Title:
SPLASH GUARD FOR ABOVE-GROUND SWIMMING POOL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Various embodiments of a splash guard for a container, such as an above-ground swimming pool, are disclosed. The pool can have a base, a side wall, and a horizontal support member, and at least a portion of the side wall can be positioned between the base and horizontal support member. The splash guard can comprise a pocket extending along the side wall. The pocket can comprise an outer pocket wall and an inner pocket wall. The outer and inner pocket walls can extend upwardly from the side wall, with the inner pocket wall positioned between the outer pocket wall and the pool interior. The pocket can receive the horizontal support member through an aperture in the outer pocket wall. Positioned between the outer pocket wall and the pool interior, the inner pocket wall can reduce an amount of media exiting the pool through the aperture in the outer wall.



Inventors:
Cheng, Chung Wai (Paul) (Hong Kong, CN)
Application Number:
12/370694
Publication Date:
08/20/2009
Filing Date:
02/13/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H4/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LOEPPKE, JANIE MEREDITH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TROUTMAN PEPPER HAMILTON SANDERS LLP (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A splash guard assembly for a container, the splash guard assembly comprising: a side wall; a horizontal support member; and a pocket extending along an edge of the side wall and adapted to receive the horizontal support member, the pocket comprising an inner pocket wall positioned between a pocket aperture and an interior of the container.

2. The splash guard assembly of claim 1, the side wall comprising: an outer side wall; and inner side wall positioned between the outer side wall and the interior of the container, and the pocket being an extension of the side wall.

3. The splash guard assembly of claim 1, wherein a portion of the inner pocket wall opposite the pocket aperture extends at least to a crest section of the pocket.

4. The splash guard assembly of claim 1, wherein a portion of the horizontal support member is exposed to an exterior of the container by the pocket aperture.

5. The splash guard assembly of claim 4, the horizontal support member defining an angle between approximately 90 and approximately 180 degrees at the portion of the horizontal support member exposed by the pocket aperture.

6. In a container having (i) a base, (ii) a side wall extending upwardly from the base, and (iii) a horizontal support member for supporting the side wall, an improvement comprising: a splash guard comprising a pocket adapted to extend along an upper edge of the side wall and to loop about the horizontal support member, the pocket comprising: an inner pocket wall extending upwardly from the side wall in an interior of the container; an outer pocket wall extending upwardly from the side wall in an exterior of the container; a crest section defining a meeting of the inner pocket wall and the outer pocket wall; and a receiving section in which the outer pocket wall defines an aperture and the inner pocket wall is positioned between the aperture and the interior of the container.

7. The splash guard of claim 6, further comprising a vertical support member coupled to the horizontal support member proximate the receiving section of the pocket.

8. The splash guard of claim 6, the receiving section adapted to receive an angled portion of the horizontal support member.

9. The splash guard of claim 6, the aperture of the outer pocket wall extending no farther than the crest section.

10. The splash guard of claim 6, the inner pocket wall of the receiving section extending at least as high as the horizontal support member.

11. A container comprising: a base; a side wall configured to extend upwardly from a perimeter of the base, such that a bottom edge of the side wall is coupled to the perimeter of the base; a horizontal support member for supporting the side wall; and a pocket extending along an upper edge of the side wall for enclosing at least a portion of the horizontal support member, the pocket comprising an inner pocket wall configured to face an interior of the container and an outer pocket wall configured to face an exterior of the container, the outer pocket wall defining an aperture for inserting the horizontal support member into the pocket, and the inner pocket wall configured to extend upwardly from the side wall such that the inner pocket wall is positioned opposite the aperture in the outer pocket wall.

12. The container of claim 11, the inner pocket wall adapted to shield the aperture from the interior of the container.

13. The container of claim 11, further comprising a vertical support member coupled to the horizontal support member.

14. The container of claim 11, a portion of the horizontal support member being exposed to the exterior of the container by the aperture in the outer pocket wall.

15. The container of claim 14, further comprising a vertical support member coupled to the horizontal support member at the aperture in the outer pocket wall.

16. The container of claim 11, the portion of the horizontal support member at the aperture in the outer pocket wall comprising an angle between approximately 90 and approximately 180 degrees.

