent must carry. Additional embodiments provide further improvements. An embodiment composed with multiple materials provides additional functionality, while another embodiment provides storage through the addition of an integrated pocket. Although described with strollers, larger embodiments of the present invention are suitable for use by others than babies, who are confined to a wheelchair.

Straps extend from each corner of the blanket. Each strap is capable of connection back to itself either by tying, using snaps, hook and loop connectors, buttons or hook and eye closures. In an additional embodiment, each corner has a pair of straps, and each pair of straps are similarly capable of connection to each other. These straps allow for easily securing the blanket into position. Although the straps could extend from the edge of the blanket, the corner location is preferable for at least two reasons. First, when securing the blanket over a small child, the corner straps facilitate securing the blanket with its top half folded over, to reduce the total length of the blanket. Second, corner placement of the straps is more versatile than edge placement. For example, this improves the ability of the blanket to function as a sunshade on a stroller.

In additional embodiments, not every corner of the blanket has straps. For example, in one embodiment, only one corner has straps. This embodiment is useful when the parent desires to use a small version of the invention to clean up after the child. The blanket can be attached to a baby bag or stroller so that it is instantly accessible and also convenient to mop up spills and the like. Similarly, this embodiment is useful as a child's favorite blanket. A small version of the invention can be strapped to a stroller harness or car seat to ensure that the child doesn't lose the blanket.

The straps are particularly useful for securing the invention onto a stroller. For example, two sets of straps can be attached to the side bars of the stroller and two sets of straps can be attached to the lower bars of the stroller just above the wheels. This placement allows the blanket to easily remain in place covering the child. For very small children, the top of the blanket may be folded down before the straps are attached to the bars. Notably, the straps will maintain the blanket in position even in high winds, or if the child is kicking.

Alternatively, the straps may be attached to the handlebars and sidebars of a stroller to function as a semi-permanent canopy over a stroller. The corner straps facilitate the canopy use because they are in a favorable position to attach to the stroller handlebars. By attaching the straps in this fashion the user can block the sun and wind from the top, front and sides of the stroller.

Additional embodiments of the blanket are composed of more than one material. These materials may include a warm, soft material to provide warmth, a slick, water-repellent material to prevent moisture, or a water absorbent material with which to dry.

Further embodiments may include an integrated pocket on at least one side of the blanket. This pocket allows for storage of items within the blanket. Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the further description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a detailed plan view of another embodiment according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is detailed view of an alternative embodiment of a strap according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a blanket according to the present invention attached to a baby stroller.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a blanket according to the present invention demonstrating a different method of attaching the invention to a baby stroller.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of an additional embodiment of the invention which includes a storage pocket.

FIG. 7 is a detailed view of an additional embodiment of the blanket showing that each side of the blanket is composed of a different material.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention for use on a wheelchair.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring first to FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment of the invention is presented in plan view and spread out flat. Attached to a blanket 10 at each corner are two straps 12. These straps 12 are used to securely tie the blanket 10 to a stroller, wheelchair, car seat, or any other desired location. The blanket 10 and straps 12 may be composed of nearly any fabric or material. In the preferred embodiment, the blanket 10 and straps 12 are composed of a synthetic polyester fleece fabric.

In this embodiment, the straps 12 are shown extending perpendicularly outward from a corner edge of the blanket 10. The invention is not limited to any one particular strap orientation however, and the straps 12 may extend at a perpendicular angle from the edge of the blanket, a 45 degree angle, or any other possible angle. Additionally, in the preferred embodiment, each strap 12 uses hook and loop fasteners 14 at its ends. These fasteners 14 aid in securing the blanket 10 when there isn't time to tie the blanket 10 in place, or when tying would otherwise be inconvenient. Although this Figure shows a blanket 10 with four corners, the scope of the invention is not so limited. The scope of the invention encompasses blankets with one or more corners.

