Title:
Elevated Infant Seat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is an elevated seat that adjusts to different seat back angles with the seat supported at a height to reduce the distance a user has to bend over or kneel down in order access the child.



Inventors:
Sclare, Jacob (Dacula, GA, US)
Gilbert, David (Cumming, GA, US)
Weeter, Brice (Alpharetta, GA, US)
Kostyniak, Jessica (Roswell, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/015905
Publication Date:
07/23/2009
Filing Date:
01/17/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/250.1, 297/256.1
International Classes:
A47D1/00; A47C7/62
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRANMER, LAURIE K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SMITH, GAMBRELL & RUSSELL (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An infant seat for comfortably supporting an infant at an elevated position relative to an underlying support surface comprising a seat adjustably supported on a frame extending downwardly from said frame.

2. An infant seat as defined in claim 1 further comprising a selector connected to one end of said seat and selectively engaging said frame such that said seat may be adjusted in inclination.

3. An infant seat as defined in claim 2 wherein said selector defines a generally vertical slot through which a portion of said frame passes and a plurality of recesses extending laterally from said slot sufficiently to selectively capture said portion therein.

4. An infant seat as defined in claim 2 further comprising adjustable treadles mounted on said frame and selectively positioned to stabilize said seat or to allow motion of said seat.

5. An infant seat as defined in claim 4 wherein said frame is designed to position said seat at a height above said supporting surface at which a person attending to an infant in said seat can do so without having to reach down to substantially the level of the supporting surface.

6. An infant seat as defined in claim 1 further comprising adjustable treadles mounted on said frame and selectively positioned to stabilize said seat or to allow motion of said seat.

7. An infant seat as defined in claim 1 wherein said frame is designed to position said seat at a height above said supporting surface at which a person attending to an infant in said seat can do so without having to reach down to substantially the level of the supporting surface.

8. An infant seat as defined in claim 1 further comprising a container supported on said frame beneath said seat at a height above said underlying support surface.

9. An infant seat as defined in claim 8 wherein said frame is designed to position said seat at a height above said supporting surface at which a person attending to an infant in said seat can do so without having to reach down to substantially the level of the supporting surface.

10. An infant seat including a flexible seat supported on an adjustable frame designed to position said seat at a height above a supporting surface at least sufficient to enable a person attending to an infant in said seat to do so without having to reach down to substantially the level of the supporting surface.

11. An infant seat as defined in claim 10 wherein said frame is designed to position said infant seat at least ten inches above said supporting surface

12. Apparatus as defined in claim 10 further comprising a selector connected to one end of said seat and selectively engaging said frame such that said seat may be adjusted in inclination.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of infant seats and more particularly to infant seats having a storage area. In even greater particularity the present invention relates to an infant seat which is supported on a framework at a convenient height that optimizes the seated height of the infant with respect to the caregiver, bringing the caregiver in greater proximity to the infant, and which may be adjusted for the comfort of the infant supported therein as well as the caregiver for the infant.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

An infant seat is intended to sit on the floor while in use. The child is positioned low relative to the floor such that it is difficult for adults to access the child for play or feeding. Further, mothers who have given birth through C section are advised not to bend over, which makes it even more difficult to access an infant using a conventional infant seat. These seats also place the child close to the floor where pets and small siblings have potentially undesirable proximity to the infant.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to elevate the child relative to the floor in such a manner that is both stable and ergonomically correct providing improved caregiver accessibility. By elevating the seat height, an adult can comfortably sit in a chair or otherwise approach the child to engage him without having to bend over. It is an object of the present invention to raise the child relative to the floor to make it more difficult for small pets or siblings to come in contact with the child. It is a further object of the invention to provide a stable platform and to reduce a caregiver's incentive to improperly place the child on top of a counter or another piece of furniture. Yet another object of the invention is to provide a selectively variable seat angle that allows the caregiver to optimally position the child for play or feeding. Yet another object of the invention is to provide a space associated with the seat in which to place toys or other necessities.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

An apparatus for supporting an infant at a comfortable level is depicted in the accompanying drawings which form a portion of this disclosure and wherein:

FIG. 1 is an Isometric view of the embodiment of the invention

FIG. 2 is an Exploded view of the embodiment of the invention (isometric view)

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a detail side elevation view of the seat angle adjustment member.

