Title:
SHOULDER PILLOW
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foam pillow for supporting the head of a child on an individual's shoulder. The pillow includes a centrally located top support portion and a pair of gripping portions connected to and extending downward from opposing sides of the top support portion, thereby forming the general shape of an upside down U with a centrally located hollow portion for attaching to the individual's shoulder. The pillow may further include a removable fabric pillowcase.



Inventors:
Heeter, Christopher Raymond (Lancaster, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/538043
Publication Date:
02/18/2010
Filing Date:
08/07/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C20/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090078690FIBER REINFORCED HEATING UNIT AND MATTRESS WITH THEREOFMarch, 2009Lee et al.
20020088056Lying arrangementJuly, 2002Krempel
20080052826Infant sleeperMarch, 2008Stapley
20090193590BED FOR PREVENTING BED SORESAugust, 2009Hata
20010044963Bedding and pillowcasesNovember, 2001Sky et al.
20050034241Customized mattress with design panel and personalized labelFebruary, 2005Prince et al.
20100043147TUBULAR PILLOWS HAVING ATTACHABLE AND DETACHABLE ENDS AND RELATED METHODSFebruary, 2010Popp
20080034499Protective pads for cribs and child safety devicesFebruary, 2008Parish et al.
20040133979Orthopedic table apparatusJuly, 2004Newkirk et al.
20020174488Baby head pillow mattress padNovember, 2002Appleton
20080229507MATTRESS, MATTRESS TOPPER AND MATTRESS COVERSeptember, 2008Healy



Primary Examiner:
LIU, JONATHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STETINA BRUNDA GARRED & BRUCKER (ALISO VIEJO, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A foam pillow comprising a centrally located top support portion and a pair of gripping portions connected to and extending downward from opposing sides of the top support portion, wherein the pillow is in the general shape of an upside down U with a hollow located centrally between the top support portion and the pair of gripping portions.

2. The foam pillow of claim 1, additionally comprising a removable pillowcase configured to encase substantially all of the top support portion and pair of gripping portions.

3. The foam pillow of claim 2, wherein the removable pillowcase is formed from a material selected from the group consisting of cotton, satin, flannel, or a synthetic microfiber.

4. The foam pillow of claim 1, wherein the top support portion and pair of gripping portions are formed from a unitary piece of foam material.

5. The foam pillow of claim 4, wherein the top support portion and pair of gripping portions are formed from a foam selected from the group consisting of polyurethane, latex, and visco-elastic polyurethane.

6. The foam pillow of claim 1, wherein the top support portion and pair of gripping portions are formed from a combination of foam materials, such that the top portion is formed from one type of foam material and the gripping portions are formed from a second type of foam material.

7. The foam pillow of claim 6, wherein the top portion is formed from a visco-elastic polyurethane and the gripping portions are formed from polyurethane.

8. The foam pillow of claim 6, wherein the top portion and gripping portions are formed from different grades of visco-elastic polyurethane.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/089,427, filed on Aug. 15, 2008, the teachings of which are expressly incorporated by reference.

STATEMENT RE: FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

The present invention generally relates to a pillow or cushion, and more particularly relates to a pillow used to support the head of a child when the child's head rests upon another individual's shoulder.

2. Related Art

A pillow design does not exist that is specifically and ergonomically designed to fit on one individual's shoulder for the purpose of supporting a child's head resting upon the individual's shoulder. Other pillows are designed to support the head and neck of the user, but do not fit on another individual's shoulder.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The present invention is directed to a pillow designed and configured in a generally upside down U-shape so as to be placed on an individual's shoulder. The pillow may then be used to support a child's head resting on the individual's shoulder as the child is held in the individual's arms. This design allows the child to lay his or her head on the shoulder of the individual without discomfort to either the child or the individual.

The pillow features an ergonomic design that contours to the shoulder of an individual and lets the pillow sit atop the shoulder without discomfort. Due to the unique design, gravity and friction keep the pillow in place on the individual's shoulder without the need for any type of attaching device.

The pillow can be made from various foam materials, including, but not limited to, polyurethane, latex, memory foam materials such as visco-elastic polyurethane, and/or combinations of foam materials.

