US20150367759A1 - Advanced Comfort Buckling System - Google Patents

Advanced Comfort Buckling System Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150367759A1
US20150367759A1 US14594459 US201514594459A US2015367759A1 US 20150367759 A1 US20150367759 A1 US 20150367759A1 US 14594459 US14594459 US 14594459 US 201514594459 A US201514594459 A US 201514594459A US 2015367759 A1 US2015367759 A1 US 2015367759A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
toy
safety seat
harness
child
seat
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US14594459
Inventor
David Grey
Stacy Grey
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David Grey
Stacy Grey
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles
    • B60N2/24Seats specially adapted for vehicles for particular purposes or particular vehicles
    • B60N2/26Seats specially adapted for vehicles for particular purposes or particular vehicles for children
    • B60N2/265Adaptations for seat belts
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A44HABERDASHERY; JEWELLERY
    • A44BBUTTONS, PINS, BUCKLES, SLIDE FASTENERS, OR THE LIKE
    • A44B11/00Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts
    • A44B11/25Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts with two or more separable parts
    • A44B11/26Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts with two or more separable parts with push-button fastenings
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS, BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H33/00Other toys
    • A63H33/006Infant exercisers, e.g. for attachment to a crib
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles
    • B60N2/24Seats specially adapted for vehicles for particular purposes or particular vehicles
    • B60N2/26Seats specially adapted for vehicles for particular purposes or particular vehicles for children
    • B60N2/28Seats readily mountable on, and dismountable from, existing seats or other parts of the vehicle
    • B60N2/2803Adaptations for seat belts
    • B60N2/2812Adaptations for seat belts securing the child to the child seat
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles
    • B60N2/24Seats specially adapted for vehicles for particular purposes or particular vehicles
    • B60N2/26Seats specially adapted for vehicles for particular purposes or particular vehicles for children
    • B60N2/28Seats readily mountable on, and dismountable from, existing seats or other parts of the vehicle
    • B60N2/2842Seats readily mountable on, and dismountable from, existing seats or other parts of the vehicle adapted to carry the child, when dismounted from the vehicle
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles
    • B60N2/24Seats specially adapted for vehicles for particular purposes or particular vehicles
    • B60N2/26Seats specially adapted for vehicles for particular purposes or particular vehicles for children
    • B60N2/28Seats readily mountable on, and dismountable from, existing seats or other parts of the vehicle
    • B60N2/2842Seats readily mountable on, and dismountable from, existing seats or other parts of the vehicle adapted to carry the child, when dismounted from the vehicle
    • B60N2/2845Seats readily mountable on, and dismountable from, existing seats or other parts of the vehicle adapted to carry the child, when dismounted from the vehicle having handles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles
    • B60N2/68Seat frames
    • B60N2/688Particular seat belt attachment and guiding
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles
    • B60N2/75Arm-rests
    • B60N2/79Adaptations for additional use of the arm-rests
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R22/00Safety belts or body harnesses in vehicles
    • B60R22/10Safety belts or body harnesses in vehicles specially adapted for children or animals
    • B60R22/105Safety belts or body harnesses in vehicles specially adapted for children or animals for children
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R22/00Safety belts or body harnesses in vehicles
    • B60R22/34Belt retractors, e.g. reels
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles
    • B60N2/24Seats specially adapted for vehicles for particular purposes or particular vehicles
    • B60N2/26Seats specially adapted for vehicles for particular purposes or particular vehicles for children
    • B60N2/28Seats readily mountable on, and dismountable from, existing seats or other parts of the vehicle
    • B60N2/2803Adaptations for seat belts
    • B60N2002/2815Adaptations for seat belts with seat belt accessories, e.g. a belt tension detector

Abstract

An improved child safety seat buckling system and method of using the same for facilitating placement of a child into a child safety seat is disclosed. A series of slots or fasteners placed on the lift bar or handle of the child seat are fitted to interface with buckle end portions of a harness assembly. By securing components of the harness assembly away from the seating area, placement of a child into the seat prior to securing the child into the seat becomes easier. Less time is required to secure the child into the safety seat, and the need for a parent to lean the child forward while securing the child into the seat is eliminated.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application is related to and/or claims the benefit of the earliest available effective filing date(s) from the following listed application(s) (the “Priority Applications”), if any, listed below (e.g., claims earliest available priority dates for other than provisional patent applications or claims benefits under 35 USC §119(e) for provisional patent applications, for any and all parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc. applications of the Priority Application(s)). In addition, the present application is related to the “Related Applications,” if any, listed below.
