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Publication numberUS20050101202 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/942,190
Publication dateMay 12, 2005
Filing dateSep 16, 2004
Priority dateSep 22, 2003
Publication number10942190, 942190, US 2005/0101202 A1, US 2005/101202 A1, US 20050101202 A1, US 20050101202A1, US 2005101202 A1, US 2005101202A1, US-A1-20050101202, US-A1-2005101202, US2005/0101202A1, US2005/101202A1, US20050101202 A1, US20050101202A1, US2005101202 A1, US2005101202A1
InventorsDouglas Snell
Original AssigneeSnell Douglas B.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Personal floatation device for infant
US 20050101202 A1
Abstract
A personal floatation device to be used with an infant safety seat to provide a proper fitting, self-righting device to comply with USCG safety requirements. The device includes a floatation ring adaptable to encircle and securely attach to the infant safety seat by means of one or more capture straps and one or more retention straps. The floatation ring provides sufficient floatation to maintain the occupant airway above the water surface when floating in the water. The device further includes a righting means, which provides buoyancy-righting capability should the seat become inverted in the water. The righting strap helps secure the floatation ring to the infant safety seat.
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Claims(25)
1. A device for providing floatation to an infant safety seat comprising:
a floatation ring comprising a buoyant material, the floatation ring being sized to generally confront the perimeter of the infant safety seat, the floatation ring having a first end, a second end and a body disposed therebetween;
means for drawing the ends together for secure engagement around the perimeter of the infant safety seat; and
means for releasably securing the infant safety seat inside the perimeter of the floatation ring, and
means for righting the infant safety seat should the seat be positioned in water in a manner other than an upright position,
wherein the device possesses sufficient buoyancy such that when a twenty-pound infant is secured in the safety seat, the device causes the seat and infant to float high enough in water to maintain the infant's airway above the surface of the water.
2. The device of claim 1, wherein the floatation ring comprises a bendable material which can be adjusted to contiguously sandwich the perimeter of the infant safety seat.
3. The device of claim 1, wherein the means for releasably securing the infant safety seat comprises a series of flexible straps running from the body, under the seat and up to the body on the opposite side of the seat.
4. The device of claim 1, wherein the means for drawing the ends together comprises one or more straps which, when tightened, conform the floatation ring against the perimeter of the infant safety seat.
5. The device of claim 1, wherein the means for releasably securing can conform to a plurality of the infant safety seats.
6. The device of claim 1, further comprising a righting member which comprises a buoyant material and which arches over the seating area of the infant safety seat, wherein the righting member provides sufficient buoyancy to raise and roll said seat into an upright orientation when said infant safety seat enters water in an upside down orientation.
7. The device of claim 6, wherein the righting member comprises a bendable material and is movable to permit an infant to be placed into or removed from the seat without substantial interference from the righting member.
8. The device of claim 6, wherein the arch of the righting member is maintained in all orientations of the infant safety seat.
9. The device of claim 6, wherein the righting member has a first end, a second end, and a body disposed therebetween.
10. The device of claim 6, wherein the ends of the righting member are movably connected to the floatation ring.
11. A combination infant safety seat and personal floatation device for an infant comprising:
a seating member sized and shaped to correspond to an infant in a seated or reclining position, for comfortably holding an infant therein;
means for securing an infant in the seating member;
floatation ring secured to the seating member, the floatation device possessing sufficient buoyancy such that when a twenty-pound infant is secured in the seating member, the seat and infant float high enough in water to maintain the infant's airway above the surface of the water; and
righting member secured to the floatation ring or to the seating member, the righting member configured and possessing sufficient buoyancy to raise and roll said seating member into an upright orientation when the combination infant safety seat and personal floatation device enters water in an upside down orientation.
