WO2008061291A1 - Container for a pacifier or teether - Google Patents

Container for a pacifier or teether Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2008061291A1
WO2008061291A1 PCT/AU2007/001751 AU2007001751W WO2008061291A1 WO 2008061291 A1 WO2008061291 A1 WO 2008061291A1 AU 2007001751 W AU2007001751 W AU 2007001751W WO 2008061291 A1 WO2008061291 A1 WO 2008061291A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
pacifier
container
teether
carry case
portion
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/AU2007/001751
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Jon Seddon
John Nielsen
Peter Sanbrook
Original Assignee
Bellett Leasing Pty Ltd
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05BELECTRIC HEATING; ELECTRIC LIGHTING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05B6/00Heating by electric, magnetic, or electromagnetic fields
    • H05B6/64Heating using microwaves
    • H05B6/6408Supports or covers specially adapted for use in microwave heating apparatus
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61JCONTAINERS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR MEDICAL OR PHARMACEUTICAL PURPOSES; DEVICES OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR BRINGING PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS INTO PARTICULAR PHYSICAL OR ADMINISTERING FORMS; DEVICES FOR ADMINISTERING FOOD OR MEDICINES ORALLY; BABY COMFORTERS; DEVICES FOR RECEIVING SPITTLE
    • A61J17/00Baby-comforters; Teething rings
    • A61J17/001Baby-comforters
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61JCONTAINERS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR MEDICAL OR PHARMACEUTICAL PURPOSES; DEVICES OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR BRINGING PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS INTO PARTICULAR PHYSICAL OR ADMINISTERING FORMS; DEVICES FOR ADMINISTERING FOOD OR MEDICINES ORALLY; BABY COMFORTERS; DEVICES FOR RECEIVING SPITTLE
    • A61J17/00Baby-comforters; Teething rings
    • A61J17/001Baby-comforters
    • A61J17/008Baby-comforters with protective shields
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61LMETHODS OR APPARATUS FOR STERILISING MATERIALS OR OBJECTS IN GENERAL; DISINFECTION, STERILISATION, OR DEODORISATION OF AIR; CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES; MATERIALS FOR BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES
    • A61L2/00Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor
    • A61L2/02Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor using physical phenomena
    • A61L2/04Heat
    • A61L2/06Hot gas
    • A61L2/07Steam
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61JCONTAINERS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR MEDICAL OR PHARMACEUTICAL PURPOSES; DEVICES OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR BRINGING PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS INTO PARTICULAR PHYSICAL OR ADMINISTERING FORMS; DEVICES FOR ADMINISTERING FOOD OR MEDICINES ORALLY; BABY COMFORTERS; DEVICES FOR RECEIVING SPITTLE
    • A61J17/00Baby-comforters; Teething rings
    • A61J17/02Teething rings

Abstract

In a claimed carry case and pacifier/teether combination, the carry case (10, 10´) is in the form of a container (12, 12´) sized to encapsulate the pacifier/teether (30, 30´). The container (12, 12´) has a base (20, 20´) and is adapted to contain a quantity of water sufficient for steam sterilisation of the pacifier/teether (30, 30´) when the carry case is seated on its base (20, 20´). Thus the carry case (10, 10´) dually functions as a steriliser unit for the pacifier/teether (30, 30´). In a claimed sterilizer for a pacifier/teether (30, 30´), the container (12, 12´) has one or more support features (54, 90´) to support the pacifier/teether within the container (12, 12´) in a disposition relative to the container, with the mouth engaging portion (32, 32´) extending downwards towards the base (20, 20´). A method of sterilizing is also claimed. In a claimed pacifier/teether and container combination, the container incorporates a latch (60, 60´) to removably latch the lid portion (14, 14´) in an ajar position for microwavable steam sterilisation and in a closed position for storage or transportation. In a claimed carry case/sterilizer for a pacifier/teether, the container body (12, 12´) is provided with heat dissipating means (96´) to dissipate heat.

Description

CONTAINER FOR A PACIFIER OR TEETHER

Field of the invention

The present invention relates to a container for a baby pacifier or a teether. In particular, although not exclusively, the invention relates to a carry case for a baby pacifier or teether. In preferred embodiments, the invention also relates to steam or UV sterilisation of pacifiers or teethers.

In other countries, a baby pacifier may be known as a dummy, a soother or a comforter.