  • PRIORITY APPLICATIONS
  • U.S. Provisional Patent Application 61/926,074 titled “Child Comfort Buckling System and Method of Using the Same,” filed on Jan. 10, 2014, the subject matter of which is incorporated by reference herein.
  • RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled ADVANCED COMFORT BUCKLING SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USING THE SAME, naming David Grey and Stacy Grey as inventors, filed 12 Jan. 2015 pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §119(e)(3), is related to the present application.
  • If the listings of applications provided above are inconsistent with the listings provided via an ADS, it is the intent of the Applicant to claim priority to each application that appears in the Priority Applications section of the ADS and to each application that appears in the Priority Applications section of this application.
  • All subject matter of the Priority Applications and the Related Applications and of any and all parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc. applications of the Priority Applications and the Related Applications, including any priority claims, is incorporated herein by reference to the extent such subject matter is not inconsistent herewith.
  • If an Application Data Sheet (ADS) has been filed on the filing date of this application, it is incorporated by reference herein. Any applications claimed on the ADS for priority under 35 U.S.C. §§119, 120, 121, or 365(c), and any and all parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc. applications of such applications, are also incorporated by reference, including any priority claims made in those applications and any material incorporated by reference, to the extent such subject matter is not inconsistent herewith.
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
  • Not Applicable.
  • BACKGROUND OF DISCLOSURE
  • 1. Field of Invention
  • The present invention relates to improvements in child safety seats used on the road, in strollers, or high chairs for feeding, and more particularly to safety seats having a multipoint harness buckling system wherein buckles or harness straps may be secured away from the seating area using components located on a lift bar, thus reducing the time and stress to secure a child into the child safety seat.
  • 2. Description of Prior Art
  • In the United States and elsewhere, parents are focused on providing their children the safest seats and chairs as possible. Numerous products have been introduced to ensure a child's safety during movement. While products developed thus far have improved safety, they have come at the expense of convenience for parents; thus, the task of securing a child into a child seat has become challenging and frustrating for parents. While the movement of the child is out of the parent's control, an improved design of the seat could allow parents to more easily strap and secure their child to the seat. Thus, it would be ideal to provide a product that would substantially reduce the time needed to securely strap a child into a vehicle safety seat, stroller seat, or high chair, and that is compatible with present buckling systems.
  • Seats in the prior art have focused on the placement of shoulder and waist straps to secure a child, but they have not focused on ways to make the actual securing process simple for parents, guardians, and caregivers.
  • Child safety seats currently focus on ideal placement of safety harnesses to best secure a child to the seat. The benefit from improved placement of safety straps in a child safety seat is a lower injury rate during accidents. However, the placement of buckles and harness straps on current child safety seats is highly inconvenient and makes the process of securing the child in the seat difficult for parents. Child safety seats in the prior art do not account for placement and location of the shoulder straps when a child is being placed into a seat, because the securing process involves multiple unnecessary steps. The prior art presently teaches to rest shoulder harnesses against the backrest of a child seat and to pull the harness straps around the child after placing the child in the seat, adding inconvenience to a process that can be improved upon.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,104,134, to Cone discloses a convertible Child's Combination Car Seat and Stroller, with slots placed on the armrests. However, the armrests are disclosed to be used for seat belts in a vehicle. The slots on the armrests are not used nor are they conceived to be able to adequately secure harness shoulder straps while placing a child or infant in the seat. A child or infant must still be initially moved forward in order to adjust the harness shoulder straps outward to secure the child or infant into the disclosed combination safety seat.
  • The Child Seat Device in U.S. Pat. No. 6,685,266, to Reagan et al. discloses a child seat with slots placed along the armrests; however, the armrests are disclosed to be used for the vehicle seat belts or as a securing point to a vehicle. The slots on the armrests are not used nor are they conceived to be able to adequately secure harness shoulder straps while placing a child in the safety seat, nor is it designed to facilitate more efficient placement of the child into the seat.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,478,372, to Lenmeyer et al. discloses armrests for infant or child car seats that include a slot along the armrests spaced cantilever from the seat portion. The armrests are intended to receive a box-shaped drink, so that potential movement of the drink box is inhibited while the vehicle is in motion. The armrests disclosed in the Lenmeyer et al. patent are not intended to interface and secure harness shoulder straps before placing a child in the safety seat.
