Title:
BEDRAIL FOR CONVERTIBLE CRIB
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bed rail including first and second legs for attachment to a bed or crib. The legs fit between the mattress and the mattress support frame extending transversely from one side of the crib to the other. The proximate end of each leg is pivotally attached to a respective lower corner of an elongated side panel. Raised, the side panel extends vertically above the mattress to provide a safety restraint on one side of the crib. Unlocked, the panel may be swung into a lowered position. Means is also provided for securing the distal end of the legs to the mattress support frame at a location on the other side of the crib. Also disclosed is a safety bolster for use with the bed rail including an upper head portion extending above the mattress and a lower foot portion extending between the mattress and said side panel.



Inventors:
Hayano, Thomas M. (Oakley, CA, US)
Lee, Sung Hae (Elk Grove, CA, US)
Mckendry, Bruce P. (Benicia, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/007655
Publication Date:
07/28/2011
Filing Date:
01/16/2011
Assignee:
Clute, Lorne Jason (Antioch, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47D7/00; A47C21/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20090133193BUCKWHEAT HULL PILLOWMay, 2009Weise
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20100058540Modular hook and loop attachment cushionsMarch, 2010Calvert
20050210584Layered high loft flame resistant batting, articles containing said batting, and process for making sameSeptember, 2005Lim et al.
20070204402Infant support and development pillowSeptember, 2007Harris et al.
20070056103Medical examination table having configurable drawersMarch, 2007Magoteaux et al.
20090193590BED FOR PREVENTING BED SORESAugust, 2009Hata



Other References:
Dex products, Convertible Crib Safety Rail, 4/12/2012; http://www.dexproducts.com/products_sleeping_brcc.htm
Regalo International, LLC, Swing Down Single Bedrail Instruction Manual, Copyright 2010
Regalo International LLC, Regalo Product Guide, 2011
Dexbaby, Convertible Crib Safety Rail Assembly Instructions
Primary Examiner:
THROOP, MYLES A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
R. MICHAEL WEST (SACRAMENTO, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bed rail for use with a bed having a mattress and an underlying mattress support frame comprising: a. a first leg and a second leg, said first and second legs being adapted to fit between the mattress and the mattress support frame, each of said legs having a proximate end and a distal end and extending transversely from one side of the bed to the other side of the bed; b. means for securing said distal end of said first and second legs to the mattress support frame; and, c. an elongated side panel, said side panel having a first lower corner connected to said proximate end of said first leg and a second lower corner connected to said proximate end of said second leg, said side panel extending vertically from said lower corners to an elevation above the mattress to provide a safety restraint on said one side of the bed.

2. A bed rail as in claim 1 in which said first and second legs comprise rigid tubes.

3. A bed rail as in claim 1 in which said means for securing said distal end to the mattress support frame comprises a clamp connected to a portion of the support frame located on the other side of the bed.

4. A bed rail as in claim 1 in which said means for securing said distal end to the mattress support frame comprises a flexible strap connected to each said distal end of said legs wrapped around a portion of the support frame located on the other side of the bed and extending underneath the support frame to the one side of the bed.

5. A bed rail as in claim 1 in which the mattress support frame comprises a substantially rigid planar structure extending from one side of the bed to the other side of the bed and from the head end of the bed to the other foot end of the bed, and in which said means for securing said distal end to the mattress support frame comprises at least one connector extending between each said distal end and said planar structure.

6. A bed rail as in claim 1 further including a bolster, said bolster being substantially the same length as said side panel and having an upper head portion extending above the mattress and a lower foot portion extending between the mattress and said side panel.

7. A bed rail as in claim 6 in which said bolster is manufactured from a resilient material.

8. A bed rail as in claim 6 in which said upper head portion of said bolster includes an angled face.

9. A bed rail as in claim 1 in which said side panel includes a perforated surface.

10. A bed rail as in claim 1 in which said one side of the bed is open and said other side of the bed is closed, having a bed rail upstanding from the mattress support frame.

