Title:
APPARATUS FOR FACILITATING THE CHANGING OF A BABY'S SOILED SANITARY WEAR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for facilitating the changing of a baby's soiled sanitary wear comprising a lamina (101) including a recess adapted to receive the torso of a baby whose soiled sanitary wear is to be changed and lamina-positioning means (103, 104) for positioning the lamina (101) transversely of and orthogonal to a base member (102) upon which the said baby can be laid, wherein the lamina positioning means comprises a pair of collapsible supports (103, 104) positioned on either side of each end of the lamina (101).



Inventors:
Rogers, Digory Peter (Devon, GB)
Application Number:
11/912908
Publication Date:
12/24/2009
Filing Date:
03/29/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47D5/00; A47D15/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070169264Bed coveringJuly, 2007Spicer et al.
20020108179Water-filled seat cushionAugust, 2002Kiser
20070039101Specialized tabletops for medical imagingFebruary, 2007Luginbuhl et al.
20060253989Adaptable cushion system and apparatusNovember, 2006Robinson
20080282471Pneumatic Valve Assembly for a Patient SupportNovember, 2008Chambers et al.
20080092297Leg PillowApril, 2008Davis et al.
20060230536Face down attachment for lounge chairOctober, 2006Friedman et al.
20040148702Tape combination for positioning slats on a slatted frameAugust, 2004Husler
20090177327INTERACTIVE ADJUSTABLE MEDIA BED PROVIDING SLEEP DIAGNOSTICSJuly, 2009Turner et al.
20070022538Upholstery with spring elements or springs distributed over the area of the upholsteryFebruary, 2007Zschoch
20060185086Pillowcase changing toolAugust, 2006Lucas



Primary Examiner:
WILSON, BRITTANY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brooks Kushman (Southfield, MI, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for facilitating the changing of a baby's soiled sanitary wear, comprising a lamina including a recess adapted to receive the torso of a baby whose soiled sanitary wear is to be changed and lamina-positioning means for positioning the lamina transversely of and orthogonal to a base member upon which the said baby can be laid, wherein the lamina-positioning means comprises a pair of collapsible supports positioned on each side of each end of the lamina.

2. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein at least one pair of the supports is releasably attachable to the base member.

3. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein or the recess in the lamina is edged with a resilient cellular material.

4. An apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the resilient cellular material is encapsulated in a cleanable envelope.

5. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein there is provided means for varying the size of the recess in the lamina.

6. An apparatus according to claim 4, wherein there is provided means for varying the thickness of the resilient cellular material edging the recess in the lamina thereby to vary the size of the recess in the lamina.

7. An apparatus according to claim 6, wherein the means for varying the thickness of the resilient cellular material edging the recess in the lamina comprises a plurality of releasably attached layers of the resilient cellular material the addition or removal of ones of which enables the size of the recess in the lamina to be varied.

8. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein that that portion of the lamina which contacts the torso of a baby whose nappy is being changed comprises a panel which can be detached from the remainder of the lamina for cleaning purposes.

9. An apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the panel consists of a washable fabric material the lower edge of which is elasticated.

10. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the lamina and its supports are adapted to be attached to a pre-existing baby changing mat or other surface.

Description:

The present invention relates to an apparatus for facilitating the changing of soiled baby's sanitary wear.

Babies and young children who are still incontinent normally are provided with sanitary wear, which is changed when soiled. Such sanitary wear may be disposable or washable, but in either case, in the United Kingdom, such items colloquially are referred to as nappies, or nappy in the singular. Other words are used in other countries to describe such items; for example, in the United States of America they are referred to as “diapers”. For the purposes of the present specification, the words ‘nappy’ or ‘nappies’ will be used to describe such items, but it is to be understood that any of the other words used to describe such items may be substituted, as appropriate to a particular local usage.

These days, when practicable, babies usually have their nappies changed on special mats, which have resilient surfaces which can be washed and disinfected. However, babies are mobile creatures and try to move around during the nappy-changing process, sometimes soiling their hands, clothing and other parts of their bodies as well as falling off the baby-changing mat.

Existing devices for facilitating this operation are shown in published patent specifications GB 2,360,439; U.S. Pat. No. 4,205,669; U.S. Pat. No. 5,161,270; U.S. Pat. No. 6,009,874.

Specification GB 2,360,439 discloses a device for use with a separate baby-changing surface and consists of an under-piece and an arcuate restraining member, which is hinged to the under-piece at one end an releasably fastened to the under-piece at the other end. There are no supports to maintain the restraining member in the vertical plane should the child whose nappy is to be changed push or pull the restraining member, so that the device is weak mechanically. Also, there is no disclosure of any means for enabling the form of the restraining member to be varied to accommodate babies of different sizes.

Specification U.S. Pat. No. 6,205,669 discloses a device, which consists of an arcuate restraining member made of a strip material of rectangular cross-section with the major transverse dimension of the material parallel to the axis of the arch. The chord of the arch is filled with netting the bottom edge of which is elasticated. The restraining member is hinged to a base member at one end and releasably latched to the base member (or a second base member) at the other end. Also provided are restraining straps to be fastened around the ankles of a baby with whom the device is being used. No supports are provided in the vertical plane for the restraining member. This device has at least two disadvantages. As with the device disclosed in specification GB 2,360, 439, it is weak in the vertical plane. Also, the use of the restraining straps may distress the baby concerned.

Specification U.S. Pat. No. 5,161,270 discloses a device, which has a barrier is held in a vertical plane by two pairs of short vertical locating members between which the barrier fits. In one embodiment of the invention, the barrier is hinged to a base member at one end aid releasably attached to the base member at the other end. The barrier has an arcuate recess in its lower edge to accommodate the torso of a baby with whom the device is being used. In a second embodiment of the invention, the barrier slots into the vertical locating members and there are provided two cross-over straps to restrain the torso of a baby with whom the device is being used.