  • The Child Safety Seat, U.S. Pat. No. 8,308,231, to Haut, discloses a storage area with one or more storage spaces where a parent, infant, or child can store one or more objects commonly used in baby care such as food, a drink, or toy. The storage spaces are intended to receive items for personal use and are not intended to secure the shoulder straps of a child seat to facilitate placement of the child or infant in a child seat. The invention to Haut does not improve or facilitate securing of the harness shoulder straps on a child in a safety seat.
  • The aforementioned armrest embodiments for safety seats can be improved upon to make them better suited to receive a child, more easily place a child, and secure them into the safety seat without having to pull the shoulder straps out from behind the child after they are placed into the safety seat. When using the aforementioned armrest embodiments in the prior art, a child is generally in a state of discomfort from having to sit or lay on the harness assembly, and the risk of further discomfort or possible injury increases when the parent, guardian, or caregiver retrieves the harness assembly from behind and underneath the child in order to complete the buckling process. Thus, there is a need for an inexpensive system and method to help easily secure a child into a safety seat while avoiding the inconvenience of the resting safety straps that make securing a difficulty to parents. The present invention accomplishes this and several other goals.
  • SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • The present invention provides an improved child safety seat system and method wherein harness assembly components can be secured towards the lift bar, or handle, and away from the seating area of the safety seat.
  • In an embodiment of the present invention, at least one buckle end portion of a harness assembly reversibly fastens to slots located along the armrests of the safety seat.
  • In an embodiment of the present invention, at least one buckle end portion or at least one harness strap of a multipoint harness assembly are secured towards the lift bar of the safety seat via a corded assembly.
  • In an embodiment of the present invention, at least one buckle end portion or at least one harness strap of a multipoint harness assembly are secured towards the lift bar of the safety seat via a toy mount.
  • In an embodiment, a plurality of slits in the backrest and at least one slot in an armrest are used in conjunction to account for the size variation of childs to be secured to the safety seat.
  • In an embodiment of the present invention, a retractor cord interconnecting the seat portion and at least one buckle end portion or at least one harness strap further enhances the securing of a child to a safety seat by positioning a buckle end portion away from the backrest while in unbuckled configuration.
  • The present device and method of use is intended to be simple as well as inexpensive to manufacture and assemble. Based on the design by the inventor for the present system and method, the invention is also intended to be compatible with any number of pre-existing child safety seats.
  • Finally, it is an object of the present invention to disclose a child safety device, which is safe for children but also convenient for parents.
  • Embodiments include one, more, or any combination of all of the features listed above.
  • Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a child safety seat wherein an infant is securely buckled in the safety seat, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of a safety seat armrest wherein a buckle male end portion of a multipoint harness assembly is stored into a slot in the armrest, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is an enlarged side view of a slot wherein a buckle male end portion of a multipoint harness assembly is stored, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 is a side view of a buckle female end portion in unbuckled and buckled configurations, in which the dashed lines show a buckled configuration and the solid lines show an unbuckled configuration, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 is side view of a lift bar on a child safety seat wherein a corded assembly is attached through a lift bar, in which the dashed lines show a retracted configuration of the corded assembly and the solid lines show an extending configuration of the corded assembly, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a child safety seat wherein buckle male end portions of a harness assembly are stored into slots in an armrest, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 7 a is a top view of a toy mount that may be utilized secure harness straps away from the seating area of a safety seat; FIG. 7 b is a top view the toy mount of FIG. 7 a showing internal components, in which the dashed lines show internal components;
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a side of the child safety seat interior showing a toy mount attached to a lift bar and extending towards a harness strap, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention; and
  • FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a side of the child safety seat interior showing a toy mount attached to a lift bar and securing a harness strap towards the lift bar, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.
  • REFERENCE NUMERALS IN THE DRAWINGS
    • child 10
    • seat portion 100
    • backrest 110
    • armrest 120
    • armrest topside 122
    • armrest outer-side 124
    • armrest inner-side 126
    • slit 130
    • strap hook 140
    • lift bar 150
    • compartment 152
    • lift bar opening 154
    • lift bar attachment device
    • safety seat base 180
    • port 190
    • harness assembly 200
    • harness shoulder strap 210
    • harness waist strap 220
    • harness adjuster strap 230
    • buckle male end portion 240
    • indentation 242
    • harness strap 250
    • harness strap end 252
    • buckle female end portion 260
    • buckle female end opening 262
    • buckle release mechanism 264
    • retractor cord 266
    • retractor cord end 268
    • chest clip portion 290 a
    • chest clip portion 290 b
    • slot 310
    • ridge 320
    • corded assembly 400
    • cord 410
    • cord end 420
    • cord clip 422
    • cord fastener 430
    • toy mount 500
    • toy legs 510
    • toy upper 520
    • gearbox 530
    • toy connection line 540
    • toy connection line top end portion 542
    • toy connection line bottom end portion 544
    • toy connection line cover 546
    • toy attachment assembly 550
    • collar 552
    • collar port 554
    • collar fastener 558
    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • Illustrative embodiments of the invention are described below in the accompanying Figures. The following detailed description provides detailed schematics for a thorough understanding of and an enabling description for these embodiments. One having ordinary skill in the art will understand that the invention may be practiced without certain details. In other instances, well-known structures and functions have not been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the description of the embodiments.