11. A bed rail for use with a bed having a mattress and an underlying mattress support frame comprising: a. a first leg and a second leg, each of said legs having a proximate end and a distal end and a length substantially identical to a transverse dimension of the mattress, each of said legs being located between the mattress and the mattress support frame and extending transversely from one side of the bed to the other side of the bed; b. means for securing said distal end of each said leg to the portion of the mattress support frame adjacent the other side of the bed; c. an elongated side panel, said side panel having a first lower corner connected to said proximate end of said first leg and a second lower corner connected to said proximate end of said second leg, said side panel extending vertically from said lower corners to an elevation above the mattress to provide a safety restraint on said one side of the bed.

12. A bed rail as in claim 11 in which said means for securing said distal end to the mattress support frame comprises a clamp.

13. A bed rail as in claim 11 in which the mattress support frame comprises a substantially rigid planar structure extending from one side of the bed to the other side of the bed and from the head end of the bed to the other foot end of the bed, and in which said means for securing said distal end to the mattress support frame comprises at least one connector extending between each said distal end and said planar structure.

14. A bed rail as in claim 13 in which said planar structure comprises a plywood sheet.

15. A bed rail as in claim 11 further including a bolster, said bolster being substantially the same length as said side panel and having an upper head portion extending above the mattress and a lower foot portion extending between the mattress and said side panel.

16. A bed rail as in claim 11 in which said side panel includes a perforated surface.

17. A bed rail for use with a convertible crib, comprising: a. a first leg and a second leg, each of said legs having a proximate end and a distal end and being adapted to fit between a mattress and a mattress support frame of a convertible crib, the convertible crib having an open side lacking a bed rail and a closed side including a bed rail, said proximate end of each leg being adjacent said open side and said distal end being adjacent said closed side; b. means for securing said distal end of each of said legs to the mattress support frame on said closed side, so that said legs are transversely oriented with respect to a longitudinal axis of the mattress; c. an elongated side panel, said side panel having a first lower corner pivotally connected to said proximate end of said first leg and a second lower corner pivotally connected to said proximate end of said second leg, said side panel being selectively lockable into a raised position in which it extends vertically and upwardly from said lower corners to an elevation above the mattress, and releasable into a lowered position in which it extends vertically and downwardly from said lower corners to provide ready access to said open side of the convertible crib.

18. A bed rail as in claim 17 in which said means for securing said distal end to the mattress support frame comprises a clamp connected to a portion of the support frame located on the other side of the convertible crib.

19. A bed rail as in claim 17 in which said means for securing said distal end to the mattress support frame comprises a flexible strap connected to each said distal end of said legs wrapped around a portion of the support frame located on said closed side of the convertible crib and extending underneath the support frame to said open side of the bed.

20. A bed rail as in claim 17 in which the mattress support frame comprises a substantially rigid planar structure extending from said open side of the convertible crib to the closed side of the convertible crib and from the head end of the convertible crib the foot end of the convertible crib, and in which said means for securing said distal end to the mattress support frame comprises at least one connector extending between each said distal end and said planar structure.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM

Pursuant to the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 119(e)(1), Applicants claim the priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/297,757, filed Jan. 23, 2010.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates generally to improvements in bed rails for beds and convertible cribs. More particularly, the invention pertains to an improved anchoring system for such bed rails, and an accessory safety bolster for use therewith.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Bed rails are generally employed for safety purposes, namely, to prevent a person from falling from a bed onto the floor and being injured. They maybe used in hospitals or long-term care facilities, where patients are unconscious or otherwise unable to stay within the confines of the bed. Additionally, bed rails may be used to confine infants or toddlers within a bed, so they are prevented from rolling off the mattress during sleep or exuberant play. Exemplary of the latter class is the device shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,990,697, issued to Clute, for A Bed Rail With Entrapment-Resistant Side Panel. This bed rail includes a side panel provided with an intermediate restraining rod to lessen the likelihood of infant entrapment between the side panel and the mattress. In this construction, flexible anchor straps extend between the outer ends of support legs, adjacent the side panel, and an anchor plate on the opposite side of the bed, to maintain the bed rail in place.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,028,353, granted to Waldman et al., discloses an Adjustable Bed Rail employing two pairs of square tubing in one embodiment, to secure the bed rail in place. In other embodiments, different arrangements of flexible straps extending to one or more anchors on the far side of the bed, are used to hold the bed rail support structure snugly against the bed mattress.

