Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20060021138 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/918,893
Publication dateFeb 2, 2006
Filing dateAug 16, 2004
Priority dateJul 30, 2004
Also published asCA2514354A1
Publication number10918893, 918893, US 2006/0021138 A1, US 2006/021138 A1, US 20060021138 A1, US 20060021138A1, US 2006021138 A1, US 2006021138A1, US-A1-20060021138, US-A1-2006021138, US2006/0021138A1, US2006/021138A1, US20060021138 A1, US20060021138A1, US2006021138 A1, US2006021138A1
InventorsKenneth Waldman, Jerome Drobinski
Original AssigneeSimplicity, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Collapsible play yard
US 20060021138 A1
Abstract
The play yard has a hub movable between a raised position and a lowered position, with at least two lower rods pivotally joined to the hub, wherein when the hub is lifted toward the raised position, the outer ends of the lower rods move together so as to be substantially parallel, and when the hub is pushed toward the lowered position from the raised position, the outer ends of the lower rods are pushed away from each other until the rods lie substantially in a common plane. The play yard also has an upper frame with upper frame rods substantially parallel to the lower rods when the hub is in the lowered position. Finally, the play yard has at least one of the upper frame rods pivotable between a raised and lowered position, the pivoting axis being substantially perpendicular to an axis of the vertical rails.
Images(24)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(28)
1. A foldable enclosure, comprising:
a) a hub movable between a raised position and a lowered position, comprising:
i) a pair of structures, each rotatably mounted upon pivots extending through a common bracket wherein sector gears of each structure engage each other causing the structures to rotate in unison about their respective axes; and
ii) a means for locking mounted upon the common bracket that moves between a locked position that prevents rotation of said structures about their respective axes and a released position that allows rotation of said structures their respective axes;
iii) at least two rods each pivotally joined to an associated one of said structures;
b) an upper frame having an open position wherein the upper frame forms a rigid perimeter around a first area and a collapsed position wherein the upper frame forms a perimeter around a second area;
c) vertical rails joining the upper frame and the rods, said vertical rails having a telescoping rail that extends therefrom to increase the distance between the upper frame and the rods; and
d) a flexible enclosure joined to the upper frame and vertical rails;
e) wherein when the lock button is moved to an upper unlocked position, and the hub is lifted toward the raised position, the rods are moved together to be substantially parallel, and when the hub is pushed into the lowered position from the raised position, the toothed structures rotate about their axes and the rods are pushed away from each other until the rods are substantially in planar alignment;
f) wherein when the rods are in planar alignment, the locking button can be moved to its locked position which prevents accidental movement of the hub from the lowered position to the raised position; and
g) wherein when the hub is in the lowered position and the upper frame is in the open position, the flexible enclosure forms a flexible wall and floor that encloses and defines a volume with an open top.
2. The foldable enclosure of claim 1 wherein each telescoping rail engages the complementary vertical rail using a push-button that extends from the telescoping rail through a hole in the vertical rail.
3. The foldable enclosure of claim 1 wherein the vertical rail has multiple holes that can engage the push-button and thereby adjust the distance between the upper frame and the rods.
4. A foldable play yard comprising:
a) a hub movable between a raised position and a lowered position, comprising at least two lower rods pivotally joined to the hub, wherein when the hub is lifted toward the raised position, the outer ends of the lower rods move together so as to be substantially parallel, and when the hub is pushed toward the lowered position from the raised position, the outer ends of the lower rods are pushed away from each other until the rods lie substantially in a common plane;
b) an upper frame comprising a plurality of upper frame rods substantially parallel to the lower rods when the hub is in the lowered position; and
c) at least one of the upper frame rods being pivotable between a raised and lowered position, the pivoting axis being substantially perpendicular to an axis of the vertical rails.
5. The foldable play yard of claim 4 wherein the at least one pivotable rod has at least one locking piece attached to an end thereof that matingly engages a corner piece attached to an upper frame rod and a vertical rail, the mating engagement of the locking piece and the corner piece preventing the at least one pivotable rod from pivoting between from the raised to the lowered position.
6. The foldable play yard of claim 5 wherein the locking piece comprises a pin that extends therefrom, the pin movable between extended and retracted positions, the pin engaging a corresponding hole in the corner piece when in the extended position to provide the mating engagement.
7. The play yard of claim 6 wherein the pin is movable between the extended and retracted positions in cooperation with the sliding portion of the locking piece.
8. The play yard of claim 6 wherein, when the at least one pivotable rod is in the lowered position, the pin, in the extended position, is engageable to a second hole.
9. The play yard of claim 8, wherein the second hole is located on a portion of the corner piece that extends over the vertical rail.
10. The play yard of claim 4 wherein said vertical rails have within them a telescoping rail that extends therefrom to increase the distance between the upper frame and the rods.
11. The play yard of claim 4, further comprising a flexible enclosure having sidewalls and a bottom that define an area in which a child can play or sleep.
12. The play yard of claim 11 wherein the flexible enclosure further comprises sleeves that contain at least in part, the vertical rails, and wherein the sidewalls extend between the vertical rails.
13. The play yard of claim 12 wherein the sleeves partially contain the upper frame rods.
14. The play yard of claim 5 further comprising a flexible enclosure comprising:
sidewalls and a bottom that define an area in which a child can play or sleep, wherein a first sidewall has a first flap and a second sidewall has a second flap, the flaps forming a corner of the enclosure at the mating engagement between the locking piece and the corner piece; and
sleeves that contain at least in part, the vertical rails, and wherein the sidewalls extend between the vertical rails.
15. The play yard of claim 14 wherein the flaps extend above a top of at least one sleeve.
16. The play yard of claim 14 wherein the flaps matingly engage to form a seam therebetween.
17. The play yard of claim 14 wherein the flaps matingly engage using a VelcroŽ connection.
18. The play yard of claim 14 further comprising
a slot attached to a rail,
a first VelcroŽ tab attached to the first flap that passes through the slot and matingly engages a complementary VelcroŽ tab on the first flap.
19. The play yard of claim 18 wherein the first flap further comprises a second Velcro tab that matingly engages a complementary VelcroŽ tab on the second flap.
20. The play yard of claim 18 wherein the first flap further comprises a second VelcroŽ tab that passes through the slot and matingly engages a complementary VelcroŽ tab on the second flap.
21. The play yard of claim 14 further comprising a bassinet addition supported by the upper frame and comprises four sides and a bottom contained substantially within the enclosure, the bassinet bottom being substantially parallel with the enclosure bottom.
22. The play yard of claim 21 wherein the bassinet addition comprises snaps that engage corresponding snaps on the upper frame.
23. The play yard of claim 21 wherein the bassinet addition comprises clips that engage the upper frame.
24. The play yard of claim 21 wherein the bassinet addition engages the enclosure in a VelcroŽ connection outside the enclosure.
25. The play yard of claim 21 wherein the bassinet addition comprises exterior sides that extend outside the enclosure.
26. The play yard of claim 25 wherein at least one of the four sides is configured to be folded down.
27. The play yard of claim 26 wherein the at least one side engages two of the remaining sides in a VelcroŽ connection.
28. The play yard of claim 26 wherein clips on the at least one side engage the at least one pivotable arm in the lowered position.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a Continuation in Part Application of a patent application for a Collapsible Play Yard, filed Jul. 30, 2004 (Ser. No. ______ not yet assigned).