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a child safety seat wherein an infant is securely buckled in the safety seat, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The safety seat comprises seat portion 100, a backrest 110, armrests 120, and a harness assembly 200, which generally comprises at least one buckle male end portion 240, at least one buckle female end portion 260, and at least one harness strap 250, such as a harness waist strap 220, harness shoulder strap 210, or harness adjustor strap 230. Many examples herein describe the use of a five-point harness assembly 200; however for the purposes of the present description, the term “harness assembly” may refer to any general type of safety restraint, which includes, but is not limited to any multipoint harness assembly, safety belt, lanyard, or lifeline. A harness assembly 200 in example embodiments described herein may comprise at least one harness shoulder strap 210, at least one harness waist strap 220, and at least one buckle male end portion 240. Embodiments described herein may also include at least one harness adjuster strap 230, wherein the length of this particular type of harness strap 250 may be varied.
  • The five-point harness assembly described in embodiments herein comprises, in combination (a) two buckle male end portions 240 each attached to and interconnecting a harness shoulder strap 210 and a harness waist strap 220, and each comprising an indentation 242, and (b) one buckle female end portion 260 comprising at least one buckle female end opening 262 wherein buckle male end portions 240 are inserted and fasten reversibly via one or more indentations 242 located on said buckle male end portions 240, and a buckle release mechanism 264 located on said buckle female end portion 260. The harness shoulder straps 210 and shoulder waist straps 220 are fastened to the posterior of the backrest 110, and the buckle female end portion 260 is fastened to the underside of the seat portion 100. In the example embodiments described herein, the term indentation 242 may refer to a cutaway, a hole, an opening, a recess, or a pit. In the example in FIG. 1, the harness assembly 200 further comprises chest clip portions 290 a and 290 b, designed to interconnect and reversibly fasten to each other via a fastening means, which may be standard mechanical male end to female end fasteners, magnets housed within clip portions 290 a and 290 b, a carabiner, or any combination thereof, to further enhance the safe securing of a child to the safety seat. A retractor cord 266, which may be manufactured from a material exhibiting at least partial elasticity, interconnects said seat portion 100 to said harness adjuster strap 230 or said buckle female end portion 260 and pulls an unbuckled buckle female end portion 260 away from seat portion 100 adjacent to the backrest 110, thus further enhancing the securing of a child into the safety seat. A simple buckle release mechanism 264 may be used to unbuckle or unfasten at least one buckle female end portion 260 from at least one buckle male end portion 240.
  • The armrests 120 are generally placed cantilever to the backrest 110 and may comprise various components, such as cup holders, toys, etc. It is contemplated that several forms of armrests 120 are suitable without deviating from the scope of this invention. Each armrest 120 may be housed in at least one of several slots 310 to reversibly fasten with a buckle male end portion 240. Slots 310 may be aligned parallel or perpendicular to each other and may be positioned anywhere on the armrest capable of receiving a buckle male end portions 240.
  • FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of a safety seat armrest 120 wherein a buckle male end portion 240 of a multipoint harness assembly 200 is stored into a slot 310 in the armrests, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. With buckle male end portions 240 secured into slots 310, any harness shoulder straps 210 or harness waist straps 220 fastened to the buckle male end portions 240 are also secured away from the seating area of the safety seat and towards the armrests 120.
  • In an embodiment of the present invention, buckle male end portions 240, harness shoulder straps 210, or harness waist straps 220, can be secured away from the seating area of the safety seat using the components of a corded assembly 400 attached to the lift bar 150 around the perimeter of lift bar 150 or through a lift bar opening 154 wherein a cord may pass there through. In general, a lift bar 150 is fastened to both the left and right sides of a safety seat or to both armrests 120 of a safety seat and extends over the seating area; however, the lift bar 150 may be rotated as needed towards the seat portion 100 or backrest 110. While not in use, components of the corded assembly 400 may be stored within a compartment located in proximity to and either exterior or interior to the lift bar 150.
