Title:
BABY CHANGE TABLE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A baby change table which is to be mounted on a wall so that it can be folded up against the wall when not in use or lowered about a hinge axis when required, has a platform for a baby which can be installed either extending parallel to the wall, or at right angles to the wall. The orientation of the platform may be fixed at the time of installing the table, as the platform can be installed either orientation.



Inventors:
Grainger, John Edward (Stowmarket, GB)
Application Number:
12/464746
Publication Date:
11/26/2009
Filing Date:
05/12/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47D5/00; A47B5/04; A47D13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CUOMO, PETER M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP (Glendale, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A baby change table for mounting to a fixed structure, the table comprising a bracket adapted to be attached to a fixed structure, a platform supporting member hinged to the bracket, and a baby change platform for supporting a baby, the baby change platform mounted on the supporting member, wherein the baby change platform is mountable and securable to the supporting member in more than one orientation.

2. A table as claimed in claim 1, wherein the platform supporting member is hinged to the bracket about a hinge axis and wherein the platform can be secured with its longer dimension either parallel to the hinge axis, or at right angles to the hinge axis.

3. A table as claimed in claim 1, wherein the platform can be mounted on and secured to the supporting member in more than one position by securing means.

4. A table as claimed in claim 3, wherein the securing means comprises a series of screws or bolts, with security heads which require a special tool for being unscrewed.

5. A table as claimed in claim 3, wherein the securing means comprises interengaging formations on the platform and the supporting member to enable the platform to be mounted on the supporting member in the different orientations, without requiring the use of tools.

6. A table as claimed in claim 5, wherein the interengaging formations form a bayonet type joint.

7. A table as claimed in claim 1, wherein the bracket and the platform supporting member are made of metal and the platform is made of a plastics material.

8. A table as claimed in claim 1, wherein a central portion of the baby change platform is mounted on said platform supporting member.

9. A table as claimed in claim 1, wherein the baby change platform comprises a boss, wherein the platform supporting member comprises a collar, wherein said boss is received within said collar.

10. A table as claimed in claim 9, wherein said boss and said collar are circular.

11. A table as claimed in claim 9, wherein said boss is rotatable relative to said collar for changing the orientation of said baby change platform.

12. A table as claimed in claim 1, wherein the platform supporting member is hinged to the bracket about a hinge axis and wherein the platform can move from a horizontal to a vertical position about said hinge axis.

13. A table as claimed in claim 1, wherein the bracket comprises: a first member to be attached to the fixed structure; and a second member coupleable with the first member.

14. A table as claimed in claim 13, wherein one of the first and second members includes a track and the other of the first and second members includes a rail receivable in said track for mating with said track, wherein the rail is slideable in a first direction relative the track.

15. A table as claimed in claim 14, wherein the track restrains movement of the rail in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction.

16. A table as claimed in claim 14, further comprising an accessory comprising a track or a rail for mating with the rail or track of the bracket first member.

17. A baby change table for mounting to a fixed structure comprising: a bracket first member adapted to be attached to a fixed structure, said bracket first member including a first portion; a bracket second member coupleable with the bracket first member, said bracket second member including a second portion complementary with the first portion for coupling said first member to said second member; a platform supporting member hinged to the bracket second member; and a baby change platform for supporting a baby mounted on the supporting member, wherein the baby change platform is mountable and securable to the supporting member in more than one orientation.

18. A table as claimed in claim 17, wherein one of said first and second portions is a track and the other of said first and second portions is a rail receivable in said track, wherein the rail is slideable in a first direction relative the track.

19. A table as claimed in claim 18, wherein the track restrains movement of the rail in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction.

20. A table as claimed in claim 17, further comprising an accessory comprising a third portion complementary to first portion for mating with the first portion of the bracket first member for coupling said accessory to said bracket first member.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of and priority to United Kingdom Patent Application No. 0808706.6, filed on May 13, 2008, the entire contents of which are fully incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to baby change tables.

Baby change tables are commonly provided in locations such as public toilets and changing rooms, to enable a baby to be changed safely, when away from the home. For reasons of space, such tables are often mounted on a hinged mount, so that they can be folded up against a wall, when not in use, but can be easily lowered when required.

According to the invention, there is provided a baby change table for mounting to a fixed structure, the table comprising a bracket adapted to be attached to a fixed structure, a platform supporting member hinged to the bracket, and a baby change platform mounted on the supporting member, wherein the platform can be mounted on and secured to the supporting member in more than one position.