Background of the invention Baby pacifiers are generally known to include a mouth engaging portion in the form of a rubber or plastic teat or nipple which extends outwardly from a face shield. The nipple or teat is intended to be inserted into the baby's mouth for the baby to suck upon. The other side of the shield is commonly provided with a handle which may be pivotally mounted to a central plug. This enables an adult to remove the baby pacifier from the baby's mouth when required.

Teethers are similar in function to pacifiers but are usually intended for older infants who are teething. The mouth engaging portion of a teether may be U-shaped and are commonly pliable and textured to assist with the teething process.

It is known to provide covers or containers for use in connection with pacifiers. In some cases, the cover may simply extend about the teat to protect the teat alone. In other cases, covers may completely encapsulate the pacifier.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a container and pacifier/teether combination which assists with sterilisation of a pacifier/teether. An alternative object of the present invention is to provide a pacifier/teether combination which provides the public with a useful choice over known products. Reference to any prior art in the specification is not, and should not be taken as, an acknowledgment or any form of suggestion that this prior art forms part of the common general knowledge in Australia or any other jurisdiction or that this prior art could reasonably be expected to be ascertained, understood and regarded as relevant by a person skilled in the art.

Summary of the invention

The following statements of invention use the terminology "pacifier/teether". This term includes within its scope, child sucking or chewing devices which incorporate either a teat or a teething device or other device for insertion into a child's mouth for the child to suck or chew. The term "mouth engaging portion" refers to the part for insertion into a child's mouth for the child to suck or chew.

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a carry case and pacifier/teether combination wherein the carry case is sized to encapsulate the pacifier/teether and wherein the carry case has a base and is adapted to contain a quantity of water sufficient for steam sterilisation of the pacifier/teether when the carry case is seated on its base such that the carry case dually functions as a steriliser unit for the pacifier/teether.

The carry case and contents may be sterilised by placing it in a microwave oven to boil the water and produce steam. Alternatively, the carry case could be sterilised by ultra-violet light using, for example, a UV sterilisation unit.

The carry case is suitably in the form of some kind of substantially rigid container. Preferably the container is sized to receive a single pacifier/teether. The container may include a closure such as a lid. Preferably, the lid is integrally formed with the container body. For example, a flexible hinge portion may be provided to attach the lid to the main body of the container. Alternatively, the container may comprise a two piece bowl and lid combination.

Suitably, the pacifier/teether is provided with a face shield and the opening perimeter of the body of the container may be commensurate with the perimeter of the face shield. Preferably, the opening perimeter of the container body is slightly larger than the perimeter of the face shield to enable steam to escape underneath the shield when the container is used for steam sterilisation.

The pacifier/teether and the container may be mutually cooperable to removably secure the pacifier/teether within the container. As such, the container body may include an engagement means to secure the pacifier/teether. The engagement means is preferably disposed at or adjacent the opening. Suitably, the engagement means enables the pacifier/teether to be snap fitted into the container to hold it in place within the container. In a most preferred form of the invention, the container body also includes a ledge providing a seat for the shield of the pacifier/teether.

The shield of the pacifier/teether is preferably circular as is the opening. The shield could also be oval. The pacifier/teether is preferably provided with a pivotally mounted handle. In a most preferred form of the invention, the handle pivot is offset from the centre of the shield such that in its at-rest position, the handle is accommodated within the periphery of the shield.

Suitably the base renders the container self-supporting on a level surface. The pacifier/teether is preferably supported to reside in a predetermined position. The predetermined position may be with the mouth engaging portion dependent from the shield. Further, the predetermined position may be with the mouth engaging portion preferably spaced from the inner surface of the base of the container. The container is preferably adapted to contain at least enough water to cover the bulb of a teat in the predetermined position.

Rather than a commensurate fit between the pacifier/teether and the container, the container may instead be more amply sized to accommodate a range of models of pacifiers/teethers (one size fits all). In order to achieve this, the container may include a central mount to support the pacifier/teether, most preferably in the predetermined position. Preferably, the central mount is in the form of a central hollow column to receive the mouth engaging portion of the pacifier/teether and to support the underside of the shield. The central column may be in the form of opposing column halves, spaced from each other to accommodate a range of sizes and types of the mouth engaging portion. Preferably the central mount is integrally formed with the container.

The container preferably includes a latch to latch the lid in one or more positions.

Desirably, there are two latch positions. In a first latch position, the lid is ajar to enable steam to escape during steam sterilisation and for water to be poured out after boiling.

In a second latch position, the lid is closed. The ajar lid provides steam /water protection for the user's hand.