A Bed Rail And Clamp is illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 7,028,354, issued to Nygren et al. This device includes feet that extend between the mattress and the box spring, and a support portion that is adjustable to grip the mattress. When desired, the side panel can also be pivoted down and away from the mattress, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 of this reference.

An accessory for use in combination with a bed rail is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,987,666, granted to Zigmont for a Gap-Filling Pad Disposable Between A Mattress And A Bed Rail. The pad construction is designed to prevent patient entrapment between a mattress supported by a bed frame and a bed rail movable with respect to the bed frame. A plurality of elastic straps is employed to secure the pad around either the bed frame, the bed rail, or the mattress.

However, the need exists for a bed rail that can be used advantageously with both a bed and the popular convertible crib, and which exhibits improved stability and security over conventional bed rails.

The need also exists for a bed rail that can securely be attached to various forms of mattress support frames, such as metal frames provided with cross-wire springs or plywood boards known as “bunkie boards.”

The need further exists for an improved safety bolster accessory to prevent infant and toddler entrapment between the mattress and the side panel of the bed rail. Such an improved bolster eliminates the need for attachment straps, and allows quick installation and removal of the bolster.

These and other objects of the present bed rail construction will be described more fully in the specification and detailed description to follow.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The bed rail described herein includes first and second legs, providing a secure means of support for the other bed rail components, and different options for affixation to a mattress support frame. The legs are preferably constructed from a rigid, tubular material, adapted to fit between the mattress and the mattress support frame of a bed or a convertible crib. The legs are arranged in parallel spaced relation, extending transversely from one side of the bed to the other side of the bed.

The proximate end of each leg is pivotally attached to a respective lower corner of an elongated side panel. When locked into a fully raised position, the side panel extends vertically to an elevation above the mattress to provide a safety restraint on one side of the bed or crib. When placed into an unlocked condition, the panel may be pivoted downwardly, about the proximate ends of the legs, into a fully lowered position. This position allows easy access to the toddler, or ingress to and egress from the bed or crib.

The bed rail also includes means for securing the distal end of the first and second legs to the mattress support frame at a location on the other side of the bed or crib. One such means is a clamp, adapted to interconnect each distal end to a peripheral portion of the mattress support frame. Another means disclosed comprises an elongated flexible strap extending from the distal end of each leg, wrapping around the peripheral portion of the adjacent mattress support frame, and then returning under the spring portion of the mattress support frame for attachment to the opposite side of the bed or crib. Yet another means disclosed uses at least one connector extending between the distal ends of the legs and an underlying planar structure comprising an alternative construction for the mattress support frame.

Also disclosed is an improved safety bolster for use with the bed rail. The bolster is substantially the same length as the side panel, and includes an upper head portion extending above the mattress and a lower foot portion extending between the mattress and said side panel. The upper head portion includes an angled face, directed downwardly and inwardly toward the inner portion of the mattress. The angled face is adapted to prevent the head or other parts of the infant or toddler from being entrapped between the side panel and the mattress. The lower foot portion secures the safety bolster in place without straps or the like, while allowing quick removal as needed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a convertible crib with one side rail and its mattress removed, the bed rail being shown with its side panel in a raised position in solid line and in a lowered position in broken line, the mattress being shown in broken line for clarity;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the bed rail showing the mattress support frame clamps on the distal ends of the first and second legs;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of the first leg with the clamp on its distal end attached to the peripheral portion of the mattress support frame;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the leg and clamp arrangement shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the clamp components, the distal end of the first leg, and a fragment of the peripheral portion of the mattress support frame;