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the bottom seat support ring; and,

FIG. 6 is an isometric view of the top seat support ring.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the FIGS. 1-6 for a clearer understanding of the invention, it may be seen that the preferred embodiment of the invention contemplates a seat assembly 10 supported at a desired elevation by a tubular base frame 12. The components of the elevated seat include plastic, metal and fabric. The seat pad 11 includes a fabric pocket 13 in which the infant sits. Pocket 13 is formed from side panels 13′ and 13″ and is circumscribed by a border 14 which may also be constructed from various fabrics, and overlies an upper seat frame Y. The peripheral edge of seat pad 11 has formed there a plurality of grommets which are used to attach the seat pad 11 to upper seat frame 19

Seat frame 17 includes upper and lower mating seat frames 19 and 18 shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Seat frames 18 and 19 are assembled using one or more latches 21 spaced about the inside or outside perimeter thereof and extending transversely to the rings. Upper seat frame 19 provides a plurality of complementary hooks 23 formed as part of the upper seat frame 19 to engage grommets thereby allowing the attachment of seat pad 11. Further, a music/vibration unit 22 attaches to the seat frame assembly 17. A removable toy bar 24 or other accessory can be mounted on the seat frame 19 in one or more apertures 26. Seat frames 18 and 19 are molded from plastic and include cooperative loops 28 and 29 formed therein to receive the ends of a pair of front metal tubes 31 and 32 of tubular base frame 12. This connection further allows the seat frame to pivot about the metal tube to facilitate the adjustment of the seat angle as described hereinafter.

The two front tubes 31 and 32 connect to two generally U shaped runners 33 and 34 which extend from front to rear as part of the tubular base frame 12 and connect to a rear tube 36. Rear tube 36 passes through a recline mechanism 41 and alignment wheel 42. The upper end of recline mechanism 41 is attached by an axle 43 to seat frame assembly 17 and the interior of recline mechanism 41 defines a vertical slot 44 communicating with a series of vertically spaced detents 46. Recline mechanism 41 can be adjusted relative to rear tube 36 to position the tube in a selected detent to adjust the seat to multiple positions. Adjustment is accomplished by disengaging the spring loaded wheel 42 mounted on rear tube 36 from the recline mechanism 41 and adjusting by way of the handle 41a to the desired position. In the rest position, the knob 42 is captured within the recline mechanism 41 effectively trapping it such that tube 36 cannot move out of the selected detent 46. Two-handed operation is required to disengage the knob and position the seat using the recline mechanism.

The runners 33 and 34 allow the seat to rock back and forth. These tubes have stops 48 attached at the front and rear positions to limit the rocking motion of the seat. A pair of wireforms, front and rear, serve as kickstands 49 and are connected to the frame by four housings 51 located on the upwardly extending portions of runners 33 and 34. These kickstands have multiple positions which may be selectively oriented: (a) stored (inactive), (b) engaged to prevent rocking, and (c) extended for use as a treadle to rock the seat by foot. The kickstands 49 are operatively connected to housings 51 to allow adjustment to these positions by simultaneously pushing in and turning a rotatably mounted knob 52 located within each housing at the ends of the kickstands 49. The knobs must be moved inward sufficiently to overcome spring tension generated by the geometry of the kickstands thus displacing the wireform from detents and permitting them to be repositioned.

A storage bin 55 hangs from a metal wire 54 that connects the housings 51 on runners 33 and 34 together. The bin may include a cover portion 56. It will be understood that conventional infant seats are not provided with such storage areas and that the increased height of the base frame 11 as compared to prior art allows the provision of such storage. Whereas conventional infant seats support the infant within a foot (12 inches) of the underlying surface, it is to be understood that the present invention will support the infant at a height of ten to twenty-two inches (or greater) above the surface and sufficient to allow for storage in bin 55.

It is to be understood that the form of the invention shown is a preferred embodiment thereof and that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope as defined in the following claims.