FIELD OF INVENTION

The field of the invention generally is collapsible play yards or playpens and more particularly to releasable locking mechanisms for such collapsible devices.

BACKGROUND

A collapsible play yard provides a portable but stable structure in which a small child can play and sleep. The essential features for such a structure is that it be (1) lightweight enough to carry by one person, (2) easy to set up, and (3) stable enough to safely support the child. An example of a portable play yard is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,811,437 to Dillner et al.

The Dillner play yard uses a center hub about which the uprights of the play yard are pivoted. The hub employed in the Dillner play yard is a complex device and the need exists for a simpler center hub design.

Similarly, Dillner provides a play yard having upper rails comprised of several moving parts and a need exists for a simpler upper rail design.

SUMMARY

The foldable play yard overcomes the drawbacks of the prior art. The play yard has a hub movable between a raised position and a lowered position, with at least two lower rods pivotally joined to the hub, wherein when the hub is lifted toward the raised position, the outer ends of the lower rods move together so as to be substantially parallel, and when the hub is pushed toward the lowered position from the raised position, the outer ends of the lower rods are pushed away from each other until the rods lie substantially in a common plane. The play yard also has an upper frame with upper frame rods substantially parallel to the lower rods when the hub is in the lowered position. Finally, the play yard has at least one of the upper frame rods pivotable between a raised and lowered position, the pivoting axis being substantially perpendicular to an axis of the vertical rails.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING(S)

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the erected play yard.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the collapsed play yard.

FIGS. 3, 3 a, and 3 b are isometric views that illustrate the sequence of moving the frame between the erected and the collapsed position in FIG. 3 b.

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the frame of FIG. 3.

FIGS. 4A, 4B, and 4C illustrate an alternate embodiment of the frame.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view showing the center hub of FIG. 3 in greater detail.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the center hub of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a cross section of the center hub looking in the direction of arrows 7-7 of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a cross section of the center hub of FIG. 6 looking in the direction of arrows 8-8 of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged cross section of the center hub looking in the direction of arrows 9-9 of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is an isometric fragmentary view illustrating the center hub in a collapsed condition.

FIG. 11 is a cross section of the center hub looking in the direction of arrows 11-11 of FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is a cross section of the center hub looking in the direction of arrows 12-12 of FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is an exploded view of the center hub, and FIG. 13 a is an isolated view of the centerpiece of the hub of FIG. 13.

FIG. 14 illustrates a locking mechanism for locking the rails of the play yard of the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a cross section in the direction of arrows 15-15 of FIG. 14.

FIG. 16 is a cross section in the direction of arrows 16-16 of FIG. 15.