  • FIG. 3 is an enlarged side view of a slot 310 wherein a buckle male end portion of a multipoint harness assembly is stored, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. A variety of forms and arrangements may be used to fasten a slot 310 to receive a buckle male end portion 240. In the example in FIG. 3, each of the slots 310 may comprise at least one ridge 320 protruding inward within the slots 310 with each ridge 320 designed to insert into the indention 242 of a buckle male end portion 240. It is generally desirable that both armrests 120 have a plurality of slots 310 to account for the size of the child.
  • FIG. 4 is a side view of a buckle female end portion in unbuckled and buckled configurations, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. In the unbuckled configuration, buckle female end portion 260 is positioned away from the backrest 110 via a retractor cord 260. A child may then be placed into the safety seat without needing to remove the buckle female end portion 260 or harness adjuster strap 230 from the seat portion 100 proximate to the backrest 110; the child may then easily access the buckle female end portion 260 for fastening to buckle male end portions 240. A harness strap end 252 fastens harness straps 250 to various locations on the safety seat. Similarly, a retractor cord end 268 fastens retractor cord 260 to the seat portion 100. Harness strap ends 252 and retractor cord end 268 may take the form of a ball, a plate, or other geometric shapes, or of a carabiner or of a clip movable along and attachable at any point along the length of either a harness strap 250 or a retractor cord 266.
  • FIG. 5 is a side view of a lift bar on a child safety seat wherein a corded assembly 400 is attached through a lift bar 150, in which the dashed lines show a retracted configuration of the corded assembly 400 and the solid lines show an extending configuration of the corded assembly 400, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. In this example embodiment, the lift bar attachment device is a corded assembly 400 comprising at least one cord end 420, at least one cord fastener 430, and at least one cord 410 that interconnects the cord end 420 and cord fastener 430. The cord end 420 acts to inhibit unintentional detachment of the corded assembly 400 from the lift bar 150 and may take the form of a ball, a plate, or other geometric shapes, or the cord end 420 may take the form of a carabiner or of a cord clip 422 movable along the cord 410 and attachable at any point along the length of the cord 410 to enhance the reversibly securing of the corded assembly 400 position in relation to the lift bar. The cord fastener 430 is designed to reversibly fasten with buckle male end portions 240 of the harness assembly 200 to pull components of the harness assembly 200 away from the seating area of the child safety seat. Alternatively, this may also be accomplished by looping the cord 410 around a harness strap 250 and fastening the cord fastener 430 to either the cord 410, the cord end 420, or both. Examples of cord fasteners 430 include, but are not limited to, a buckle, a carabiner, a loop, or a magnet. The lift bar 150 may further comprise a compartment 152, designed to house components of the corded assembly 400 within. In an embodiment, the lift bar 150 also comprises at least one slot 310. In a retracted configuration, the components of the corded assembly 400 are positioned away from the seating area where a child may or may not be seating. In an extending configuration, which generally occurs as a user is preparing to secure components of the harness assembly 200 away from the seating area, the components of the corded assembly 400 are positioned towards the seating area. In an embodiment, the lift bar 150 is concentrically surrounded by a sleeve that may substitute in play of a toy mount 500. The sleeve is manufactured from a soft and durable material and is reversibly attachable to itself at various locations via one or more fasteners, such as a buckle, a carabiner, a loop, a button, or a magnet. The sleeve is also conceived to include one or more plastic eyelets around the periphery of the sleeve designed to secure one or more harness straps 250 from the seating area.
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a child safety seat wherein buckle male end portions 240 of a harness assembly are stored into slots 310 in an armrest 120, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. In this example embodiment, the backrest 110 further comprises a plurality of slits 130 that allow harness shoulder straps 210 to be installed at different locations along the backrest 110. The harness shoulder straps 210 are generally designed to be placed through the slits 130 at a location above the shoulders of the child to be secured and may be placed into one or more of a plurality of slits 130 to account for the size of the child. Slits 130 may be oriented parallel, perpendicular, or at other angles relative to one another, or slits 130 may be oriented in pairs of two wherein the pairs are parallel, perpendicular, or at other angles relative to one another. By adjusting the harness shoulder straps 210 to a plurality of slots 310 and a plurality of slits 130, this invention is able to secure a child of generally any size into the safety seat. The underside of safety seats in many of the embodiments described herein comprises a safety seat base 180 which may provide extra mechanical support or increase comfort to a child sitting in the safety seat. In many cases, a safety seat base comprises at least one port 190 located on the safety seat base 180 for vehicle seat belt straps to pass through, thus enhancing the ability of a user to secure a safety seat to a vehicle seat, either in forward or reverse directions.