17. The container of claim 11, the side wall comprising: an outer side wall; and an inner side wall positioned between the interior of the container and the outer side wall, wherein the outer pocket wall comprises and upper portion of the outer side wall, and the inner pocket wall comprises an upper portion of the inner side wall.

18. The container of claim 11, further comprising a porthole being a drainage assembly for draining media from the container.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims benefit, under 35 U.S.C. §119(e), of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/028,745, filed 14 Feb. 2008, and is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Design Patent Application Ser. Nos. 29/319,548 and 29/319,550, both filed 11 Jun. 2008. The entire contents and substance of these prior applications are hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

Exemplary embodiments of the present invention relate to a guard device and, more particularly, to a splash guard for an above-ground swimming pool for reducing the amount of water from splashing outside the swimming pool.

Swimming pools, and other media containers, are well known in the art. Unfortunately, conventional frame-pool swimming pools oftentimes permit the loss of a substantial amount of water when there is a splash in the pool.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1A-1B, conventional swimming pools 100, e.g., frame-pools, have gaps 25 near an angle in the horizontal support members 164. As a result, when a splash of water travels towards the gap 25, water can exit the pool via the gap 25. This may result in a loss of water that would, otherwise, not exit the pool. The loss of water raises the cost of maintaining the pool and, particularly nowadays when water is scarce in some locales, is simply a waste of a needed and treasured natural resource.

SUMMARY

Briefly described, exemplary embodiments of the present invention include a splash guard. The splash guard is an improved angle device for a container, such as an above-ground swimming pool.

In one aspect of the present invention, an above-ground swimming pool incorporates a splash guard. The swimming pool includes a base, at least one side wall, a support system to maintain the pool in an upright position, and the splash guard. The side wall(s) can be coupled at the approximate perimeter of the base. The side wall is positioned approximately normal to the base, and is maintained in this position by the support system. The support system can include a vertical support member in communication with a horizontal support member. The horizontal support member can be positioned in proximity to the top of the side wall(s). At each position where the angle of the horizontal support member is between approximately 90 degrees and approximately 180 degrees, the splash guard can be positioned. The splash guard is adapted to prevent water from splashing out of gaps of the side wall.

The splash guard can comprise a pocket adapted to link the horizontal support member to the side wall. The pocket can extend along an upper edge of the side wall. The pocket can comprise an outer pocket wall, an inner pocket wall, and a crest section.

Both the outer and inner pocket walls can extend upwardly from the side wall. The inner pocket wall can be positioned between the outer pocket wall and the interior of the pool. The crest section can define a meeting between the inner pocket wall and the outer pocket wall. Together, the inner pocket wall, the outer pocket wall, and the crest section can define a loop for retaining the horizontal support member. In an exemplary embodiment, the inner pocket wall, the outer pocket wall, and the crest section are comprised of an uninterrupted material, but alternatively, separate pieces of one or more materials may comprise each of the inner pocket wall, the outer wall, and the crest section.

The pocket can receive the horizontal support member through an aperture in the outer pocket wall. Positioned between the outer pocket wall and the interior of the pool, the inner pocket wall can reduce or prevent water or other media from exiting the pool through the aperture in the outer wall.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reading the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A illustrates a perspective view of a first conventional angle device.

FIG. 1B illustrates a perspective view of another conventional angle device.

FIG. 2A illustrates a partial perspective, side view of an above-ground swimming pool incorporating a conventional angle device.

FIG. 2B illustrates a perspective view of another above-ground swimming pool incorporating another conventional angle device.

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of an above-ground swimming pool of incorporating a splash guard, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4A illustrates a perspective view of the splash guard of FIG. 3, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4B illustrates a perspective view of the splash guard of FIGS. 3 and 4A, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of an above-ground swimming pool incorporating another splash guard, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6A illustrates a perspective view of the splash guard of FIG. 5, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6B illustrates a side view of the splash guard of FIGS. 5 and 6A, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of yet another splash guard, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present invention can be more readily understood by reference to the following detailed description and the examples included herein. Before the exemplary embodiments according to aspects of the present invention are disclosed and described, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the embodiments described within this disclosure. Numerous modifications and variations therein will be apparent to those skilled in the art and remain within the scope of the invention. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing specific embodiments, and is not intended to be limiting.