Again, this device is weak in the vertical plane as the vertical locating members are too short to provide vertical support to the barrier. Also, the restraining straps are attached to the lower part of the barrier and so do not provide any support to the barrier in the vertical plane. Furthermore, the restraining straps are shown in relation to the second embodiment of the invention only, in which the barrier is slotted into the locating members but otherwise is free, so a baby could wriggle and dislodge the barrier. Another disadvantage of this invention is that no provision is made for varying the size of the recess in the barrier to accommodate babies of different sizes.

Specification U.S. Pat. No. 6,009,874 discloses a device, which does not employ a barrier at all, but merely has a restraining harness, which fits around the chest of a baby with whom the device is being used. This device, therefore, has no relevance to the present invention.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for facilitating the changing of a baby's nappy.

According to the invention, in one aspect there is provided an apparatus for facilitating the changing of a baby's soiled sanitary wear, comprising a lamina including a recess adapted to receive the torso of a baby whose soiled sanitary wear is to be changed and lamina-positioning means for positioning the lamina transversely of and orthogonal to a base member upon which the said baby can be laid, wherein the lamina-positioning means comprise a pair of collapsible supports positioned on each side of each end of the lamina.

According to the invention, in a second aspect the lamina and the lamina-supporting means are adapted to be attached to a pre-existing baby-changing mat.

Preferably, the lamina is of generally rectangular shape and is provided with a recess in its lower edge adapted to receive and retain the torso of a baby placed upon the baby-changing mat.

Preferably, the lamina is made of a semi-rigid material and is provided with a cleanable surface.

Preferably also, that side of the lamina may be provided with means for amusing or entertaining a baby during a nappy-changing operation.

Alternatively, the upper edge of the lamina may be provided with baby-entertaining means.

The invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of an apparatus embodying the invention adapted to be attached to an existing baby-changing mat,

FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of a baby-changing mat embodying the invention, and

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a component of another apparatus embodying the invention.

FIG. 4 is a pictorial view of another baby-changing mat embodying the invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, an apparatus 100 for facilitating the changing of a baby's nappy, comprises a lamina 101 of a generally rectangular shape and made of a semi-rigid material with a plastics surface which can be cleaned. The lamina 101 is positioned transversely of a base sheet 102 of plastic material with its major axis parallel to the base sheet 102 and is attached to the base sheet 102 in such a manner that it can be pivoted with respect to the base sheet 102 so as to be in contact with the base sheet 102 when the apparatus is not in use. The lamina 101 can be maintained in an operative position with its plane perpendicular to that of the base sheet 102 by means of collapsible gussets 103 and tapes 104. The gussets 103 can be replaced by cords.

In the lower transverse edge 105 of the lamina 101 is a recess 106 which is large enough to accommodate the torso of a baby. In order to reduce discomfort to the baby and to enable one apparatus to be used with babies of different sizes, the recess 106 is edged with a collar 107 made of a resilient cellular material which is enclosed in a cleanable envelope. To facilitate the placing of the lamina in position with respect to a baby, at least one end of it can be made to be detachable from the base sheet 102. The side of the lamina 101 which, in use, faces the baby's head is provided with pictures or other means for entertaining a baby while its nappy is being changed. Alternatively, baby entertainment means, such as movable objects, can be attached to the upper edge 108 of the lamina 101. Also, the upper edge 108 of the lamina 101 can be curved, rather than straight.

At the end of each sheet 102 are pairs of tapes 109, 110 by means of which the apparatus can be attached to a baby-changing mat (not shown in drawing). The tapes 109, 110 may be provided with patches of the releasable adhesive material known as Velcro (Registered Trade Mark).

Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown a conventional baby-changing mat 201 which is provided with a baby movement restricting means as described with reference to FIG. 1 and corresponding parts have the same reference numerals. The baby-changing mat 201 is provided with transverse seams 202 which enable it to be folded to enclose the lamina 101 in its collapsed position, for storage.

Referring to FIG. 3, in a third embodiment of the invention which also is intended for use with an existing baby-changing mat, the sheet 102 is replaced by a separate band of material 301 which is long enough to span the width of the existing baby-changing mat and extend around the sides of the baby-changing mat. The band of material 301 is provided with strips of Velcro 302, 303 (Registered Trade Mark), one of which, 302, is wider than the other. The gussets 103 and tapes 104 of the lamina 101 (which is not included in FIG. 3) are provided with strips of Velcro (Registered Trade Mark) on their outward-facing surfaces so as to enable them to be attached to the band of material 301 once it has been passed underneath the existing baby-changing mat 201. The presence of the wider strip 302 of Velcro (Registered Trade mark) on the band 301 of material enables one band of material 301 to be used with baby-changing mats 201 of different widths.

In order that growth of a baby can be allowed for, a given lamina 101 can be provided with a number of collars 107 adapted to be attached to one another. As a baby grows, successive collars 107 can be removed. This arrangement also enables one apparatus to be used with babies of different sizes.

Referring to FIG. 4, there is shown another embodiment of the invention. Those components which correspond to similar components described previously have the same reference numerals and will not be described again. In this embodiment of the invention, the lamina 101 has a cut-out 401 which is larger than the recess 106 in the bottom of the lamina 101 of the earlier described embodiments of the invention. A length 402 of washable material is fastened releasably to the lamina 101 by means of two strips 403 of Velcro (Registered Trade Mark) material. The bottom edge 404 of the length 402 of washable material is elasticated so that it adjusts to accommodate babies of different sizes. This arrangement facilitates the cleaning of the apparatus and can be used both when the lamina 101 has an associated base sheet and when the lamina 101 is adapted to be attached to an existing baby-changing mat.