Title:
INFANT CHAIR HARNESS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable infant restraint system is disclosed. The portable infant restraint system may include a flexible and foldable fabric body, a backing including an enclosure for removable attachment over a chair back support, and a five-point harness connected to the fabric body configured to secure an infant seated in a substantially upright posture.



Inventors:
Collins, Timothy James Prior (Mississauga, CA)
Collins, Stephanie Louise (Mississauga, CA)
Application Number:
12/541343
Publication Date:
02/18/2010
Filing Date:
08/14/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/468
International Classes:
A47D15/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040051352Saddle construction for bicycles and motocyclesMarch, 2004Bigolin
20080238160Seat mechanismsOctober, 2008Huyck et al.
20050200170Bike seat fixationSeptember, 2005Liao
20040130193Disposable automotive seat coverJuly, 2004Haller
20030020312Height-adjustable leisure chairJanuary, 2003Wang
20100038946SEAT DAMPER ASSEMBLYFebruary, 2010Brown et al.
20030034684Supporting device for a chairFebruary, 2003Wu
20070145805Adjustable operator interfaceJune, 2007Bower
20030168899Folding portable foot stationSeptember, 2003William IV
20080191530Special expandable booster benchAugust, 2008Basham
20090108658Forward Tiltable Motor Vehicle Seat with Hinge MountingsApril, 2009Muller et al.



Primary Examiner:
NELSON JR, MILTON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TIMOTHY JAMES PRIOR COLLINS (MISSISSAUGA, CA)
Claims:
We claim:

1. An infant chair harness, comprising: a flexible and foldable fabric body; a backing connected to the fabric body, wherein the backing includes a fastener connectable to a chair back support; a front strap connected to the fabric body wherein the front strap is upwardly foldable from the fabric body for substantially covering a torso of the infant when the infant is disposed between the fabric body and the front strap; a bottom support surface connected between the front strap and the backing wherein the fabric body gradually tapers from the front strap to the bottom support surface; a pair of restraint connectors attached to the front strap configured for rearward attachment of the front strap toward the backing wherein each restraint connector is configured for disposition under a respective arm of the infant when the infant is disposed between the fabric body and the front strap; and a pair of over-the-shoulder straps each including a first connection connected to the backing and each over-the-shoulder strap including a second connection connected to the front strap wherein the over-the-shoulder straps are each configured for disposition over a respective shoulder of the infant when the infant is disposed between the fabric body and the front strap.

2. The infant chair harness of claim 1, wherein the backing includes an upper periphery wherein the upper periphery includes at least one opening configured to permit a chair post to pass through the at least one opening.

3. The infant chair harness of claim 1, wherein the backing includes a bottom periphery and wherein the bottom periphery includes an elastic skirt.

4. The infant chair harness of claim 1, further including a pocket attached to the backing.

5. The infant chair harness of claim 1, wherein the pair of restraint connectors include a pair of belts.

6. The infant chair harness of claim 1, further including a loop connected to the front strap.

7. The infant chair harness of claim 1, wherein the second connection is a buckle system.

8. A portable infant restraint system, comprising: a flexible and foldable fabric body; a backing connected to the fabric body, wherein the backing includes an enclosure configured for removable attachment over a chair back support; and a five-point harness connected to the fabric body configured to secure an infant seated in a substantially upright posture when the infant is disposed within the infant restraint system.

9. The portable infant restraint system of claim 8, wherein the backing includes a skirt incorporating an elastic band and ball system.

10. The portable infant restraint system of claim 8 wherein the backing includes an upper periphery wherein the upper periphery includes at least one opening configured to permit a chair post to pass through the at least one opening.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from and incorporates by reference herein, U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/089,535 filed Aug. 16, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to infant restraint systems and more particularly, to a chair harness for use as a portable high chair.

Infants may typically lack the postural strength to support themselves in an upright position. During growth and development of the spine, an infant may be placed in a conventional high chair that is rigid and includes a frontal cross-bar or platform to prevent the infant from falling forward into his or her own lap or from falling out of the chair entirely.

During family excursions, the conventional high chairs may need to be transported and carried with the family in order to provide an upright seat for the infant. These sometimes tall and inflexible high chairs can be bulky and cumbersome. Additionally, some conventional high chairs include substantial spacing between the infant and support structures allowing the infant to slide out of an upright position within the high chair.

As can be seen, there is a need for a portable harness that can be attached to an existing chair and provide upright support to an infant while seated in the chair.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the present invention, an infant chair harness comprises a flexible and foldable fabric body; a backing connected to the fabric body, wherein the backing includes a fastener connectable to a chair back support; a front strap connected to the fabric body wherein the front strap is upwardly foldable from the fabric body for substantially covering a torso of the infant when the infant is disposed between the fabric body and the front strap; a bottom support surface connected between the front strap and the backing wherein the fabric body gradually tapers from the front strap to the bottom support surface; a pair of restraint connectors attached to the front strap configured for rearward attachment of the front strap toward the backing wherein each restraint connector is configured for disposition under a respective arm of the infant when the infant is disposed between the fabric body and the front strap; and a pair of over-the-shoulder straps each including a first connection connected to the backing and each over-the-shoulder strap including a second connection connected to the front strap wherein the over-the-shoulder straps are each configured for disposition over a respective shoulder of the infant when the infant is disposed between the fabric body and the front strap.