FIG. 6 is a rear perspective view of a convertible crib with its mattress in place and fitted with the bed rail, the safety bolster accessory being installed between the mattress and the side panel;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the safety bolster, showing the vertically extending foot portion;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary end elevational view of the crib, showing the foot portion of the bolster wedged between the side panel and the mattress;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an alternative construction for the leg securing means, including a flexible strap extending from the distal end of each leg;

FIG. 10 is a side elevational view of the alternative construction for the securing means shown in FIG. 9, the outline of the mattress being shown in broken line;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another alternative construction for the leg securing means, including at least one bolt and nut connector extending between the distal end of each leg and the planar structure of the mattress support frame; and, FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of the alternative construction for the securing means shown in FIG. 11, the outline of the mattress being shown in broken line.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Turning now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the bed rail 11 of the present invention is particularly well adapted for use with the popular convertible crib 12. The convertible crib 12 is aptly named because it functions as a crib in a first configuration (not shown), but can be converted into a toddler bed in the second configuration shown in FIG. 1. Typically, in the crib configuration all four rails are in place, two end rails 13 and two side rails 14 providing a completely walled-in area. Also in this configuration, the mattress 16 is positioned in a relatively high location within the crib, so the parents can access the baby.

When the baby grows older, taller, and stronger into a toddler, an adjustable mattress support frame 17 is relocated downwardly to place the mattress 16 at a lower height within the crib. A common construction for mattress support frame 17 comprises a rectangular peripheral portion 18 surrounding and suspending a spring portion 19. Angle braces 21 extending between end rails 13 and peripheral portion 18 provide the means for adjusting the height of mattress 16.

At the same time as the height of the mattress 16 is adjusted, one of the side rails 14 is removed, allowing easier access to the toddler and to allow the toddler to climb into and out of the bed on her own. In this second configuration, the convertible crib 12 is commonly termed a toddler bed, having some of the characteristics of a crib and a bed. However, the need still exits for a selectively positionable bed rail 11 for use with the convertible crib 12 in the toddler bed configuration. For example, at night when the toddler is sleeping, a secure bed rail llthat can be raised into a vertical position above the mattress surface ensures that the toddler cannot fall out of the bed onto the floor. And, when used in combination with a convertible crib 12, bed rails of this type are also useful to keep the toddler in the toddler bed when the parent is busy doing other tasks.

For the purpose of securing bed rail 11 to the convertible crib 12, a first leg 22 and a second leg 23 are provided. First leg 22 and a second leg 23 are preferably made from a rigid, tubular material, adapted to fit between the mattress 16 and the mattress support frame 17. For the purpose of adjustability in length, legs 22 and 23 may be of telescoping construction, as shown in the drawings. Both legs 22 and 23 have a proximate end 24 and a distal end 26, and extend transversely, in spaced, parallel relation, from one open side 27 of the convertible crib 12 to the other closed side 28 of the convertible crib. The telescoping feature mentioned above, may be used advantageously to adjust the length of legs 22 and 23 so they substantially span the transverse dimension of the mattress 16 and the support frame 17.

To ensure that legs 22 and 23 cannot shift or slide, first means 29 is provided for securing distal ends 26 of first leg 22 and second leg 23 to the peripheral portion 18 of the mattress support frame 17 located on the other side 28 of the crib 12. First means 29 for securing distal ends 26 includes a clamp 31, a bolt 32, and a wing nut 33. A plurality of apertures 34 is provided in each of the distal ends 26 to accommodate clamps 31 of different lengths and configurations adapted to encircle peripheral portion 18. A passageway 36 may also be provided in the wall of clamp 31 to allow distal ends 26 to pass through the clamp 31 and form a more secure assembly. FIGS. 4-6, inclusive, show the manner of assembling clamp 31, distal end 26, and peripheral portion 18.