The latch may be provided on a tab dependent from the lid which is cooperable with the body of the container. The dependent tab is preferably cooperable with an exterior surface of the body of the container to define the various latching positions. The body of the container may have an external recess to accommodate the tab so as to be substantially flush with the remainder of the external surface of the body of the container, in the second closed position. The end of the tab remote from the lid may diverge outwardly to facilitate opening of the lid.

While the latch described above enables the container to vent during steam sterilisation, any type of vent or venting system could be employed instead.

The container may also include one or more handles or gripping portions to assist with picking up the body of the container. The handles may be integrally formed with the body of the container. The handles may be formed with hollow sections or cooling fins/ribs to enable the user to pick up the container after steam sterilisation. Any of the features concerning the gripping portion described in the fifth aspect of the invention below may also be incorporated into the present aspect of the invention.

Alternatively, select portions of the container, such as opposite sides of the container may be provided with fins or ribs to dissipate heat and thus serve as gripping portions.

An additional preferred feature of the carry case is the provision of a clip to removably secure the carry case to a belt or carry bag. The clip is preferably in the form of a dependant tongue which is integrally moulded with the container wall and spaced from the remainder of the container wall.

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a sterilizer for a pacifier/teether having a mouth engaging portion, wherein the sterilizer comprises a container which is sized to encapsulate the pacifier/teether and has: a base supporting the container in an upright configuration; and one or more support features to support the pacifier/teether within the container in a disposition relative to the container, with the mouth engaging portion extending downwards towards the base.

The support feature(s) may support the pacifier/teether with the mouth engaging portion in spaced disposition from the inner surface of the base. The pacifier/teether may be supported by one or more ledges at or around the periphery of the upper opening. The support feature(s) may operate to removably secure the pacifier/teether within the container.

Alternatively, the pacifier/teether may be supported by a central mount within the container.

The container may be marked to indicate the optimum water level for microwave steam sterilization.

The pacifier/teether may be supported such that the mouth engaging portion is partly immersed in water when the container contains water ie the mouth engaging portion extends below the marked water level. Alternatively, the pacifier/teether may be supported with the mouth engaging portion spaced sufficiently above the base to be suspended above the water level and sterilized by the action of steam alone.

Any of the features described above in connection with the first aspect of the invention may be incorporated into the second aspect of the invention.

In a related aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of sterilising a pacifier/teether, the pacifier/teether having a mouth engaging portion, the method comprising: inserting the pacifier/teether into a container which is sized to encapsulate the pacifier/teether and adapted to support the pacifier/teether in a position within the container with the mouth engaging portion extending downwardly;

pouring a quantity of water into the container; and

heating the water in a microwave oven for a sufficient time to effect sterilisation.

The steps of inserting and pouring could be effected in the reverse order. The quantity of water may be such that the mouth engaging portion extends into the water or alternatively the quantity of water may be such that the mouth engaging portion is suspended above the water so that the sterilisation is effected by the action of steam alone. Where the pacifier has a teat, preferably the water level extends to substantially cover the bulb.

Any of the features set out above in other aspects of the invention may have application to the method.

In accordance with a third aspect of the present invention there is provided a pacifier/teether and container combination, wherein the container has a lid portion which is movable between open and closed positions, the pacifier being encapsulated within the container with the lid portion in the closed position, the container incorporating a latch to removably latch the lid portion in an ajar position for microwavable steam sterilisation and in the closed position for storage or transportation.

Preferably the lid portion is integral with the body of the container. The container portion may be comprised of transparent material. Preferably, the container portion has a moulded water indicator line. Any of the features described in connection with foregoing aspects may be applied to the fourth aspect above.

In accordance with a fourth aspect of the present invention there is provided a container for steam sterilisation including:

a container portion; and a gripping portion comprising two side grip portions which are interconnected by a linking portion, the two side grip portions and the linking portion being integrally formed of insulative material.

Preferably the side grips are diametrically opposed on opposite sides of the container portion. Desirably, the side grips are thicker than the linking portion.

Preferably, the gripping portion is over-moulded onto the container portion. The gripping portion may be comprised of a thermoplastic elastomer such as rubber or synthetic rubber. The container portion is preferably translucent polypropylene.

In accordance with a fifth aspect of the invention, there is provided a carry case for a pacifier/teether which is sized to encapsulate the pacifier/teether, wherein the carry case dually functions as a steriliser unit for the pacifier/teether, the carry case being in the form of a container which is provided with heat dissipating means to dissipate heat.

The heat dissipating means may be in the form of ribs or fins. Suitably, the fins or ribs are disposed on opposite sides of the container body and thus serve as gripping portions.