12. The device of claim 11, wherein the floatation ring is removably securable to the seating member.
13. The device of claim 11, wherein the righting is removably securable to the seating member.
14. The device of claim 11, wherein the floatation ring, the righting member, or both are reusable.
15. The device of claim 11, wherein the floatation ring and the righting member means are constructed from a single piece of buoyant material.
16. The device of claim 11, wherein the floatation ring and the righting member are constructed from multiple pieces of buoyant material and joined together and made movable relative to each other.
17. A method for providing buoyancy to an infant secured in an infant safety seat comprising:
securing an infant, who weighs up to twenty-two pounds, into a safety seat using one or more straps;
securing the safety seat within a floatation member which comprises a buoyant material possessing sufficient buoyancy such that the seat and infant float high enough in water to maintain the infant's airway above the surface of the water, the floatation member further comprising an integral or attached righting member configured and possessing sufficient buoyancy to raise and roll said seating member into an upright orientation when the safety seat enters water in an upside down orientation.
18. The method of claim 17, further comprising securing the righting member to a handle which comprises part of the safety seat.
19. A device for providing floatation for an infant in a safety seat comprising:
a righting means spanning over the infant safety seat;
a floatation member, comprising a buoyancy material, which encircles the infant safety seat;
a first anchor means for selectively securing together the safety seat and the floatation member; and
a second anchor means for selectively securing together the safety seat and the righting means.
20. The device of claim 19, wherein the floatation member is in the form of a ring.
21. The device of claim 19, wherein the righting means comprises an arch-shaped body.
22. The device of claim 19, wherein the first anchor means comprises one or more adjustable straps.
23. The device of claim 19, wherein the second anchor means comprises one or more adjustable straps.
24. The device of claim 19, further comprising an integral infant safety seat.
25. The device of claim 19, further comprising a selectively removable and attachable infant safety seat.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of PPA application No. 60/504,884, filed on Sept. 22, 2003 by the present inventor.
  • FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
  • [0002]
    Not Applicable
  • SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM
  • [0003]
    Not Applicable
  • BACKGROUND—FIELD OF INVENTION
  • [0004]
    This invention relates to a personal floatation device (PFD), specifically to a PFD that is for use with an infant, less than one year of age or less than twenty-two pounds in weight, coupled with an automobile safety seat.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0005]
    The United States Coast Guard (USCG) maintains the minimum safety standards for recreational boats and associated safety equipment. These standards must be adhered to, and define PFD requirements and performances, for each type of boat and persons aboard.
  • [0006]
    Each PFD has three requirements. They must be (1) United States Coast Guard approved, (2) in good and serviceable condition, and (3) the appropriate size for the intended user. For children and infants, there currently is only one category of PFD: It is a device with Type II capabilities that has seven (7) pounds of inherent buoyancy.
  • [0007]
    The Type II device is also referred to as a “near shore PFD, intended to turn some unconscious persons from a face down position in the water to a position where the wearer's respiration is not impeded.” These PFDs are good for calm inland water or where there is a good chance of fast rescue. The standard configuration of these Type II devices is a buoyant front panel, split in the center to enable the wearer to put it on, and then re-closed with a fastening system such as a series of buckles or a zipper. The back panel encircles the wearer such that the front panel remains situated in front of the wearer. There is a buoyant head rest portion, which attaches to the top of the back panel and hangs down when the wearer is upright, and provides head support when the wearer is floating in water. There is also a strap system to secure the wearer into the PFD and to keep the PFD from riding up when submersed. It includes a strap that encircles two front and back panels, as well as a strap that passes from front to back between the wearer's legs.
  • [0008]
    There is a persistent problem with the conventional personal floatation devices relating to the comfort and fit of a Type II PFD when being worn by a person as small as an infant. These problems arise from the physical size of the infant and his resistance to wearing a device that restricts his movement, as it tends to ride up and apply pressure to their neck and head area. In additional, the typical Type II PFD is insulating to the individual, causing overheating and sweating.