Unless otherwise noted, the terms used herein are to be understood according to conventional usage by those of ordinary skill in the relevant art. In addition to the definitions of terms provided below, it is to be understood that as used in the specification and in the claims, “a” or “an” can mean one or more, depending upon the context in which it is used.

As used herein, the term “pool” shall refer to and include above-ground or free-standing swimming pools, spas, water tanks, or other above-ground liquid containment enclosures, e.g., above-ground containers.

Embodiments of the present invention are directed toward a splash guard for an angled corner of a swimming pool for reducing water from splashing outside the pool.

To facilitate an understanding of the principles and features of the invention, it is explained hereinafter with reference to its implementation in an illustrative embodiment. In particular, the invention is described in the context of being a splash guard for an above-ground swimming pool.

Exemplary embodiments of the present invention, however, are not limited to use as splash guards for swimming pools. Rather, exemplary embodiments can be used to reduce, if not prohibit, media from splashing out of many containers. Thus, the splash guard can also find utility as a guard for protecting a variety of fluids contained in various above-ground containers from splashing out.

The material described hereinafter as making up various elements of the container of the invention are intended to be illustrative and not restrictive. Many suitable materials that would perform the same or a similar function as the materials described herein are intended to be embraced within the scope of the invention. Such other materials not described herein can include, but are not limited to, materials that are developed after the time of the development of the invention, for example.

In order to better understand some beneficial features of the splash guard, features of a swimming pool incorporating the splash guard are initially described. Referring now to the drawings, two different containers can be seen in the perspective views illustrated in FIGS. 2A-2B. As shown in FIGS. 2A-2B, an above-ground swimming pool 100 has a base 110 and a side wall 120, which is made from a physical material and is formed in a particular shape.

The pool 100 can be a frame pool, which can be collapsible in nature. The frame pool is typically pre-fabricated and includes a plurality of external vertical braces or frames for supporting the frame pool above the ground. The frame pool can be made of metal, plastic, and the like. Other types of pools can be implemented herein.

The shape of the pool 100 can be circular, oval, or the like. The pool 100 can be made in a variety of shapes, including, but not limited to, rectangular, square, oblong, oval-shaped, elliptical, rectangular with rounded corners, polygonal, or the like. Various shapes can result in the pool 100 having various numbers of side walls 120 forming the perimeter of the pool 100. Additionally, the pool 100 can be made in a variety of sizes, depending upon the desired use.

The pool 100 is formed with the base 110 and side wall 120. The base 110 and side wall 120 can be manufactured out of many different materials and can be formed of the same materials or each a different material. For example, the base 110 and side wall 120 of the swimming pool 100 can be formed from a textile (e.g., burlap, etc.) or synthetic material (e.g., plastics, polyurethane, PVC, nylon, etc.). Many materials (especially water-permeable textiles, etc.) can be used to construct a pool, and such materials can be treated to retain water. For example, such materials could be adhered to, laminated with, coated with, or bonded to a material impermeable to water.

In accordance with an exemplary embodiment, the base 110 can be formed from a nylon shell, which can be laminated or otherwise treated to hold water. For example, the nylon shell might be bonded to another material, such as polyurethane, PVC, vinyl, or other suitable impermeable lining to provide the desirable waterproof qualities, and to provide a more pleasing tactile quality to the interior of the pool 100. Similarly, the wall 120 of the pool 100 can be constructed from these materials, or other materials having similar suitable qualities. Many of the materials that are used can be selected for their durability.

For example, the base 110 can be formed from materials that can be more durable than the side wall 120, as this section of the pool 100 would likely be subjected to more wear than that experienced by the side wall 120. Also, as described, the base 110 and side wall 120 can be formed from a combination of materials, which can be adhered or bonded together. The materials used for the various portions of the pool 100, including, for example, the base 110 and the side wall 120, can be joined by way of a number of commonly known suitable techniques, such as sewing, adhesives, bonding, lamination, RF welding, other suitable joining techniques, and the like. The connection of the base 110 to the side wall 120 can be along the bottom 122 of the side wall 120. The base 110 includes a perimeter, wherein the side wall 120 can be connected about the perimeter of the base 110.