  • FIG. 7 a is a top view of a toy mount that may be utilized secure harness straps away from the seating area of a safety seat; FIG. 7 b is a top view the toy mount in FIG. 7 a showing internal components, in which the dashed lines show internal components. In this example embodiment, the lift bar attachment device is a toy mount 500 comprising at least one toy leg 510, a toy upper 520, a toy connection line 540, and a toy attachment assembly 550. The toy attachment assembly 550 is designed to reversibly fasten the toy mount 500 to a lift bar 150 on the child safety seat. In an embodiment of the present invention, the toy attachment assembly 550 comprises a collar 552 with a collar port 554 positioned at any point of the collar 552 to connect to the collar end portion 542 of the toy connection line 540. The toy connection line 540 may be surrounded by a toy protection line cover 546 that protects the child from the toy connection line 540 and protects the toy connection line 540 from dirt, food, and damage in the general sense. The toy end portion 544 of the toy connection line 540 attaches to the toy upper 520. A toy upper 520 and toy legs 510 that are designed for the entertainment of the child are preferable however not necessary for the operation of this embodiment. It may be beneficial in many cases for any toy legs 510 to attach to a toy upper 520 opposite to or near opposite to a toy connection line 540; however any toy legs 510 and a toy connection line 540 can attach to a toy upper 520 at any location on the toy upper 520 without deviating from the scope of this invention.
  • In an embodiment of the present invention, the toy upper 520 comprises a gearbox 530 wherein a gear is housed. Gearbox 530, which may further comprise a gearbox protection cover designed to prevent damage to the gearbox 530 by restricting objects and materials from entering the gearbox 530, may comprise a vibrating mechanism so that the toy upper 520 vibrates when toy upper 520 retracts towards the toy attachment assembly 550. This further enhances the method of using a toy mount 500 to secure a child into a safety seat because the vibrating toy mount 500 entertains the child and makes the child less prone to agitation, which may complicate the buckling process. The gearbox 530 may also retract the toy connection line 540 to pull the toy attachment assembly 550 towards the toy upper 520, for situations when the toy mount 500 is not in use. The gear housed within the gearbox 530 connects to the toy connection line 540 and may further a gearbox brake that is designed to clamp the gearbox 530 in place along the toy connection line 540 so as to act in a similar manner to a belt buckle. While in use, the gearbox 530 and gear is generally designed to keep constant pressure pulling the toy connection line 540 tightly so as to adapt the toy mount 500 to adapt to any type of harness strap 250. Examples of forms for the toy mount 500 includes, but are not limited to a toy duck, a toy dog, a toy cat, other toy animals, a toy human, a toy extraterrestrial, or a toy monster.
  • In an embodiment of the present invention, the toy connection line 540 may be manufactured from a material exhibiting at least partial elasticity to promote retracting of the toy upper 520 towards the toy attachment assembly 550.
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a side of the child safety seat interior showing a toy mount 500 attached to a lift bar 150 and extending towards a harness strap 250, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. When the safety seat is not in use, a parent may pull the toy mount 500 towards the seating area without having to worry about detachment of the toy mount 500 from the lift bar 150 and loop the toy mount 500 and toy connection line 540 around a harness strap 250 of a harness assembly 200, which may be a harness shoulder strap 210 or harness waist strap 220, and towards the lift bar 150.
  • FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a side of the child safety seat interior showing a toy mount attached to a lift bar and securing the harness shoulder straps towards the lift bar, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The toy legs 510 are looped around a harness strap 250 of the harness assembly 200, while the toy attachment assembly 550 attaches to and secures the toy mount 500 to the lift bar 150. FIG. 8 and FIG. 9 demonstrate how the toy mount 500 described herein may be used to retrofit older model child safety seats with the advanced comfort buckling system.
  • Many of the examples described above utilize a single molded component to incorporate a seat portion 100, a backrest 110, and armrests 120. This type of system is intended to ease the process of manufacturing the invention; however, it is not necessary that a single molded component be used, and the example should not be construed to limit the invention to utilizing a single molded component. Additionally, embodiments are contemplated wherein the positions of said buckle male end portion 240 and said buckle female end portion 260 may be reversed, and slots 310 or cord fastener 430 described herein adapted to reversibly fasten to a buckle female end portion 260.