  • [0009]
    The current manufacturers of infant PFDs attempt to counter this undesirable tendency for the device to ride up by having a strap attached to the bottom of the PFD pass between the infant's legs and attach back to the jacket. For this method to work, the strap must be tightened to such a degree that the PFD applies additional pressure to the wearer's crotch and shoulders.
  • [0010]
    Due to the need for manufacturers to be able to mass produce Type II PFDs in the infant size, as well as pass the floatation requirements imposed by the USCG, there is a standard volume of floatation material that is incorporated into the product. It seems that this volume of material is varied slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer, in an attempt to provide an acceptable product to all physical proportions of the wearer. What results is a product which poorly fits the wearer for a good portion of the product life, as the circumference and/or torso length does not match the wearer and results in a poor, uncomfortable fit. It would therefore be desirable to provide a new and improved floatation device that overcome these drawbacks and limitations.
  • [0011]
    There remains a need in the art for PFDs that meets the life saving criteria of the USCG Type II PFD for infants, as well as increase the wearer's comfort. Ideally the PFD should not apply any undue pressures on the wearer, and should not insulate the wearer to an uncomfortable temperature. The device desirably would be adaptable to any proportion infant who is less than one year of age and not greater than twenty-two pounds in weight. The construction of this PFD desirably would be simple in construction, inexpensive to manufacture, and simple to don in a relatively short amount of time. Ultimately this device should maintain the infant's mouth and nose above the water in “near shore” conditions.
  • [0012]
    The most effective means to provide comfort and safety to an infant is to provide a appropriately sized seat to their body mass and shape, and have this seat provide the floatation necessary to meet USCG regulations. In the U.S. Pat. No. 6,059,360 (2000), U.S. Pat. No. 6,412,865 B1 (2002) and U.S. Pat. No. 6,702,380 B2 (2004) to Bedard propose an infant seat with floatation. Although this solution meets the effective means of comfort and safety, it has the drawbacks of being heavy, due to the addition of a counterweight, and expensive as the requirement of manufacturing both the seat and the floatation.
  • [0013]
    The U.S. Pat. No. 2002/0182950 A1 (2002) by Foss; U.S. Pat. No. 6,126,504 (2000) by Day; U.S. Pat. No. 5,409,411 (1995) by Schreiber and U.S. Pat. No. 4,799,910 (1989) by Kellough all provide appropriate floatation, but lack self righting capability.
  • BACKGROUND OF INVENTION—OBJECTS & ADVANTAGES
  • [0014]
    Accordingly, in addition to the objects and advantages of the Infant PFD described in the above patent, several objects and advantages of the are:
    • (a) to provide a PFD that properly fits the wearer's infant safety seat and does not make the wearer uncomfortable. The advantage being that the wearer does not resist the PFD use and is more enjoyable for all.
    • (b) to provide self-righting capability to turn the wearer, and their safety seat from a face down position in the water to where the wearer's respirations are not impeded. Which meets the testing criteria of the USCG for Type II floating devices, at a minimum.
    • (c) to provide a means of securing the PFD to the wearer's safety seat such that there is no restriction of movement that causes excessive or uncomfortable pressure. This does not change when the wearer is in the boat or floating in the water
    • (d) to secure the PFD to the wearer's safety seat such that there is no insulating effect by the floatation material on the wearer. This will prevent the PFD from overheating the wearer and avoid causing further resistance to its use.
    • (e) to provide a PFD that is simple to handle by a Guardian of the infant when the PFD is in use. The device will be acceptable to use by both the infant wearer and the caregiver.
  • [0020]
    An important object of the present invention is to provide a PFD with a simple donning procedure so that the device could be put on in a short period of time, as is required by emergent situations. Another object of the present invention is to utilize an infant safety seat which the user already owns, making it financially desirable, and familiar to both the caregiver and the infant. The caregiver is not required to lift heavy ballasting weight, or purchase an additional seat for use.