The side wall 120 can include a single-layered wall. Alternatively, the side wall 120 can include a multi-layered wall, including an inner wall 126 and an outer wall 128. The inner wall 126 can, but need not, be sealable to the outer wall 128. In either embodiment, the side wall 120 is preferably non-inflatable and non-spring activated.

In one embodiment, the inner wall 126 can be made of pliable plastic, while the outer wall 128 can be made of hard plastic. Then, inner wall 126 can limit leakage of fluid should the outer wall 128 crack. Likewise, the material of the inner wall 126 can be made of hard plastic, and the material of the outer wall 128 can be made of pliable material to protect from potential leakage should the hard plastic crack.

In another embodiment, the inner wall 126 can be made of hard plastic, while the outer wall 128 can also be made of hard plastic. In still another embodiment, both the inner and outer walls 126 and 128 can be made of a pliable material that is, preferably, stretched taut or nearly taut when the pool 100 is filled with water or is otherwise in use.

Additionally, as illustrated in FIG. 2B, the pool 100 can comprise a porthole 150, or a plurality thereof. The portholes 150 are translucent sections of the side wall 120, either integrally formed in/with the side wall 120, or separate elements. The portholes 150 are adapted like a window permitting one to see into the pool 100. Similarly, the portholes 150 enable one within the pool to see outside the pool 100. The portholes 150 can further enable determining the level of fluid within the pool 100.

The portholes 150 can be of a particular shape. For instance, the shape of the portholes 150 can be oval. Alternatively, the shape of the portholes 150 can be round or circular. Configurations of the portholes 150 around the pool vary. In an exemplary embodiment, the locations of the portholes 150 can be placed symmetrically about the side wall 120.

The portholes 150 can aid in safety, as the portholes 150 can enable viewing into the pool 100 through the side wall 120. If the portholes 150 are removably designed by suitable means, the porthole 150 can also be used as a drainage device, enabling quick emptying of the fluid of the pool 100. The portholes 150 can be integrally formed during manufacturing of the side wall 120, or removable, wherein they are attached via a waterproof/leak resistant means. The portholes 150 can also be included via a non-removable method, wherein the portholes are secured to or within the side wall 120.

The portholes 150 can be secured in different ways within the side wall 120. In one embodiment, the portholes 150 can be flush with the side wall 120, such as enabling a drainage device. In another embodiment, the portholes 150 can be insertable between the inner wall 126 and the outer wall 128 of the side wall 120. The portholes 150 can be sealed between the inner wall 126 and the outer wall 128, wherein there is a hole between the inner wall 126 and the outer wall 128, whereby the porthole seals the hole. The porthole 150, thus, can be sandwiched between the inner wall 126 and the outer wall 128. The porthole 150 can be sealed by conventional compression or heat sealed methods.

FIGS. 2A-2B also illustrate the pool 100 having a one or more braces or structural support systems 160. The support system 160 can include both vertical and horizontal support members 162 and 164, respectively. For instance, as illustrated in FIG. 2B, each vertical support member 162 extends upwardly from the surface on which the pool 100 rests, and is in communication with the horizontal support members 164.

The support system 160 can be coupled to the side wall 120 of the pool 100. For example, the support system 160 can be inserted within the material making up the side wall 120, such that the vertical support member 162 is coupled to the horizontal support member 164 thereabout. In one embodiment, the support system 160 can comprise at least a portion of a floatation device, and can have at least a portion coupled to the top of the side wall 120 and vertically along the side wall 120 to provide buoyancy and/or rigidity to the side wall 120. The support system 160 can comprise, for example, one or more inflatable bladders, collapsible foam, removable support members, and the like.

The support system 160 can also be used on a frame pool, as well as a pop-up pool for supporting the pool above the ground. In an exemplary embodiment, the support system 160 is positioned outside the pool 100.

Additionally, the pool 100 can include a ladder (not shown) to enable one to enter and/or exit the pool 100. The ladder can be integral with the support member 160, or not. The ladder can further be insertable into the pool 100, enabling one to exit the pool 100. Because a rim of the pool 100 is above the ground, the ladder is preferably flush with the rim for easy entry/exit from the pool 100.