Preferably the platform can be secured with its longer dimension either parallel to the bracket hinge axis, or at right angles to the axis. The effect of this is that the table can be set up so that, when mounted on a fixed structure (typically a wall), it either lies parallel to the wall, or extends out from the wall.

Installers of baby change tables sometimes need to locate the platform one way, sometimes the other way. This may depend on available space in the changing room, or the preference of the owner of the premises where the table is being installed. By allowing the platform to be installed either way round, installers only need to use one table, knowing that it can be fitted with the platform either “vertical” or “horizontal”. This means that manufacturers only have to offer one product, instead of the two currently available.

The means for securing the platform to the supporting member preferably are of a form which allows the installer to attach the platform in either position, but which are thereafter inaccessible to users of the table. The securing means may be a series of bolts, with security heads which require a special tool to unscrew them, or a bayonet or clip type joint with interengaging formations on the platform and the supporting member, possibly with a final locking member to prevent the joint being opened again.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a baby change table according to the invention, in the lowered position.

FIG. 2 is a view corresponding to FIG. 1 showing the table in the folded position;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the table, from below.

FIG. 4 is a view corresponding to FIG. 3 but viewed from above.

FIGS. 5 & 6 are views corresponding to FIGS. 3 and 4 but showing the table installed in a different orientation.

FIGS. 7A and 7B are perspective views of an exemplary embodiment of a baby change table according to the invention incorporating an exemplary embodiment two-member bracket for mounting onto a wall.

FIG. 8 is a partial cross-sectional view of the two-member bracket depicted in FIGS. 7A and 7B.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows the table in the folded down position when it is ready to support a baby, typically when a baby's nappy needs to be changed. The table has a bracket 10 which will be fixed to a wall or other supporting structure, a platform 12 on which the baby will be laid and a platform supporting member 14 hinged to the bracket 10 on an axis 16, and on which the platform 12 is supported. Also shown in FIG. 1 is a safety strap 18 which can be fastened over the baby on the table to prevent the baby rolling off.

The platform 12 will typically be a plastics moulding with rounded edges and a wipe-clean surface. It may be formed by injection moulding, roto moulding or another appropriate manufacturing method.

FIG. 2 shows the table folded up against a wall. It will be seen from this figure that the supporting member 14 has an arm 20 extending from the hinges 16, and a circular collar 22 into which a circular boss 24 of the platform 12 can be fitted.

The exploded view of FIG. 3 shows the platform 12 with the circular boss 24 on its underside, and the bracket 14 with the circular collar 22. As will be apparent from FIG. 3, the boss 24 fits into the collar 22, and the two parts are then secured together by four screws 26 which will pass through holes 28 in the collar 22 and into corresponding sockets 30 in the platform 12. Also seen in FIG. 3 is a cover plate 32 which encloses a part of the supporting member 14 between the hinge axis 16 and the collar 22.

It will be seen from FIGS. 3 and 4 (in particular FIG. 4), that the lengthwise dimension of the platform 12 is at right angles to the wall to which it will be secured by the bracket 10. In this case the person attending the baby can work from either side of the table as the table extends away from the wall at right angles.

FIGS. 5 and 6 are substantially the same as FIGS. 3 and 4, but they show the table (see in particular FIG. 6) assembled on the supporting member 14 with its length dimension parallel to the wall.

The positions of the holes 28 in the collar 22 and the sockets 30 in the platform 12 are arranged so that the platform and supporting member can be secured together in either of those two positions, and the orientation of the table (either the FIG. 4 orientation or the FIG. 6 orientation) will be set at the time that the platform is mounded on the supporting member.

It is intended that the platform 12 and supporting member 14 will be assembled together by whoever installs the table and that the screws 26 (or whatever fastenings are used) will in some way be protected from unauthorised removal. However if for any reason it is subsequently desired to change the orientation, then by using a suitable tool, the screws 26 can be removed, the platform rotated through 90 degrees, and the screws then reinserted.

Although the figures all show the platform and supporting member being connected by means of threaded fasteners, it is also envisaged that other methods of connecting the platform and the supporting member may be provided, to avoid the use of multiple threaded fasteners. For example the outer rim of the boss 24 and the inner rim of the collar 22 may be provided with interengaging formations which allow the platform to be initially engaged in the supporting member at a position (say) 45° from its final position and then rotated to its final position where the interengaging formations ensure that the table remains connected. In this type of arrangement, it may be necessary to include a grub screw or similar to prevent unauthorised subsequent rotation of the table.