Bed rail 11 also includes an elongated side panel 37, comprising an inverted U-shaped frame 38, a cross-brace member 39, a first lower corner connector 41, and a second lower corner connector 42. Side panel 37 has a perforated cover 43 surrounding frame 38 and cross-brace member 39. Cover 43 is usually manufactured from a combination of polyester and mesh materials. First lower corner connector 41 is affixed to proximate end 24 of first leg 22, and second lower corner connector 42 is affixed to proximate end 24 of second leg 23, as shown most clearly in FIG. 2. A short strap 40 may optionally be secured around cross-brace member 39 and peripheral portion 18 of the support frame 17, for additional stability for the rail assembly. So installed on convertible crib 12, a lower portion of side panel 37 is maintained in snug relation against corresponding portions of mattress 16.

The side panel 37 is selectively lockable in a raised position in which it extends vertically and upwardly to an elevation above the upper surface of mattress 16. The conventional locking mechanism employed is best appreciated in FIG. 2, where the arrow lines 46 indicate lowering the panel 37 so the lower ends of frame 38 engage first and second corner connectors 41 and 42. In this position, panel 37 provides a safety restraint for toddlers on open side 27 of the crib 12. Arrow lines 46 also indicate raising the panel 37, so that it is released from the locking mechanism and maybe rotated about connectors 41 and 42 into a lowered position, providing ready access to open side 27 of the crib 12. The lowered position is shown in broken line in FIG. 1.

FIGS. 6 through 8, inclusive, disclose an improved safety bolster 47 for use with the bed rail 11. The bolster 47 is manufactured from a resilient material, such as foam or other cushion material, and extends substantially the same length as the side panel 37. Bolster 47 includes an upper head portion 48 extending above the mattress 16, and a lower foot portion 49 extending between the mattress 16 and the side panel 37. Upper head portion 48 includes an angled face 51, inclined downwardly and inwardly toward the central portion of the mattress 16. The angled face 51 is configured to prevent the head or other parts of the infant or toddler from becoming entrapped between the side panel 37 and the mattress 16. As shown particularly in FIG. 8, the lower foot portion 49 secures the safety bolster 47 in place without straps or connectors, while allowing quick removal by merely pulling upwardly on the head portion 48.

Second means 52 for securing distal ends 26 of the legs 22 and 23 to the mattress support frame 17 is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. Second means 52 comprises a flexible strap 53 which is first connected to distal end 26 by means of bolt 32 and wing nut 33. Then, strap 53 is wrapped around the peripheral portion 18 of the support frame 17 located on the other side 28 of the crib 12. Strap 53 is next drawn underneath the spring portion 19 of the support frame 17 to one side 27 of the crib 12 where it is wrapped around member 39, pulled tight, and then attached to itself by hook and loop fasteners on facing surfaces.

Third means 54 for securing distal ends 26 of the legs 22 and 23 is useful in connection with cribs or beds employing an alternative mattress support frame 56, shown in FIGS. 11 and 12. Mattress support frame 56 is known in the trade as a “bunkie board.” Mattress support frame 56 comprises a substantially rigid planar structure, such as a piece of plywood, extending from one side of the crib to the other side of the crib and from the head end of the crib to the foot end of the crib. A metal frame or surround (not shown) may also be employed under the periphery of the piece of plywood to provide additional support. Third means 54 includes at least one connector, such as bolt 32 and wing nut 33, to secure each distal end 26 to the underlying support frame 56. This is readily accomplished by drilling a hole through frame 56 using existing aperture 34 as a drilling guide, and then passing bolt 32 through the distal end and fastening and tightening wing nut 33.





 
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