It will also be understood that the term "comprises" (or its grammatical variants) as used in this specification is equivalent to the term "includes" and should not be taken as excluding the presence of other elements or features.

This invention may also be said broadly to consist in the parts, elements and features referred to or indicated in the specification of the application, individually or collectively, and any or all combinations of any two or more of said parts, elements or features, and where specific integers are mentioned herein which have known equivalents in the art to which this invention relates, such known equivalents are deemed to be incorporated herein as if individually set forth.

The invention consists in the foregoing and also envisages constructions of which the following gives examples. Brief summary of the drawings

In order that the invention may be more fully understood, some embodiments will now be described by way of example with reference to the figures in which:

Figure 1 is a cross sectional view of a carry case according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 2 is a perspective view of the carry case of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 is an opposite side view of the carry case of Figure 1 ;

Figure 4 is a rear view of the carry case of Figure 1 ;

Figure 5 is a top view of the carry case of Figure 1 ;

. Figure 6 is first side view of a pacifier in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 7 is a front view of the pacifier of Figure 6;

Figure 8 is an opposite side view of the pacifier of Figure 6;

Figure 9 is a cross sectional view of the pacifier of Figure 6;

Figure 10 is a bottom view of the pacifier of Figure 6;

Figure 11 is a top view of the pacifier of Figure 6;

Figure 12 is a rear view of the carry case, corresponding to Figure 4 with the lid in the closed position;

Figure 13 is a side view corresponding to figure 3 with the lid closed; Figure 14 is a section through A-A of Figure 12, showing the pacifier inside the carry case;

Figure 15 is a section through B-B of Figure 13, showing the pacifier inside the carry case;

Figure 16 is a bottom view of the carry case with the lid closed;

Figure 17 is a top view of the carry case with the lid closed;

Figure 18 is a front view of a carry case according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 19 is a bottom view of the carry case of Figure 18;

Figure 20 is a side view of the carry case of Figure 18;

Figure 21 is a rear view of the carry case of Figure 18;

Figure 22 is a front perspective view of the carry case of Figure 18;

Figure 23 is a rear perspective view of the carry case of Figure 18;

Figure 24 is a top perspective view of the carry case of Figure 18, except shown in the open configuration;

Figure 25 is a top perspective view corresponding to Figure 24, except showing a pacifier received within the carry case;

Figure 26 is a section through B-B of Figure 18; and

Figure 27 is a section through A-A of Figure 19. Description of the embodiment

Figures 1 to 5 illustrate a carry case 10 which is comprised of a container body portion 12 and an integral lid 14. The body portion 12 and the lid portion 14 are interconnected by means of a flexible hinge 16. This enables the lid to pivot between the open position shown in Figures 1 to 5 and a closed position (not shown) across the opening 18 of the body portion 12.

The body portion 12 has a base 20 for supporting the body portion 12 in an upright configuration wherein the opening 18 is at the top. The body portion 12 is water fillable, at least up to a water line 22 which may be integrally moulded into the side wall of the body portion 12. The body portion 12 and the lid portion 14 are mainly comprised of clear or translucent polypropylene.

Referring to Figure 6, the pacifier 30 is comprised of a mouth engaging portion in the form of a teat 32 which extends from one side of a face shield 34. A handle 36 is provided on the other side of the face shield 34. The handle 36 is pivotally mounted to a hub 38.

Referring to Figure 9, the teat 32 takes the form of a rubber or plastic baglet 40. The baglet 40 is the form of a flexible bag, the side walls of which conform to the desired shape of the teat. The open end of the baglet 40 is thicker than the remainder of the baglet to form a toroidal ring 42. The toroidal ring 42 is encapsulated between the shield 34 and the hub 38 around a hollow central shaft 44 which forms part of the hub 38. The baglet 40 is thereby air filled and sealed.

It will be appreciated from Figures 10 and 11 that the shield is circular. The side of the shield 34 facing the teat 32 is also convex such that when the teat 32 is in the baby's mouth, the shield does not hug the baby's face. This avoids a saliva rash. The shield also has apertures 46 to minimise the likelihood of the shield forming a seal with the baby's face.

Referring to Figure 11 , it can be seen that the handle 36 is pivotally mounted to the hub 38 eccentrically of the centre of the shield 34. This enables the handle in the at-rest position shown in the figures to be within the periphery of the shield 34. This can be appreciated from Figure 11.