The pillow may be covered with a removable pillowcase. The pillowcase is designed to slip over the pillow. The pillowcase may be designed to stay in place via a securing device, such as hook-and-loop, snaps, buttons, or other fasteners known in the art, or may be designed to stay in place without the need for any such securing devices. Various types of materials may be used for the pillowcase, including, but not limited to, cotton, satin, micro-fiber, flannel, and other natural or synthetic fabrics known within the art. The pillowcase may be easily removed for washing purposes and may feature various colors and designs that are attractive to children and/or parents.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features and advantages of the various embodiments disclosed herein will be better understood with respect to the following description and drawings, in which like numbers refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view showing the pillow in use, with a child and an adult individual shown in phantom;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the pillow according to the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view showing the shape and design of one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The detailed description set forth below is intended as a description of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention, and is not intended to represent the only form in which the present invention may be constructed or utilized. The description sets forth the functions and sequences of steps for constructing and operating the invention. It is to be understood, however, that the same or equivalent functions and sequences may be accomplished by different embodiments and that they are also intended to be encompassed within the scope of the invention.

One embodiment of the present invention contemplates a foam pillow 10. The foam pillow includes a centrally located top support portion 12 and a pair of gripping portions 14, 16. The gripping portions 14, 16 are connected to and extend in a downwardly fashion from opposing sides of the top support portion 12. The result is a pillow 10 having the general shape of an upside down U. In particular, there is a hollow 18 located centrally between the top support portion 12 and the pair of gripping portions 14, 16. The pillow 10 is designed so that the hollow 18 fits atop an individual's shoulder, with the gripping portions 14, 16 extending to the front and rear, respectively, of the individual's shoulder. Between gravity maintaining the top portion 12 atop the individual's shoulder and friction and the elastic tension of the foam gripping portions 14, 16, the pillow 10 is able to remain on the individual's shoulder without the need for any attaching devices. Furthermore, the elasticity of the pillow 10 allows the pillow 10 to shape and conform to any individual's shoulder resulting in a one size fits all device. The rigidity of the foam enables the pillow 10 to properly support and maintain a child's head in place, thereby removing the neck strain common in supporting the child's head directly on the individual's shoulder. Additionally, the elasticity of the foam used in the pillow 10 prevents unreasonable force being applied to the child's ear, thereby preventing hurt or red ears that may be experienced without the use of the pillow 10.

The foam pillow 10 may additionally include a removable pillowcase 20. The pillowcase 20 may be configured to encase substantially all of the top support portion 12 and pair of gripping portions 14, 16. The removable pillowcase 20 may be formed from cotton, satin, flannel, a microfiber, or any natural or synthetic fabrics known within the art. The pillowcase 20 is separate and removable to allow for easy cleaning of the pillowcase 20. The pillowcase 20 may include various bright colors and pleasing designs or artwork that may be designed to appeal to children and/or their parents. The pillowcase 20 may cover and stay in place encompassing the pillow 10 without the need for any fasteners. However, the pillowcase 20, may include fasteners known in the art, such as hook-and-loop, buttons, snaps, and the like if desired.

The top support portion 12 and pair of gripping portions 14, 16 may be formed from a unitary piece of foam material. This foam material may be polyurethane, latex, visco-elastic polyurethane, or other foam materials, including memory foam materials, known in the art. Alternatively, the top support portion 12 and pair of gripping portions 14, 16 may be formed from a combination of foam materials. In particular, the top portion 12 may be formed from one type of foam material and the gripping portions 14, 16 may be formed from a second type of foam material. In one embodiment, the top portion 12 may be formed from a visco-elastic polyurethane and the gripping portions 14, 16 may be formed from polyurethane. In another embodiment of the invention, the top portion 12 and gripping portions 14, 16 may be formed from different grades of visco-elastic polyurethane.

The pillow 10 envisioned by the present application is highly portable, and may be transported easily in a purse or diaper bag. In addition, the pillow 10 may include a tether device, such as a lanyard style clip, that attaches on one end to the pillow 10 and on the other end to the clothing of the child or individual. The tether device may be used to prevent the cushion from hitting the ground in case the pillow 10 is accidentally removed from the individual's shoulder.

The above description is given by way of example, and not limitation. Given the above disclosure, one skilled in the art could devise variations that are within the scope and spirit of the invention disclosed herein, including various types of foam or pillowcase materials. Further, the various features of the embodiments disclosed herein can be used alone, or in varying combinations with each other and are not intended to be limited to the specific combination described herein. Thus, the scope of the claims is not to be limited by the illustrated embodiments.