Because, in one embodiment, the pool 100 can be collapsible, the fluid in the pool 100 can be drainable. For example, a drainage assembly 180, as illustrated in FIG. 2B, is integral with the pool 100. In an exemplary embodiment, the drainage assembly 180 is a cork or like device, which is removable from the pool 100, such that, when removed the water from the pool 100 can be drained. The drainage assembly 180 can also be a valve enabling control of draining the pool 100. The drainage assembly 180 can be many devices enabling easy draining of the pool 100, safely and environmentally.

In one aspect of the present invention, the pool 100 can be conveniently collapsed for storage and/or transport by removing the support system 160 and folding onto itself along with the base 110 and side wall 120 material in a manner that is well known.

Accordingly, the above-ground container provides a number of different collapsible containers, which can be used as swimming pool. The various embodiments described above provide collapsible swimming pool that are foldable, enable easy storage, and increase portability when compared with prior approaches. Additionally, according to various embodiments, the collapsible swimming pool can be provided with a pop-up mechanism that automatically erects the pool to its full-sized, expanded configuration. The swimming pool can be constructed from durable, lightweight, foldable materials which are not easily damaged, and therefore contribute to their long life.

Referring now to FIGS. 3-7, the swimming pool 100 incorporates at least one splash guard 200. The splash guard 200 is adapted to reduce, if not prevent, water from splashing outside the pool 100 at predetermined locations.

FIG. 3 illustrates an above-ground swimming pool 100 that incorporates the splash guard 200. As shown in FIG. 3, the splash guard can be incorporated in a pool 100 having a rectangular shape, such that the splash guards 200 are preferably positioned at the corners/angles of the pool 100. In this case, the splash guard 200 preferably has an angle of approximately 90 degrees.

Referring now to FIGS. 4A-4B, additional views of the splash guard 200 of FIG. 3 are illustrated. Here, instead of providing a gap 25 (see FIGS. 1A-1B) or lack of material between the horizontal support member 164 of the support system 160 and the side wall 120, as was conventionally done (see, e.g., FIG. 1A), the gap 25 is filled in with material from the side wall 120. Further, instead of the horizontal support member 164 extending beyond the periphery of the side wall 120, as shown in the conventional solution of FIG. 1A, the splash guard 200 of FIGS. 3 and 4A-4B is adapted to prevent water from splashing through the gap 25. The gap 25 is removed and the horizontal support member 164 is in line with (axial to) the perimeter of the pool 100.

At or proximate the top end 102 of the pool 100, the side wall 120 can include, or be in physical communication with, a pocket 202. The pocket 202 couple the horizontal support member 164 to the side wall 120. The pocket 202 can extend along a periphery of the pool 100 and along an upper edge of the side wall 120. Additionally, the pocket 120 can define one or more apertures 204 for receiving the horizontal support member 164. The horizontal support member 164 can comprise one or more angles, such as joints or bends, between approximately 90 and approximately 180 degrees along the perimeter of the pool 100. Such angles can define a shape of the pool 100. The apertures 204 can be located at these angles, and the splash guard 200 is positionable at or about each aperture 204.

For instance, the pockets 202 of the pool 100 in FIG. 3 are positioned at the corners of the pool 100. The pocket 202 is adapted to receive and hold the horizontal support member 164. The side wall 120 extends up to reach the at least bottom portion of the horizontal support member 164. Based on this design, the splash guard 200 prevents water from splashing out of the pool 100, which can help lower costs and conserve water.

In another embodiment, the splash guard 200 can be incorporated at the coupling of the vertical support member 162 with the horizontal support member 164 of the support system 160. FIG. 5 illustrates an above-ground swimming pool 100 that also incorporates the splash guard 200. As shown in FIG. 5, the splash guard can be incorporated in a pool 100 having a polygonal shape, such that the splash guards 200 are preferably positioned at the edge of each side wall 120 of the pool 100. In this case, the splash guard 200 preferably has an angle of between approximately 90 degrees and 180 degrees.

Referring now to FIGS. 6A-6B and FIG. 7, additional views of the splash guard 200 are illustrated. Here, instead of providing the gap 25 or lack of material between the horizontal support member 164 of the support system 160 and the side wall 120 (see FIG. 1B), the gap 25 is filled in with material from the side wall 120. Instead of the gap 25 between the horizontal support member 164 and the side wall 120, as shown in the conventional solution of FIG. 1B, the splash guard 200 of FIGS. 3 and 4A-4B is adapted to prevent water from splashing through the gap 25, as the gap 25 filled in.