Referring to Figures 2 and 5, it can be seen that the interior of the body portion is provided with support features in the form of four equally spaced upright ribs 50. Each of the upright ribs 50 has a cut out 52 which defines a substantially horizontal ledge 54 and an upright face 56.

The shield 34 of the pacifier 30 is sized such that it will be received between the four upright faces 56 of the four ribs 50. The fit therebetween may be such that the shield 34 snap fits into position. The substantially horizontal ledges 54 support the shield 34 in this disposition. It will be appreciated that, in this disposition, the teat 32 of the pacifier 30 will depend downwardly and be at least partly immersed in water which is filled up to the water line 22. Suitably, once the shield 34 is snapped into position, there will be a gap between the outer periphery of the shield 34 and the inside surface of the body portion 12 (at least between the upright ribs 50). This gap will enable steam to escape between the wall of the body portion 12 and the shield 34. The holes in the shield 46 also assist with the escape of steam. See also Figures 14 and 15.

The lid 14 is provided with a tab 60. The tab 60 is provided with two protrusions 62, 64. These protrusions 62, 64 enable the lid 14 to latch in either of two positions. As best shown in Figure 2, the external surface of the body portion 12 defines a recess 66 on the side of the body portion opposite to the hinge 16. The recess 66 accommodates the tab 60 when the lid is in the closed position. The recess 66 incorporates a step 68. The nature of the integral hinge 16 will tend to bias the lid towards the open position. Thus, when the first protrusion 62 is engaged over the step 68, the lid will be held ajar. If the lid is pushed further closed, the second protrusion 64 will engage with the step 68 to hold the lid 14 in the closed position as shown in Figure 14.

It can be seen in Figure 1 that the lid 14 has an inner peripheral rim 70 while the body portion 12 has a peripheral ledge 72 adjacent the opening 18. In the closed position of the lid 14, the peripheral rim 70 engages the peripheral ledge 72 to form a dust seal. Further, in the closed position, the recess 66 is such to accommodate the tab 60 so that the tab 60 lies substantially flush with the remainder of the wall of the body portion 12. However, it can be seen in Figure 1 and Figure 13 that the free end 74 of the tab 60 protrudes outwardly to facilitate gripping of the tab by the user.

As best shown in Figures 4 and 15, the body portion 12 is also provided with a gripping portion 80. The gripping portion 80 is made up of two side grip portions 82 which are interconnected by linking portion 84 (see Figure 5). The side grip portions 82 and the linking portion 84 are integrally formed of a thermoplastic elastomer which is over-molded onto the body portion 12 (polypropylene). The side grip portions 82 are thicker than the linking portion 84. The side grip portions are diametrically opposed and enable the user to grip the sides of the body portion 12, even when filled with boiling water.

Figures 18 to 27 illustrate a second embodiment of the invention. Because the second embodiment is similar in many respects to the first embodiment, like parts will be represented by like numerals, with the addition of a prime symbol (') to indicate the features of the second embodiment.

The carry case 10' is different than the first embodiment carry case 10 which is designed to accommodate a pacifier of a particular shape. The carry case 10' is instead designed to accept a large variety of existing pacifiers/teethers of varying size and shape. This is possible because international safety standards regulate the size and shape of pacifiers/teethers to within certain boundaries which do not widely depart from a norm.

In the first embodiment, the pacifier/teether 30 is supported at the outer periphery of the shield 34 by support features on the internal periphery of the body portion 12. However, in the second embodiment, which is designed to accommodate a large range of sizes and shapes of pacifiers/teethers, it is difficult to support the pacifier/teether 30' in a similar manner. Accordingly, the pacifier/teether 30' is supported by a central mount in the form of a bifurcated and hollow central column 90'. The central column 90' is in the form of opposing shells 92' which have inner and outer surfaces which are part cylindrical. As best shown in Figures 26 and 27, the pacifier 30' is supported by the opposing shells 92' with the teat 32' received between the opposing shells 92'. The top edges of the opposing shells 92' bear against the underside of the shield 34'. The pacifier 30' is thus suspended with the teat 32' extending downwardly. Figure 18 indicates the level of the water indicator 22'. Thus, when the body portion 12' is filled with water to the water level 22', the bulbous end of the teat 32 will be at least partly immersed in the water.

It can be seen in Figure 26 that the central hollow column 90' is integrally molded with the body portion 12'. Furthermore, it is apparent in Figure 24 that the opposing shells

92' define diametrically opposed gaps 94' therebetween. The gaps 94' will accommodate a large range of pacifier/teether shapes. Teethers (not shown) in particular often have U- shaped mouth engaging portions, the boundaries of which extend laterally beyond the dimensions of a conventional teat. The diametrically opposed gaps 94' thus accommodate such shapes.