In this embodiment, the interengaging formations will be provided to enable the platform to be mounted in the two alternative positions shown in FIGS. 4 and 6. The interengaging formations can be similar to a bayonet joint.

It is expected that the supporting member 14 will be made of metal, possibly a sintered metal component.

In another exemplary embodiment, the bracket 10 may be provided as a two-member bracket having a first member 30 for mounting onto a wall and a second member 32 on to which are attached the hinges 16, as shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B. The second member is coupleable to the first member, as shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B. In an exemplary embodiment, the first member which is mountable onto a wall includes two generally parallel horizontal tracks 34 which are designed to mate with two rails 36 formed on the second member. The rails 36 are complementary in cross-section to the cross-section of their corresponding tracks 34. In the shown exemplary embodiment, the track 34 is a channel in cross-section bounded on four sides and having an outlet 38. As can be seen from FIG. 8, the track 34 is a channel in cross-section bounded by walls 40, 42, 44 and 46. The opening 38 extends adjacent to wall 46. The track 36, as in the shown exemplary embodiment, has a first generally horizontal member 48 which penetrates the opening 38 and a second generally vertical member 50 extending from the first generally horizontal member, so as to form generally an “L” shape in cross-section. In this regard, the rail 36 generally vertical leg 50 is received in the channel 34 and the generally horizontal leg 48 extends through the opening 38 of the track 34. As such, the wall 46 defining the channel restrains the rail from moving perpendicularly along direction 52 out of the track 34, while allowing the rail to slide along the track 34. Thus, the bracket first member 30 is mounted onto a wall and then the second member 32, along with the baby changing platform, is slid onto the first member 30 by sliding the rails 36 of the second member into the tracks 34 formed on the first member.

In an exemplary embodiment, the first member 30 has a sufficient length so as to allow it to be mounted on strong points of the wall, such as the wall studs or beams. The second member may then be mounted onto the first member and slid to a desired location relative to the first member. In this regard, the second member, and thus the baby changing platform may be slid along the first member to a desired location such the baby change platform is not aligned with the wall studs or beams. In this regard, the exemplary embodiment two-member bracket allows for the load of the baby change platform to be reacted through the strong points of the wall, i.e., the studs or beams of the wall, even though the baby change platform is not aligned with such studs.

In a further exemplary embodiment, other accessories such as a diaper hook 56 may be provided with an appropriate track 58 for sliding into one of the rails 34. In this regard, such other accessories may be mounted on the first member 30 of the bracket 10. It should be understood that while the two-member bracket has been described as having two tracks and two rails, it should be understood that the same can be accomplished using a single rail and a single track or using multiple rails and multiple tracks having the described cross-sectional shapes or other complementary cross-sectional shapes that would allow one member to slide relative to the other.

In yet a further exemplary embodiment, the first member of the bracket may be provided with a section 60 extending above the tracks that can accommodate a plate 62 for providing messages, as for example for providing the appropriate warnings in relation to the use of the baby change platform.

End caps 64 may be provided at the ends of the bracket first member 30 to prevent the sliding of the second member beyond the first member and thus preventing the decoupling of the second member from the first member. In addition, if the first member is much longer than the second member, spacer(s) (not drawn) may be slid into the tracks 34 once the second member has been slid into the first member to take up the space in the rail, not taken up by the tracks, and thus limit the travel of the second member relative to the first member and to restrain the second member in a desired location relative to the first member. As can be seen from FIG. 7A, in another exemplary embodiment, the bracket first member 30 may be provided with openings 66 and/or key hole openings 68 to facilitate fastening of the bracket onto a wall. In an exemplary embodiment, the openings are spaced at the same spacing of the studs or beams of the wall onto which the bracket will be mounted. The brackets in an exemplary embodiment are pre-fabricated with the openings spaced at the same spacing as the studs in a typical wall.

In another exemplary embodiment, the track or tracks may be formed in the second member and the rail or rails may be formed in the first member.

The invention thus allows a manufacturer to manufacture just one baby change table to satisfy requirements of customers who wish to have the table mounted parallel and the requirements of customers who wish to have the table at right angles to the wall, with the installer being in a position to install the platform on the support in either of these two positions. This is of significant benefit to the manufacturer in terms of parts stocking and support costs.

Although the present invention has been described and illustrated in respect to an exemplary embodiment, it is to be understood that it is not to be so limited, since changes and modifications may be made therein which are within the full intended scope of this invention as hereinafter claimed.