  • [0021]
    These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the descriptions and drawings, set forth below.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0022]
    A PFD with Type II capabilities is provided which can be secured to an infant safety seat and provides self-righting and floatation capability for both the safety seat and an infant strapped inside the seat.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0023]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the PFD alone, showing the various sub-components and how they are configured together.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the PFD shown in FIG. 1 and its mounting direction onto an associated infant safety seat.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the PFD shown in FIG. 1, mounted onto its associated infant safety seat.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 4 is a side view of the PFD shown in FIG. 1, mounted on its associated infant safety seat. This figure defines how the capture straps should be arranged.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 5 is a bottom of the PFD shown in FIG. 1, mounted on its associated infant safety seat. This figure defines how the capture straps should be arranged.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 6 is an end view of PFD shown in FIG. 1, mounted on its associated infant safety seat. This figure defines how the capture straps should be arranged.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 7 is a section view of one embodiment of the floatation member, illustrating the method in which the member is retained on the safety seat by the simplified construction method.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 8 is section view of an alternate embodiment of the floatation member, illustrating a different method in which the member is retained on the safety seat by the simplified construction method.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the PFD shown in FIG. 1, mounted onto its associated infant safety seat. This assembly has the additional embodiment of a bailer flap to help reduce water in the carrying compartment.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 10A to 10C show an alternative embodiment that utilizes hollow bladders, inflated on either side of the infant safety seat to provide floatation.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 11A to 11C show an alternative embodiment that utilizes a hollow sphere bladders as the righting floatation, inflated above the infant safety seat to provide righting floatation when submerged in water.
    DRAWINGS-REFERENCE NUMERALS
    20 floatation ring 22 righting strap
    24 righting strap loop 26 head retaining strap
    28 foot retaining strap 30 locking device
    32 top capture strap 34 bottom capture strap
    36 binding means 38 floatation component
    40 floatation covering 42 righting floatation
    44 righting covering 46 infant safety seat handle
    48 infant safety seat 60 bailing flap
    80 floatation member 86 inflatable sphere
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0034]
    A personal floatation device has been developed specifically for infants strapped into an infant safety seat, such as a car seat/carrier. Advantageously, the device properly fits the wearer and does not make the wearer uncomfortable. Thus, the wearer does not resist the PFD use and is more enjoyable for all. In addition, the device provides a self-righting capability to turn the wearer from a face down position in the water to where the wearer's respirations are not impeded—which meets the testing criteria of the USCG for Type II floating devices, at a minimum. Furthermore, the device provides a means of securing the PFD to the wearer such that there is no restriction of movement that causes excessive or uncomfortable pressure. This feature does not change when the wearer is in the boat or floating in the water. In addition, the device, when secured to the wearer produces no insulating effect by the floatation material on the wearer. This feature prevents the PFD from overheating the wearer and avoid causing further resistance to its use. Still a further advantage is that the PFD is simple to handle by a caretaker of the infant when the PFD is in use. Thus, the device is acceptable to use by both the infant wearer and the caregiver of the infant. Lastly, the device offers a simple donning procedure so that the device can be put on in a short period of time, as is required by emergent situations.