As will be most apparent from Figures 19, 20, 22 and 23 the body portion 12' is also provided with integrally molded ribs or fins 96'. These ribs or fins 96' are arranged on opposite sides of the body portion 12'. The ribs or fins 96' facilitate the dissipation of heat from the body portion 12'. Thus, the body portion 12' will be relatively cool to touch on the opposite sides.

As best shown in Figures 21 and 23, the body portion 12' is also provided with a clip portion 98'. The clip portion 98' is integrally molded into the body portion 12' and is in the shape of a dependent tongue which is spaced from the side wall of the body portion 12' as best shown in Figure 26. The clip portion 98' allows the body portion 12' to clip onto the pocket or pouch inside a nappy bag, carry bag or the pouch which may be found on many strollers.

In the second embodiment, the fitment of the lid has been improved to almost an interference fit. Such a fit will allow steam to pass if accidentally used in the microwave with the top closed but is tight enough to stop any spillage should some water remain inside the body portion 12' after sterilisation.

The latching arrangement in the second embodiment is also slightly different. As can be seen from Figures 24 and 25, there is only a single protrusion 62' on the tab 60'. However, the recess 66' of the body portion 12' incorporates two ledges 68' and 69' to cooperate with protrusion 62' to hold the lid 14' in the closed or ajar position respectively.

The following describes the sequence of operation for the pacifier and container combination according to either of the embodiments described above. When it is intended to sterilise the pacifier 30, 30' the body portion 12, 12' is filled with water up to the indicator line 22, 22' (up to approximately 22-25 mm of water). The pacifier 30, 30' is then inserted into the body portion 12, 12' such that the shield 34, 34' is supported by support features 50, 90' in the manner described above. The lid 14, 14' is then closed to the ajar position. The pacifier and container combination is then inserted into a microwave oven which is operated on the highest setting for one minute. In this time, it generally takes 15 seconds for the water to start boiling which leaves 45 seconds during which time water in the container boils and steam may escape between the edge of the shield 34, 34' and the inner surface of the container wall, leaving approximately 6-8 mm of water residue. The container should then be left to cool for two minutes.

Once the sterilisation has taken place, the gap provided between the shield 34, 34' and the container wall enables any remaining water to be poured out. The lid 14, 14' may then be latched fully closed. The pacifier is therefore sterilised within the container which also functions as a carry case for storing and transporting the pacifier 30, 30' until it is ready for use.

