FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This application claims priority from provisional patent application Serial No. 60/173,455, filed Dec. 29, 1999.
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates generally to bed coverings for infants and in particular to a system for anchoring infant crib sheets to a crib mattress.
Devices adapted for securing a sheet to a mattress are well known in the art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,199,830 discloses a holding appliance for use on a blanket, mattress pad, or coverlet of a bed. The device includes a band for fixing the blanket or coverlet to a bed in such a manner that the blanket or coverlet can be freely movable relative to the bed, without disturbing a person's sleep.
In U.S. Pat. No. 4,829,617, a bedding attachment device is disclosed that includes a strip of hook fastening material which is attachable to a bed frame and a strip of loop fastening material which is selectively attachable to the bedding. Garter-like fastening straps are fixedly secured to the loop strip, and these straps are attached to the bedding at selected positions. The bedding may then be stretched over the mattress until the hook and loop fastening strips are engaged.
In U.S. Pat. No. 5,148,560, a device for keeping fitted sheets in place on a mattress is provided. The device includes a central sheet with substantially the same shape as the mattress but with smaller dimensions. Elastic members are attached to the periphery of the central sheet pulling inwardly on a fitted sheet. The elastic members are permanently affixed to the central sheet on one end and removably grab the edges of the fitted sheet keeping it in place.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Properly securing an infant crib sheet to the crib mattress can often be difficult. Even a very young infant is capable of pulling the corners of a crib sheet loose, even if the sheet is “fitted”. Once free from the mattress, the loose sheet poses a very real threat to the infant inasmuch as the infant may become entrapped in a portion of the sheet and be suffocated. What is needed is a simple, yet highly effective system for securing the corners and sides of an infant crib sheet to standard full size crib mattress.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention provides a crib sheet anchor comprising an octagonal harness pad having at least four corner edges, with at least two of the four corner edges being parallel to one another and arranged at about thirty-five degrees to at least two parallel side edges. In this way, outwardly directed forces applied to the octagonal harness pad are evenly distributed so as to prevent bunching or wrinkling of the crib sheet. Six elastic strips each having two ends with one of the ends fastened to one each of the side edges and the corner edges of the harness pad. Four of the six elastic straps are relatively longer than two of the elastic straps. Six clasps are fastened one each to the free ends of the six elastic straps. The clasps include a crib sheet engagement portion that can be locked in place on a crib sheet and which increases its grip as tension is applied to the crib sheet and the clasp.
These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be more fully disclosed in, or rendered obvious by, the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention, which is to be considered together with the accompanying drawings wherein like numbers refer to like parts and further wherein:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a crib sheet anchor formed in accordance with the invention assembled to a standard infant crib sheet that has been placed on a standard crib mattress;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of a crib sheet anchor shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one of the garter clasps shown in FIGS. 1 and 2; and
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
FIG. 4 is an elevational view of a portion of the garter clasps shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3.
This description of preferred embodiments is intended to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are to be considered part of the entire written description of this invention. In the description, relative terms such as “horizontal,” “vertical,” “up,” “down,” “top” and “bottom” as well as derivatives thereof (e.g., “horizontally,” “downwardly,” “upwardly,” etc.) should be construed to refer to the orientation as then described or as shown in the drawing figure under discussion. These relative terms are for convenience of description and normally are not intended to require a particular orientation. Terms including “inwardly” versus “outwardly,” “longitudinal” versus “lateral” and the like are to be interpreted relative to one another or relative to an axis of elongation, or an axis or center of rotation, as appropriate. Terms concerning attachments, coupling and the like, such as “connected” and “interconnected,” refer to a relationship wherein structures are secured or attached to one another either directly or indirectly through intervening structures, as well as both movable or rigid attachments or relationships, unless expressly described otherwise. The term “operatively connected” is such an attachment, coupling or connection that allows the pertinent structures to operate as intended by virtue of that relationship.
Referring to FIG. 1, a crib sheet anchor 5 formed in accordance with the present invention is adapted for maintaining crib sheet 6 securely to a crib mattress 7, and comprises a harness pad 10, elastic straps 15 and garter clasps 20. More particularly, harness pad 10 is octagonally shaped including two pair of corner edges 22 a, 22 b and 23 a, 23 b, side edges 26, and top and bottom edges 28. Each pair of corner edges 22 a, 22 b and 23 a, 23 b are arranged in parallel relation to one another such that corner edges 22 a, 22 b are parallel and corner edges 23 a, 23 b are parallel. Side edges 26 are parallel to one another as are top and bottom edges 28, with all four being arranged so as to be at about a thirty-five degree angle to corner edges 22 a, 22 b and 23 a, 23 b.