  • [0000]
    The Infant PFD—Preferred Embodiment
  • [0035]
    FIG. 1 shows an isometric view of a preferred embodiment of the personal floatation device, comprises of a floatation ring 20 which encircles an infant safety seat in order to provide adequate self-righting and flotation support. A floatation ring is constructed as shown in FIG. 5 of a floatation material 38 which may be comprised of a single piece of buoyant material, but not limited to, a closed cell foam pad sectioned to easily wrap around the infant safety seat and conform tightly to the general curves and bends associated with a seat. Alternatively a floatation material may be comprised of, but not limited to, a hollow bladder or bladder compartments inflated with air or another flotation material having a density less than water. The floatation material must have sufficient buoyancy to provide lift to ensure an infant up to twenty-two pounds and an infant safety seat float high enough in the water to maintain the infant's airway above the water level. The floatation material 38 is captured by a covering 40, which is an envelope of bendable material such as, but not limited to, nylon or other sturdy cloth-like material. The flotation ring also consists of an upper capture feature 32 and lower capture feature 34 which are secured to the covering envelope in a manner which ensure the flotation ring is securely wrapped around the infant safety seat rim and prevent from slipping up over, or down away from this ring. The upper capture feature 32, lower capture feature 34, and flotation material 38 are secured together by a binding means 36 (e.g., such as stitching and/or one or more cloth loops through which the straps pass), which ensures the items maintain their form around the infant safety seat. FIG. 7 is an end isometric view of the floatation ring 20 and capture straps 32, 34. The ends of the capture straps each have a locking device 30 that allows the capture device to be expanded and the floatation ring be loosely fitted around the infant safety seat. The effective length of the capture strap is shortened though use of the locking device to close the top and bottom of the floatation ring 20, securing it to the safety seat.
  • [0036]
    In a preferred embodiment, the floatation ring 20 is additional secured to the infant safety seat by means of a head retention strap 26 and foot retention strap 28. The retention strap secure to the flotation ring by means of, but not limited to, encircling the ring and passing back to the other side. The retention straps capture the infant safety seat by passing from the floatation ring on one side, underneath the infant safety seat and back up to the floatation ring on the other side. These straps prevent the seat from slipping through the ring, which would raise the water level over the infant airway. The construction of the retention strap, as shown in FIG. 8, may be a flexible material such as, but not limited to, nylon webbing. Retention strap 26 and/or 28 can include a locking an adjustable locking device 30, for adjusting the strap length for securing the strap against the safety seat. The material desirably does not add any significant weight to device when saturated in water, and is flexible enough to conform easily to any variety of infant safety seats. The straps shall have a means of securing to the floatation ring ends with each other, while conforming to the shape of the infant safety seat. The strap shall be adjustable such that it can be expanded to allow easy installation onto the seat then tightened to provide a secure fit to the floatation ring and seat.
  • [0037]
    In a preferred embodiment, the PFD includes a righting strap 22, as shown in FIG. 2, which secures onto the infant safety seat in a manner which bridges over the top of the seat. A righting strap 22 is constructed as shown in FIG. 6 of a righting floatation 42, which may be comprised of a single piece of buoyant material, but not limited to, a closed cell foam pad sectioned to easily wrap over the seating area and maintains a dome shape. The dome shape advantageously lifts the seat and occupant out of the water high enough to roll upright when inverted in the water. The dome shape also provides sufficient shape for the seat to roll into a right side up attitude forced by the occupant's (i.e., the infant's) center of gravity. Alternatively, a floatation material may be comprised of, but not limited to, a hollow bladder or bladder compartments inflated with carbon dioxide gas, air or another flotation material having a density less than water. One skilled in the art out gas inflating bladders for PFD floatation would understand the triggering mechanism required, as well as its position to inflate a the proper time. The floatation material must have sufficient buoyancy to provide sufficient lift to raise the seat and occupant up out of the water when inverted such that the center of gravity rolls the seat to an upright position. The righting strap 22 is constructed such that the floatation material is captured by an envelope of righting covering 44, a material such as, but not limited to, nylon or other sturdy cloth-like material. The righting strap 22 is secured to the floatation ring 20 by a pair of righting strap base loops 22 to prevent the ring from slipping down and away from the infant safety seat. This securing means is adjustable such that it may be opened up to allow easy installation onto the safety seat. The securing means may then be tightened to provide a secure fit to the seat. In addition, the righting strap 22 may or may not be secured to the handle of the infant safety seat by means of one or more righting strap handle loops 24. These loops may be formed of a flexible material such as, but not limited to, nylon webbing. This material desirably does not add any significant weight to the device when saturated in water, and is flexible enough to conform easily to any variety of infant safety seats. These loops should be adjustable to allow for easy installation onto the seat. The securing means may then be tightened to provide a secure fit to the seat.