Alternatively, instead of steam sterilisation, the container with the pacifier inserted may be inserted in a UV sterilisation unit for a period of time e.g. 5 minutes. Ideally, in these embodiments, the container at least is made with a plastics material which omits the UV inhibitors which are commonly included in such containers. The foregoing only describes some embodiments of the present invention and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, the preferred embodiment above has described the use of pacifier. The pacifier could be substituted for a teether or another kind of device for a baby to chew or suck. The container could be suitably modified to accommodate such a teether or device. Furthermore, while the container is shown to accommodate a single teether or pacifier, modifications could be made so that the container could accommodate multiple teethers and/or pacifiers.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A carry case and pacifier/teether combination wherein the carry case is sized to encapsulate the pacifier/teether and wherein the carry case is in the form of a container having a base and adapted to contain a quantity of water sufficient for steam sterilisation of the pacifier/teether when the carry case is seated on its base such that the earn/ case dually functions as a steriliser unit for the pacifier/teether.
2. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in claim 1 wherein the pacifier/teether and the container are mutually cooperable to removably secure the pacifier/teether within the container.
3. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in claim 2 wherein the pacifier/teether and the container are snap-fitable together.
4. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the container has an upper opening and the pacifier/teether is provided with a face shield and the container opening is commensurate or slightly larger than the perimeter of the face shield.
5. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in claim 4 wherein the pacifier/teether is supported by one or more ledges at or around the inner periphery of the upper opening.
6. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in claim 4 or 5 wherein the pacifier/teether is provided with a pivotally mounted handle having a pivot which is offset from the centre of the face shield such that in its at-rest position, the handle is accommodated within the perimeter of the face shield.
7. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in any one claims 4 to 6 wherein the pacifier/teether includes a mouth engaging portion and is supported by the container to reside in a predetermined position with the mouth engaging portion depending downwardly from the shield.
8. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in claim 7 wherein the predetermined position comprises the mouth engaging portion spaced from the inner surface of the base of the container.
9. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in claim 1 wherein the pacifier/teether is provided with a face shield and a mouth engaging portion, and the container includes a centra! mount to support the pacifier/teether in a predetermined position with the mouth engaging portion depending downwardly from the face shield.
10. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in claim 9 wherein the central mount is in the form of a central hollow column to receive the mouth engaging portion and to support the underside of the face shield.
11. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in claim 10 wherein the central column is in the form of opposing column halves, spaced from each other to accommodate a range of sizes and types of the mouth engaging portion.
12. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the container includes a lid portion and a latch to latch the lid portion in at least two positions including a first position wherein the lid portion is ajar and a second position in which the lid portion is closed.
13. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the carry case includes one or more handles or gripping portions which are formed with hollow sections or cooling fins or ribs to enable the user to pick up the container after steam sterilisation.
14. The carry case and pacifier/teether combination as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the carry case includes a clip to removably secure the carry case to a belt or carry bag, the clip being in the form of a dependant tongue which is integrally moulded with the container wall and spaced from the remainder of the container wall.
15. A sterilizer for a pacifier/teether having a mouth engaging portion, wherein the sterilizer comprises a container which is sized to encapsulate the pacifier/teether and has: a base supporting the container in an upright configuration; and one or more support features to support the pacifier/teether within the container in a disposition relative to the container, with the mouth engaging portion extending downwards towards the base.
16. The sterilizer as claimed in claim 15 wherein the support feature(s) support the pacifier/teether with the mouth engaging portion in spaced disposition from the inner surface of the base.
17. The sterilizer as claimed in claim 15 or 16 wherein the container has an upper opening and the support feature(s) include one or more ledges at or around the periphery of the upper opening.
18. The sterilizer as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 17 wherein the support feature(s) are operable to removably secure the pacifier/teether within the container.
19. The sterilizer as claimed in claim 18 wherein the support feature(s) are operable to enable snap-fitting of the pacifier/teether within the container.
20. The sterilizer as claimed in claim 15 or 16 wherein the support feature(s) include a central mount within the container.
21. The sterilizer as claimed in claim 20 wherein the pacifier/teether includes a face shield and the central mount is in the form of a central hollow column to receive the mouth engaging portion of the pacifier/teether and to support the underside of the face shield.
22. The sterilizer as claimed in claim 21 wherein the central column is in the form of opposing column halves, spaced from each other to accommodate a range of sizes and types of the mouth engaging portion.
23. The sterilizer as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 22 wherein the container includes a lid portion and a latch to latch the lid portion in at least two positions including a first position wherein the lid portion is ajar and a second position in which the lid portion is closed.
24. The sterilizer as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 23 wherein the container includes one or more handles or gripping portions which are formed with hollow sections or cooling fins/ribs to enable the user to pick up the container after steam sterilisation.
25. The sterilizer as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 24 wherein the container includes a clip to removably secure the container to a belt or carry bag, the clip being in the form of a dependant tongue which is integrally moulded with the container wall and spaced from the remainder of the container wall.
26. A method of sterilising a pacifier/teether having a mouth engaging portion, the method comprising:
inserting the pacifier/teether into a container which is sized to encapsulate the pacifier/teether and adapted to support the pacifier/teether in a position within the container with the mouth engaging portion extending downwardly;
pouring a quantity of water into the container; and
heating the water in a microwave oven for a sufficient time to effect sterilisation.
27. The method as claimed in claim 26 wherein the quantity of water is such that the mouth engaging portion is suspended above the water so that the sterilisation is effected by the action of steam alone.
28. The method as claimed in claim 26 or 27 wherein the container includes a marking to indicate the optimum quantity of water for steam sterilisation and the step of pouring comprises filling to the marking.
29. The method as claimed in any one of claim 26 to 28 wherein the step of inserting comprises snap-fitting the pacifier/teether into the container.
30. The method as claimed in any one of claims 26 to 29 wherein the container includes a lid portion and a latch to latch the lid portion in at least two positions including a first position wherein the lid portion is ajar and a second position in which the lid portion is closed, the method further comprising latching the lid portion in the first position for the step of heating; and latching the lid portion in the second position after the step of heating.
31. The method as claimed in claim 30 further including a cooling step before latching the lid portion in the second position.
32. A pacifier/teether and container combination, wherein the container has a lid which is movable between open and closed positions, the pacifier being encapsulated within the container with the lid in the closed position, the container incorporating a latch to removably latch the lid in an ajar position for microwavable steam sterilisation and in the closed position for storage or transportation.
33. A container for steam sterilisation including:
a container portion; and
a gripping portion comprising two side grip portions which are interconnected by a linking portion, the two side grip portions and the linking portion being integrally formed of insulative material.
34. The container as claimed in claim 33 wherein the side grips are thicker than the linking portion.
35. The container as claimed in claim 33 or 34 wherein the gripping portion is over- moulded onto the container portion. 21
36. A carry case for a pacifier/teether which is sized to encapsulate the pacifier/teether, wherein the carry case dually functions as a steriliser unit for the pacifier/teether, and wherein the carry case is in the form of a container which is provided with heat dissipating means to dissipate heat.
37. The carry case as claimed in claim 36 wherein the heat dissipating means is in the form of ribs or fins.
38. The carry case as claimed in claim 36 or 37 wherein the heat dissipating means are disposed on opposite sides of the container body and thus serve as gripping portions.
PCT/AU2007/001751 2006-11-20 2007-11-14 Container for a pacifier or teether WO2008061291A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2006906472 2006-11-20
AU2006906472 2006-11-20
AU2007904846 2007-09-06
AU2007904846 2007-09-06