Turning next to FIG. 2, there is shown a detailed plan view of a corner of the invention. Here the straps 12 are rotated approximately 45 degrees from the edge of the blanket 10. In the preferred embodiment the straps 12 are approximately five and a half inches long. Hook and loop fasteners 14 are attached to the respective ends of the straps 12, with the hooks on one strap 12, and the loops on the other strap 12 of the pair. The fasteners 14 occupy approximately the last two inches of the straps 12 in the preferred embodiment. Furthermore, in the preferred embodiment the hook and loop fasteners 14 are arranged on the straps 12 both facing the same direction, as illustrated in FIG. 2.

An alternative embodiment is shown in FIG. 3. In this figure each corner has only one strap 12, which is capable of connection to itself via hook and loop connectors. This helps prevent the straps 12 from dragging on the ground or becoming entangled in the stroller wheels. Other fastening means may be employed in alternative embodiments, including clips, clasps, buttons, snaps, hooks and the like. In some embodiments, not every corner has straps 12. For example, some embodiments may have a strap 12 or straps 12 at only one corner.

FIG. 4 demonstrates a perspective view of the invention in use on a stroller. In this mode the blanket 10 covers the torso and legs of the child in the stroller. The straps 12 are engaged around the side and lower bars of the stroller to secure the blanket 10 in place. This figure also demonstrates how the corner straps 12 facilitate folding the blanket 10 down for a small child. The blanket 10 is folded down at the top, but the corner straps 12 are still engaged to secure the blanket 10 in place. This aids the parent because the blanket 10 will not fall off the stroller, off the child or into the wheels of the stroller.

Although the preferred embodiment uses hook and loop connectors 14 to easily secure the straps 12, nearly any method of securing the straps 12 may be used without departing from the spirit of the invention. For example, the straps 12 could be secured through buttons, snaps, clips, hooks, or even merely tying the straps 12 together.

FIG. 5 illustrates a profile view of the invention in use on a stroller as a sun shade or canopy. In this mode the blanket 10 protects the child from sun and wind exposure. Two pairs of straps 12 are attached to the side bars or handle bars above the canopy of a stroller and two pairs of straps 12 are attached to the side bars below the seat of the stroller. The blanket 10 therefore hangs down off the canopy to the front and sides of the stroller, blocking the sun and wind from the child. The corner placement of the straps 12 helps ensure that the blanket 10 will remain taut and secure. Again, the straps 12 ensure that the blanket 10 will not blow away or be kicked off by the child. This mode is especially useful during activities where a child might be exposed to sun and wind for prolonged periods.

FIG. 6 consists of a plan view of an additional embodiment of the invention which also contains a pocket 16. The pocket 16 can be used to store children's toys or small baby supplies such as pacifiers, bibs and the like. In this illustration, the pocket 16 can be secured in the closed position through the use of hook and loop fasteners 14. In other embodiments, the pocket may be secured through virtually any type of fasteners, including, buttons, snaps, hooks or clasps. The pocket 16 may be placed at virtually any position on the blanket 10 without varying from the spirit of the invention. Similarly, the pocket 16 may be one of many different possible sizes.

In FIG. 7, a detailed view shows both sides of a blanket 10 with multiple materials, as well as the straps 12 and fasteners 14. The first side, element 18, is the “warm” side. It is composed of a warm and soft material, such as synthetic polyester fleece or other natural or artificial materials. The second side, element 20, is the water-proof side. It is composed of fabric coated with rubber, polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, silicone elastomer, wax or any other water-proofing material. In alternative embodiments, either side may be replaced with a water-absorbent side, composed of a water-absorbent material such as terrycloth or other natural or artificial materials. In yet other alternative embodiments, either side may be replaced with a slick, water-repellant side, composed of rubber, synthetic rubber, or other plastic materials.

FIG. 8 shows a large version of the invention in use on a wheelchair. The straps 12 are used to secure the blanket 10 in place over the lap and legs. This is especially advantageous because it allows the user to keep both hands engaged with the wheels of the wheelchair and alleviates concerns the user might have about the blanket falling off or blowing away.

Although the invention has been described in connection with various specific exemplary embodiments, it should be appreciated that numerous adaptations and modifications may be made thereto, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the claims.





 
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