  • [0000]
    The Infant PFD—Additional Embodiment
  • [0038]
    FIG. 9 shows an additional embodiment of a bailer flap valve to minimize the amount of water that is allowed in the infant seat. In this embodiment the bottom capture strap 34 would have a skirt of fitted material, which minimized the amount of water allowed up between the infant safety seat 48 and the floatation ring 20. The bailer flap would close off the opening between the two ends of the floatation ring. This flap would allow water to exit as the seat tipped forward, but close and exclude water from entering through the same path.
  • [0000]
    The Infant PFD—Alternative Embodiments
  • [0039]
    FIG. 10A to 10C show an alternative embodiment utilizing circular floatation members on either side of the infant safety seat. In this embodiment the hollow bladders shall be attached by means of the head-retaining strap 26 and the foot retaining strap 28, as well as righting straps 24 to the infant safety seat handle 46. These floatation member may be made of either a single piece of buoyant material, but not limited to, a closed cell foam pad; or a hollow bladder inflated with a gas cylinder filled with air or carbon dioxide gas, when the triggering mechanism is released. The center of gravity of the infant safety seat and infant is set below the center of buoyancy of the floatation. This difference allows for positive stability when upright, and provide a righting arm when inverted or on its side. One skilled in the art of right of self-righting vessels understands this relationship.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 11A to 11C shows another alternative embodiment utilizing a inherently unstable floatation form for righting floatation, and a main floatation ring 20 component which has positive stability when positioned upright in a body of water. The floatation ring 20 is comprised of either a fixed closed cell member, or a hollow bladder, which is activated upon introduction into a body of water. The inflatable sphere 86 is a hollow body floatation member, which would be deflated and housed in a covering as to not impede the space around the infant. Upon submersion, a gas cylinder would inflate the sphere, providing positive right moment required to maintain an upright position.
  • [0000]
    Operation of the Infant PFD
  • [0041]
    In preferred embodiments, the method of the infant PFD described herein is to provide floatation to an infant safety seat, and thus to an infant secured therein, by securing the infant PFD to the seat.
  • [0042]
    In one embodiment, the installer (e.g., the parent or other caretaker of the infant) would first loosen the upper and lower capture straps 32, 34, the head and foot retention straps 26, 28, and the righting loop strap 24. The installer would then place the device around the outer edge of the infant safety seat upper rim. The head and foot retention straps 26, 28 would be placed loosely on the underside of the seat. The righting strap would lie loosely across the top of the safety seat. The installer would then tighten the upper and lower capture straps such to enclose the upper rim of the safety seat with the floatation ring 20. These straps would be secured with sufficient tension to form the floatation ring 20 to the rim such that the floatation ring cannot be easily pulled free from safety seat, as shown in FIG. 7. Next, the righting strap 22 would be positioned over the carrying handle for the infant safety seat. The installer then would tighten the righting floatation 42 with sufficient tension to form the righting floatation to the shape of the handle of the safety seat, and such that there is no free space between the infant safety seat handle and the righting floatation 42. To secure the righting floatation to the handle of the safety seat, the installer would tighten the righting loop straps 46 around the cross-section of the safety seat handle. At this point, the righting floatation should not be able to be pulled free from the infant safety seat handles, as shown in FIG. 9. The installer then positions the retention straps 26, 28 to a point that when tightened against the underside of the safety seat, features on the seat will capture the straps. The installer then tightens the retention straps 26, 28 with sufficient tension that the floatation ring is pulled down against the rim of the infant safety seat, and the retention straps are securely captured by the features on the underside of the infant safety seat. There should be a minimum of space between the retention straps and the infant safety seat at this time.