Harness pad 10 is preferably eight and a half inches wide and ten and a half inches long, and formed from ten ounce duck/canvas cloth which is preferred for its strength and resistance to stretching or tearing. The peripheral edge 27 of harness pad 10 is folded over upon itself so as to provide about a one inch wide double layer margin 29. Margin 29 is double stitched together with upholstery weight thread or nylon for maximum strength, improved maintenance of overall shape, resistance to dry rot, mold and mildew. The octagonal shape of harness pad 10 is particularly efficient for evenly distributing tensile stresses that result from the application of outwardly directed forces applied to margin 29 by elastic straps 15 when crib sheet anchor 5 is applied to a crib sheet as shown in FIG. 1.
There are six elastic straps 15 that are each about one inch wide, with four being about thirteen inches long and two being about four inches long. One each of the four thirteen inch long elastic strips has an end sewn to margin 29 at the center of each of corner edges 22 a, 22 b and 23 a, 23 b. One each of the four inch long elastic strips is sewn to the center of a side edge 26. A one inch braided elastic is preferred for its non-roll quality and long life. Each elastic strip 15 is attached to margin 29 with a double stitch 31 of upholstery weight thread or nylon for strength, resistance to dry rot, mold and mildew.
Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, a garter clasp 20 is attached to one end of each of elastic straps 15. Garter clasps 20 include a tab 30 and a spring clip 33 which are joined to one another at one end. Tab 30 is often positioned at the end of a flexible member 36, such as a strip of canvas, plastic, or the like. Spring clip 33 is formed from a resilient material such as metal or a stiff polymer, that is formed so as to provide a tab receptacle portion 40 and a tab clamp portion 42. Spring clip 33 is often formed so as to resemble a so called “key-hole” shape, having a single aperture with a large opening 43 defined by tab receptacle portion 40 and a smaller opening 45 defined by tab clamp portion 42 into which tab 30 may be locked and held by friction/with and compression tab clamp 42. Tab receptacle portion 40 is sized so as to accept tab 30 along with a portion of a crib sheet 6 within large opening 43. Tab clamp portion 42 is narrower than tab receptacle portion 40. In this way, once tab 30 and a portion of crib sheet 6 are positioned within tab receptacle portion 40 they may be slid into the smaller opening 45 of tab clamp 42 where they are securely held. Advantageously, as crib sheet 6 is pulled against the clamping action of garter clasp 20, tab clamp 42 operates to increase its locking hold or grip upon the portion of crib sheet 6 that is positioned within it by tab 30.
Crib sheet anchor 5 is attached to a crib sheet 6 in the following manner. Crib sheet 6 is secured to mattress 7 in the conventional way. Mattress 7 with crib sheet 6 attached is then turned over to reveal its underside, and the peripheral edges of crib sheet 6. Crib sheet anchor 5 is placed in the center of mattress 7, and each garter clasp 20 is fastened to a confronting peripheral edge portion of crib sheet 6, so that corner edges 22 a, 22 b and 23 a, 23 b and side edges 26 are attached, via elastic strips 15 and garter clasps 20, to the overlapping edges of crib sheet 6. The length of elastic strips 15 and the octagonal shape of harness pad 10 are selected so as to allow tension to be applied evenly to the peripheral edges of crib sheet 6 without pulling the corners of mattress 7 in from the crib or causing wrinkles in the top side of crib sheet 6. Thus crib sheet anchor 5 is designed to hold an infant fitted or flat crib sheet snug to a standard full size crib mattress without wrinkles and so as to be resistant to the forces generated by the motions of an infant that cause fitted or flat crib sheets to otherwise ride up and come free from the mattress possibly causing an entrapment and suffocation threat to the child.
Advantages of the Invention
Numerous advantages are obtained by employing the present invention.
More specifically, a crib sheet anchor is provided which avoids many problems associated with prior art devices.
In addition, a crib sheet anchor is provided which distributes tensile forces across a central harness pad so as to better prevent wrinkling of a crib sheet.
Furthermore, a crib sheet anchor is provided which will secure an infant fitted or flat crib sheet to a crib mattress so as to be resistant to the normal movements and motions of an infant in a standard, full size crib.
Also, a crib sheet anchor is provided which is safe to use and will not cause, itself, cause injury to infants sleeping in a crib.
In addition, a crib sheet anchor is provided which is simple to operate and easy to use.
Furthermore, a crib sheet anchor is provided which may be easily and efficiently manufactured and marketed.
It is to be understood that the present invention is by no means limited only to the particular constructions herein disclosed and shown in the drawings, but also comprises any modifications or equivalents within the scope of the claims.