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Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE102008039173A1 (en) * 2008-08-18 2010-02-25 Kleinsorge, Alexander Device i.e. cleaning container, for cleaning mouth part of baby pacifier and/or soother, has chamber for performing cleaning process, where chamber surrounds mouth part, sign and optional grasp with small edge area of less than ten mm
WO2012142582A2 (en) * 2011-04-15 2012-10-18 Playtex Products, Llc. Pacifier and a sterilizing case therefor
WO2014123953A1 (en) * 2013-02-05 2014-08-14 Precision Ventures, Llc Portable sterilizer
EP3155925A1 (en) * 2015-10-15 2017-04-19 Jini Baby International Co., Ltd. Pacifier holder box
EP3173061A1 (en) * 2015-11-26 2017-05-31 Jini Baby International Co., Ltd. Pacifier holder box

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US3505007A (en) * 1967-04-13 1970-04-07 Marcia Ross Green Nipple sterilizer
US5213776A (en) * 1989-09-12 1993-05-25 Gerber Products Company Sterilizer for infant accessories
US5292336A (en) * 1993-03-25 1994-03-08 Lisco, Inc. Pacifier with handle
US6708363B2 (en) * 2002-05-23 2004-03-23 L. Chris Larsen Infant pacifier cleaning container
US20040178085A1 (en) * 2003-01-20 2004-09-16 Peter Rohrig Container for storing a pacifier comprising a teat and a pacifier shield
USD499489S1 (en) * 2002-10-23 2004-12-07 Mam Babyartikel Gesellschaft M.B.H. Container for pacifier

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US1951099A (en) * 1931-11-11 1934-03-13 Louis B Meyerson Sterilizer
US3505007A (en) * 1967-04-13 1970-04-07 Marcia Ross Green Nipple sterilizer
US5213776A (en) * 1989-09-12 1993-05-25 Gerber Products Company Sterilizer for infant accessories
US5292336A (en) * 1993-03-25 1994-03-08 Lisco, Inc. Pacifier with handle
US6708363B2 (en) * 2002-05-23 2004-03-23 L. Chris Larsen Infant pacifier cleaning container
USD499489S1 (en) * 2002-10-23 2004-12-07 Mam Babyartikel Gesellschaft M.B.H. Container for pacifier
US20040178085A1 (en) * 2003-01-20 2004-09-16 Peter Rohrig Container for storing a pacifier comprising a teat and a pacifier shield

Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE102008039173A1 (en) * 2008-08-18 2010-02-25 Kleinsorge, Alexander Device i.e. cleaning container, for cleaning mouth part of baby pacifier and/or soother, has chamber for performing cleaning process, where chamber surrounds mouth part, sign and optional grasp with small edge area of less than ten mm
WO2012142582A2 (en) * 2011-04-15 2012-10-18 Playtex Products, Llc. Pacifier and a sterilizing case therefor
WO2012142582A3 (en) * 2011-04-15 2012-12-06 Playtex Products, Llc. Pacifier and a sterilizing case therefor
WO2014123953A1 (en) * 2013-02-05 2014-08-14 Precision Ventures, Llc Portable sterilizer
EP3155925A1 (en) * 2015-10-15 2017-04-19 Jini Baby International Co., Ltd. Pacifier holder box
EP3173061A1 (en) * 2015-11-26 2017-05-31 Jini Baby International Co., Ltd. Pacifier holder box

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