  • [0043]
    Having completed the installation, an infant can then be placed into the seat and securely strapped in a manner consistent with safe use of the infant safety seat. During use of the infant PFD, the righting floatation 42 must remain bridging over the occupant such that if the seat becomes inverted, the righting floatation will be able to push the infant PFD, the safety seat and its occupant high enough out of the water to ensure everything rolls to the proper, occupant up attitude.
  • [0044]
    When the safety seat, infant PFD, and its occupant are placed in the water in a normal, occupant up attitude, the seat will float in such a manner that occupant's airway remains above the level of water which is in and around the seat and PFD. Should the safety seat, infant PFD, and its occupant enter the water in a sideways attitude, the righting strap and floatation ring shall hold the seat and its occupant high enough in the water such that the center of gravity of the seat and its occupant roll the seat into its correct, right side up attitude. Should the safety seat, infant PFD, and its occupant enter the water in an upside-down attitude, the righting strap and floatation ring shall lift the seat and its occupant high enough in the water such that the center of gravity of the seat and its occupant roll the seat into its correct, right side up attitude. Should the safety seat, infant PFD, and its occupant enter the water in an foot-first or head-first attitude, the righting strap and floatation ring shall lift the seat and its occupant high enough in the water such that the center of gravity of the seat and its occupant roll the seat into its correct, right side up attitude.
  • [0045]
    Accordingly, from the present description, one skilled in the art understands that the infant PFD device incorporates the use of a properly fitting safety seat to provide a securely fitting PFD for an infant out on the water. By having a proper fitting PFD, the infant's safety is increased and the security of and enjoyment of time on the water is enhanced for all participants.
  • [0046]
    The foregoing description should not be construed as limiting, but rather exemplary. For example, other means of securing the floatation ring to an infant safety seat can be used in place of an upper and lower capture strap. Likewise, the head and foot retention straps may be of a different configuration, or eliminated entirely to secure the floatation ring from slipping up over the safety seat rim The attachment of the retention straps and the righting strap to the floatation ring may be of a different configuration, or some other method of attachment. For example, attachment of the retention strap and righting floatation may be done to a secondary strap anchored to the floatation ring. Other variations which are envisioned include variation in floatation material, such as different material or pneumatic bladders; use of different color materials for floatation covering, or the elimination of the covering; use of different color, shaped or material straps, or the elimination of the straps for assembling the preferred embodiment; as well as accessories to the device such as reflective patches, lights, or noise making devices. In addition, the locking device can include conventional buckle-type strap locks and/or a conventional hook-and-loop (e.g., VELCRO™) fastener.
  • [0047]
    Modifications and variations of the methods and devices described herein will be obvious to those skilled in the art from the foregoing detailed description. Such modifications and variations are intended to come within the scope of the appended claims.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7399411 *Feb 22, 2006Jul 15, 2008International Business Machines CorporationRetainer assembly including buoyant retainer attached to remediation material and anchor
US7815400Jul 14, 2008Oct 19, 2010International Business Machines CorporationRetainer assembly for absorbent materials
US8057272Nov 15, 2011Right Side Up LLCInfant flotation device
US20060140723 *Feb 22, 2006Jun 29, 2006Deangelis Robert LFixed shape retainer for absorbent material for storm drains
US20060172635 *Jan 17, 2006Aug 3, 2006Ketko Leslie EChild carrier floatation enhancement
US20080045099 *Oct 19, 2007Feb 21, 2008Ketko Leslie EChild carrier floatation enhancement
US20080267711 *Jul 14, 2008Oct 30, 2008International Business Machines CorporationRetainer Assembly for Absorbent Materials
US20080279633 *Jul 14, 2008Nov 13, 2008International Business Machines CorporationRetainer Assembly for Absorbent Materials
Classifications
U.S. Classification441/87
International ClassificationB63B35/76
Cooperative ClassificationB63B35/76, A47C15/006
European ClassificationB63B35/76, A47C15/00P2