  • A method for using the presently described system to secure a child to a safety seat generally comprises the steps of securing at least one buckle male end portion 240 or at least one harness strap 250, such as a harness shoulder strap 210, a harness waist strap 220, or combination thereof, towards at least one lift bar 150 using at least one lift bar attachment device or towards at least one slot 310, placing the child into the safety seat, unfastening the harness strap 250 from the lift bar 150 or slot 310, then fastening the buckle male end portions 240 to a buckle female end portion 260. During the initial phase of the method for using the presently described system, the buckle male end portions 240 are stored into slots 310 in the armrests 120 or the harness straps 250 or buckle male end portions 240 are secured away from the seating area using a lift bar attachment device described herein. Additionally, the retractor cord 266 directs the buckle female end portion 260 in its unbuckled configuration away from the backrest 110. To this initial configuration, a child can be placed into the safety seat, with the child's bottom and back rested firmly upon the seat portion 100 and backrest 110, respectively, while each of the buckle male end portions 240 is stored into a slot 310 within an armrest 120 or the harness straps 250 or buckle male end portions 240 are secured away from the seating area using a lift bar attachment device described herein. A child is then placed into the safety seat and does not need to spend time removing components of the harness assembly 200 from the seat portion 100 or backrest 110. The buckle male end portions 240 are then detached from slots 310 or the harness straps 250 or buckle male end portions 240 are unfastened from a lift bar attachment device described herein and then quickly fastened to the buckle female end portion 260.
  • For securing infants into a child safety seat, the safety seat is generally placed facing backwards in the vehicle seat with the backrest 110 placed perpendicular to the outer edge portion of the vehicle seating area. Seat belt harness straps in the vehicle pass through either ports 190 in the child safety seat base 180 or through one or more strap hooks 140, both of which can act as anchor points for the child safety seat to be secured to the vehicle seat and are generally located on or in proximity to an armrest.
  • A method for using the presently described system to expel a child from a safety seat generally comprises the steps of detaching buckle male end portions 240 from at least one buckle female end portion 260, then removing the child from the safety seat. Furthermore, the method may further comprise a subsequent step of securing the buckle male end portion 240 or at least one harness strap 250, towards a lift bar 150 using a lift bar attachment device or towards at least one slot 310, an embodiment of the present invention that enables a user to prepare the safety seat for quickly placing a child into the safety seat at a time subsequent to removing the child from the safety seat rather than at a time just prior to placing the child into the safety seat.
  • Parents that use child safety seats without the present invention currently must always lean the child forward after placement in a safety seat and move the child around in order to pull the harness assembly components from the posterior of the child. This action typically agitates both the child and parent and requires additional time to secure the child safely; however, storing the harness straps 250 to the sides, as shown in FIGS. 2, 6 and 9, eliminates the need to move the child forward once placed in the seat.
  • With the child in a sitting position, the two buckle male end portions 240 are fastened to the buckle female end portion 260. The method of using the presently described systems generally involves having a buckle male end portion 240 or at least one harness strap 250, such as a harness shoulder strap 210, a harness waist strap 220, or combination thereof, secured to the sides, placing a child into the seat portion 100, then fastening the buckle components of the harness assembly 200. This reduces the time necessary to secure the child into the safety seat without compromising the safety of the child, thus demonstrating the advantage of this embodiment over the aforementioned prior art.
  • The above example describes the use of “person” or “child,” however for the purposes of the present description, the term “child” may refer to any general type of small human being or primate.
  • While particular embodiments of the invention have been described and disclosed in the present application, it is clear that any number of permutations, modifications, or embodiments may be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of this invention. Accordingly, it is not the inventor's intention to limit this invention in this application, except as by the claims.
  • Particular terminology used when describing certain features or aspects of the invention should not be taken to imply that the terminology is being redefined herein to be restricted to any specific characteristics, features, or aspects of the invention with which that terminology is associated. In general, the terms used in the claims should not be construed to limit the invention to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification, unless the above Detailed Description section explicitly defines such terms. Accordingly, the actual scope of the invention encompasses not only the disclosed embodiments, but also all equivalent ways of practicing or implementing the invention.
  • The above detailed description of the embodiments of the invention is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise embodiment or form disclosed herein or to the particular field of usage mentioned in this disclosure. While specific embodiments of, and examples for, the invention are described above for illustrative purposes, various equivalent modifications are possible within the scope of the invention, as those skilled in the relevant art will recognize. Also, the teachings of the invention provided herein can be applied to other systems, not necessarily the system described above. The elements and acts of the various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments.