The pocket 202 can include one or more apertures 204, preferably positioned at corners of the sides of the pool 100. Each aperture 204 can be adapted to receive and hold the horizontal support member 164. Further, the apertures 204 are preferably the meeting point of the coupling of the vertical support member 162 and the horizontal support member 164. Based on this design, the splash guard 200 prevents water from splashing out of the pool 100, which helps save costs and water.

As shown in FIG. 7, the pocket 202 an outer pocket wall 206, an inner pocket wall 208, and a crest section 209. In an exemplary embodiment, the outer pocket wall 206, the inner pocket wall 208, and the crest section 209 are comprised of an uninterrupted material, but alternatively, separate pieces of one or more materials may comprise each of the inner wall, the outer wall, and the crest section.

Both the outer and inner pocket walls 206 and 208 can extend upwardly from the side wall 120. The inner pocket wall 208 can be positioned between the outer pocket wall 206 and the interior of the pool 100 or other container. The crest section 209 can define a meeting between the inner pocket wall 208 and the outer pocket wall 206. Together, the outer pocket wall 206, the inner pocket wall 208, and the crest section 209 can define a loop for containing one or more portions of the horizontal support member 164.

The pocket 202 can comprise a receiving section 203, in which the pocket 202 receives the horizontal support member 164 through an aperture 204. The aperture 204 can be defined by the outer pocket wall 206. As the horizontal support member 164 can be at least partially contained by the pocket, the aperture 204 in the outer pocket wall 206 can expose part of the horizontal support member 164. In an exemplary embodiment, the aperture 204 is positioned fully within the outer pocket wall 206 and does not extend beyond the crest section 209 to the inner pocket wall 208 side. Positioned between the outer pocket wall 206 and the interior of the pool 100, the inner pocket wall 208 can shield the aperture and thereby reduce or prevent water or other media from exiting the pool 100 through the aperture 204.

In yet another embodiment of the splash guard, in which the side wall 120 comprises an inner wall 126 and an outer wall 128, the pocket 202 can comprise an upper portion of extension of the side wall 120. In this exemplary embodiment, instead of the inner pocket wall 208 extending from the side wall 120, an upper portion of the inner side wall 126 act as the inner pocket wall 208. Similarly, an upper portion of the outer side wall 128 can act as the outer pocket wall 206.

In such an embodiment, the upper portion of the outer side wall 128 can define the apertures 204 for receiving the horizontal support member 164. The inner side wall 126 can extend upward, preferably at least to a height of the horizontal support member 164. Further preferably, the inner side wall 126 can extend at least to a crest defined by a meeting of the inner side wall 206 and the outer side wall 208 above the horizontal support member 164.

In one embodiment of the pool 100 having a polygonal or circular shape that incorporates the splash guard 200, the side walls 120 of the pool 100 can include the aforementioned two-layer design. As described, the side wall 120 can include two walls. Specifically, the side wall 120 can include the inner wall 126 and the outer wall 128. In this arrangement, the inner wall 126 can preferably extend to the horizontal support member 164. Accordingly, the inner wall 126 can prevent the water from splashing outside the pool 100, as it fills in the gap of the conventional design.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, however, that the invention can be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. For example, while the invention has been described in the context of swimming pool having the splash guard, generally used by children, the concepts described herein need not be limited to these illustrative embodiments. For example, swimming pools of larger sizes can be constructed using the same methods, and would enjoy the same benefits as the pool described above. Additionally, other types of containers incorporating the splash guard, which can be used to contain liquids or other substances could be constructed using the principles of the invention and enjoy similar advantages as those described above.

Additionally, the specific configurations, choice of materials, and the size and shape of various elements, including the splash guard, could be varied according to particular design specifications or constraints requiring a container constructed according to the principles of the invention. Such changes are intended to be embraced within the scope of the invention.

The presently disclosed embodiments are, therefore, considered in all respects to be illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is indicated by the appended claims, rather than the foregoing description, and all changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalents thereof are intended to be embraced therein.

The disclosures and teachings of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/466,681 filed 23 Aug. 2006 and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/934,228 filed 02 Nov. 2007 are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.