In another aspect of the present invention, a portable infant restraint system comprises, a flexible and foldable fabric body; a backing connected to the fabric body, wherein the backing includes an enclosure configured for removable attachment over a chair back support; and a five-point harness connected to the fabric body configured to secure an infant seated in a substantially upright posture when the infant is disposed within the infant restraint system.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a portable restraint system according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear view of the portable restraint system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of an alternate position of the portable restraint system shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a rear view according to another exemplary embodiment of the portable restraint system; and

FIG. 5 is a side view of an exemplary carrier for use when the portable restraint system of FIG. 1 is folded and stored away for transportation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out exemplary embodiments of the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

Various inventive features are described below that can each be used independently of one another or in combination with other features.

Broadly, embodiments of the present invention generally provide a portable infant restraint system in lieu of a stand alone high chair. A restraint system according to exemplary embodiments of the present invention can be folded up for travel and unraveled for attachment to a chair back support of an existing chair. An infant harness employed according to exemplary embodiments of the present invention may include a five-point harness system providing postural support for an infant while the infant is seated in the chair.

Referring to FIG. 1, a portable restraint system 10 according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention may generally include a flexible and foldable fabric body 38 and a harness system 75.

Referring still to FIGS. 1-4 the harness system 75 may include a front strap 50 connected to the backing 12. The front strap 50 may be substantially triangular and may include restraint connectors 35 and a bottom support surface 53. The fabric body 38 gradually narrows or tapers from both the front strap 50 and the backing 12 toward the bottom support surface 53. The front strap 50 may be folded upward toward to substantially cover a torso (not shown) of an infant (not shown) that is situated within the portable restraint system 10. The bottom support surface 53 may be disposed to fit between the infant's legs (not shown) before as the front strap 50 if folded upward. In one exemplary embodiment, the front strap 50 may include belts 66 attached respectively to restraint connectors 35. Referring in particular to FIG. 3, over-the-shoulder straps 40 may be attached to the backing 12 for connection to the front strap 50 via a clasp 42 and buckle 44. The over-the-shoulder straps 40 may also include strap adjusters 46 for adjusting the length of the straps. Additionally, an accessory loop 55 may be attached to the front strap 50 providing a location for attachment of infant accessories such as pacifiers, toys, etc. Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, and 4, the belts 66 may be help draw the restraint connectors 35 of the front strap 50 rearward toward the infant and may be tied together behind the chair back support 90.

Referring to FIGS. 1-4 in general again, the fabric body 38 of the portable restraint system 10 may include a top portion 11 incorporating a backing 12. The backing 12 may include an enclosure 20 that may be configured to be attached to fit over and around a chair back support 90 of a chair 99. The backing 12 may include an upper periphery 17 and a lower periphery 18. The upper periphery 17 may in one exemplary embodiment, include elliptical sewn edges 15 defining through holes 16. The sewn edges 15 may be configured as substantially slit-shaped through holes 16 but can be expandable allowing a chair post CP to pass through the upper periphery 17 when a chair 99 includes posts CP. The bottom periphery 18 may include an elastic skirt 28 that may be contracted by use of a drawstring and ball system 30. In another exemplary embodiment, backing belts 60 may be incorporated onto the top portion 11 that may be pulled rearward and weaved through loops 22 and fastened together in a knot 65 providing fastening means of the backing 12 to the back support 90. Referring to FIGS. 2 and 4, a pocket 25 may be incorporated onto the backing 12 with a sealable pocket opening 24 permitting storage of accessories within the pocket 25.

Referring to FIG. 5, the portable restraint system 10 may be folded compactly when not in use and may be stored and transported inside a carrier 80 that may be secured shut via a drawstring and ball system 85.

Referring once again in general to FIGS. 1-4, in operation, the portable restraint system 10 may be unraveled if folded, and the enclosure 20 may be opened so that the elastic skirt 38 is widened enough to fit over the chair back support 90. The enclosure 20 may be drawn down over the chair back support 90 until the upper periphery is positioned against the highest horizontal supporting structure of the chair 99. In the case where a chair 99 includes vertically projecting chair posts CP, the chair posts may be passed through the sewn edges 15 until the upper periphery encounters a horizontal support.

The fabric body 38 may be positioned to face forward as though an individual were seated on the chair 99. In this respect, the front strap 50 may be laid across the seat of chair 99 so that the restraint connectors 35 point substantially forward and the bottom support surface 53 faces upwardly.

An infant (not shown) may be seated upright onto the bottom support surface 53. The front strap 50 may be folded upward so that the bottom support surface 53 is positioned partially between the infant's legs. The front strap 50 may cover substantially the infant torso while the restraint connectors 35 are pulled backward toward the backing 12 or the chair back support 90.

In one exemplary embodiment, the belts 66 connected to the restraint connectors 35 may be drawn rearward over infant legs and under infant arms to surround a rear of the chair 99 where they may be tied together to form a knot. It will be understood that various fastening systems may be employed to secure the restraint connectors 35 to either the backing 12 or to the chair 99. For example, other exemplary embodiments may replace the belts 66 with fasteners such as buttons connectable through button holes on the backing 12 or with a hook and loop system such as Velcro®.

The over-the-shoulder straps 40 may be drawn over infant shoulders and along an infant chest and connected to the front strap 50 via the clasp 42 and buckle 44.

Thus, one may appreciate that the breadth of the front strap 50 cooperating with restraint connectors 35 that may be rearwardly drawn over the infant legs and under the infant arms along with the over-the-shoulder straps 40 may provide a five-point harness that may support an infant substantially upright and in a seated position. The breadth of the front strap 50 may mitigate an infant lower torso from sliding forward and out of the portable restraint system 10. The front strap 50 and over-the-shoulder straps 40 may restrain the upper torso from falling forward out of the chair 99. Additionally, by including restraint connectors 35 supporting underneath infant arms and over infant legs, an infant may be prevented from sliding out of the sides of the portable restraint system 10.

It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing relates to exemplary embodiments of the invention and that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.





 
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