  • All of the above patents and applications and other references, including any that may be listed in accompanying filing papers, are incorporated herein by reference. Aspects of the invention can be modified, if necessary, to employ the systems, functions, and concepts of the various references described above to provide yet further embodiments of the invention.
  • In general, the terms used in the claims should not be construed to limit the invention to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification, unless the above Detailed Description section explicitly defines such terms. Accordingly, the actual scope of the invention encompasses not only the disclosed embodiments, but also all equivalent ways of practicing or implementing the invention under the claims.
  • In light of the above “Detailed Description,” Inventor may make changes to the invention. While the detailed description outlines possible embodiments of the invention and discloses the best mode contemplated, no matter how detailed the above appears in text, the invention may be practiced in a myriad of ways. Thus, implementation details may vary considerably while still being encompassed by the spirit of the invention as disclosed by the inventor. As discussed herein, specific terminology used when describing certain features or aspects of the invention should not be taken to imply that the terminology is being redefined herein to be restricted to any specific characteristics, features, or aspects of the invention with which that terminology is associated.

Claims (20)

    We claim:
  1. 1. A safety seat, comprising:
    a seat portion;
    a backrest;
    a harness assembly comprising at least one buckle male end portion, at least one buckle female end portion, and at least one harness strap;
    a lift bar; and
    one or more lift bar attachment devices.
  2. 2. The safety seat of claim 1, wherein said lift bar attachment device is a corded assembly comprising at least one cord, at least one cord end, and at least one cord fastener.
  3. 3. The safety seat of claim 2, wherein said cord end is selected from a group consisting of a ball, a plate, a caribiner, and a clip.
  4. 4. The safety seat of claim 2, wherein said cord fastener is selected from a group consisting of a buckle, a loop, a clip, and a magnet.
  5. 5. The safety seat of claim 1, wherein said backrest further comprises at least one slit wherein said harness strap passes through.
  6. 6. The safety seat of claim 1, wherein said harness strap comprises at least one harness shoulder strap and at least one harness waist strap.
  7. 7. The safety seat of claim 1, wherein said lift bar further comprises a compartment.
  8. 8. The safety seat of claim 1, wherein said safety seat further comprises a retractor cord interconnecting said seat portion to a harness adjuster strap or said buckle female end portion.
  9. 9. The safety seat of claim 1, further comprising at least one strap hook located on or in proximity to an armrest.
  10. 10. The safety seat of claim 1, further comprising at least one port located on a safety seat base.
  11. 11. The safety seat of claim 2, wherein said lift bar further comprises a lift bar opening.
  12. 12. The safety seat of claim 1, wherein said lift bar attachment device is a toy mount comprising at least one toy leg, at least one toy upper, at least one toy connection line, and at least one toy attachment assembly.
  13. 13. The safety seat of claim 12, wherein said toy connection line further comprises a toy connection line cover.
  14. 14. The safety seat of claim 12, wherein said toy attachment assembly comprises a collar, a collar port, and a collar fastener.
  15. 15. The safety seat of claim 12, wherein said toy mount is selected from a group consisting of a toy duck, a toy dog, a toy cat, other toy animals, a toy human, a toy extraterrestrial, and a toy monster.
  16. 16. The safety seat of claim 12, wherein said toy upper further comprises a gearbox.
  17. 17. The safety seat of claim 16, wherein said gearbox vibrates.
  18. 18. The safety seat of claim 16, wherein said gearbox retracts said toy connection line therein.
  19. 19. A toy mount for attaching to a lift bar of a safety seat and securing components of a harness assembly away from the seating area of said safety seat, said toy mount comprising:
    at least one toy attachment assembly;
    at least one toy upper;
    at least one toy connection line interconnecting said toy attachment assembly and said toy upper; and
    at least one toy leg.
  20. 20. A method for securing a person to a safety seat comprising the steps of:
    securing a buckle male end portion, a harness shoulder strap, or a harness waist strap toward a lift bar using a lift bar attachment device;
    placing said person into said safety seat;
    unfastening said buckle male end portion, said harness shoulder strap, or said harness waist strap from said lift bar; and
    fastening said buckle male end portion to a buckle female end portion.
US14594459 2014-01-10 2015-01-12 Advanced Comfort Buckling System Abandoned US20150367759A1 (en)

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