FIG. 17 illustrates the release button of the locking mechanism of FIG. 14.

FIG. 18 is a cross section in the direction of the arrows 18-18 of FIG. 17.

FIG. 19 is a cross section in the direction of arrows 19-19 of FIG. 18.

FIG. 20 is an exploded view of the locking mechanism of FIG. 17 and FIG. 20 a is a fragmentary view of the interior of the bracket in FIG. 20.

FIG. 21 is an exploded view of an upper corner assembly for the play yard of the present invention.

FIG. 22 is a cross section in the direction of arrows 22-22 of FIG. 21.

FIG. 23 illustrates a lower corner assembly for the play yard of the present invention.

FIG. 24 is a cross section in the direction of arrows of 24-24 of FIG. 23.

FIG. 25 shows an isometric view of an alternate embodiment of the frame.

FIGS. 26-28 show enlarged details of several features of the frame shown in FIG. 25.

FIGS. 29-31 show isometric views of the enclosure mounted on the frame shown in FIGS. 25-28.

FIG. 32 is an isometric view of a bassinet addition.

FIG. 32A is an enlarged view of a portion of the bassinet addition.

FIGS. 32B, 33, and 34 are isometric views of the bassinet addition mounted to the enclosure.

FIGS. 35A and 35B are front and side views of a clip.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

FIG. 1 shows a fully assembled and erected play yard 10, which has a flexible enclosure 14 that covers a foldable frame 20 formed of rigid components (shown in FIGS. 2 and 3). The enclosure 14 is mounted upon the frame 20 by means of extending upper horizontal rails 22 through hollow horizontal sleeves 16 and also extending vertical rails 24 through vertical sleeves 17. A removable mattress floor 18, placed upon a floor of the enclosure 14 provides a soft surface for child to sleep or play on.

FIG. 2 shows the play yard 10′ folded onto itself and enclosed within the folded mattress 18′. Edge 18 a′ has strips which may be VelcroŽ strips that cooperate with complementary VelcroŽ pieces on end 18 b′. FIGS. 3, 3 a, and 3 b show the steps in folding the frame 20. For purposes of simplicity, FIGS. 3, 3 a, and 3 b omit the flexible enclosure 12 and mattress floor 18.

Starting from the fully erected frame shown in FIG. 3, the frame 20 is collapsed onto itself as shown in FIG. 3 b by releasing locking mechanisms 200 and unlocking and raising the center hub 50. The releasable locking mechanisms 200 are each joined to a cooperating pair of upper frame rods 28, 28. The upper frame rods 28 are each hingedly joined at an inner end to an associated locking mechanism 200 and at an outer end to an arm of an associated upper corner piece 30.

Once the releasable center hub 50 and locking mechanisms 200 are unlocked, raising the center hub 50 draws the four base frame rods 32 upward. The base frame rods are each pivotally mounted at one end to an associated structure 52, 52 forming part of the center hub 50, and at the other end to an associated one of the lower corner pieces 34. As the base frame rods 32 are drawn upward (FIG. 3 a), the vertical rails 24 draw inward towards the rising hub 50, and the releasable locking mechanisms 200 move downward.

FIG. 3 b shows the hub 50 raised to its lifted position in which the frame 20′ is folded onto itself and is thus fully collapsed for ease of storage/transport. In this position, the vertical rails 24, upper frame rods 28, and base frame rods 32 are substantially parallel to one another.

FIG. 3 also shows optional lower support rods 36 that are pivotally mounted to brackets 37 which, in turn, are joined to the base frame rods 32 and have their inner ends pivotally mounted to supplemental feet 38. Feet 38 are optionally mounted to an associated pair of lower support rods 36 and have base portions 38 a that provide additional support for the floor of the play yard. The base portions 38 a of feet 38, the bottom of bracket 56 and the bottoms of lower corner pieces 34 are arranged to engage a planar floor or other supporting surface to stably support the playard.

FIGS. 5-13 show a more detailed view of the center hub 50; of those, FIG. 13 shows the component parts of the hub 50 most clearly. The hub 50 comprises a pair of sector gear structures 52, a central piece 54, bracket 56 for supporting piece 54 and structures 52, and a movably mounted locking button assembly 58. Pivot pins 66 secure the structures 52 to the bracket 56 and central piece 54. Each structure 52 rotates about its associated pivot pin; as the structures rotate, teeth 62 on each of the sector gear structures 52 meshingly engage one another, to provide a smooth and yet positive rotation of the structures 52 that raise and lower the hub 50, assuring that the rods simultaneously swing through like angles when raised/lowered.

Structures 52 each have an integral hollow support arm 64 for receiving overlapping ends of an associated pair of base frame rods 32. The ends of rods 32 each have a cutout 32 a so that they closely overlap one another and can pivot independent of to one another when held to an associated hollow arm 64 by pivot pin 60. When the center hub 50 is pulled upward in the direction of arrows, the vertical rails 24 are drawn inward due to movement of the ends of base frame rods 32, mounted to lower brackets 34, which move towards each other.

Each structure 52 is comprised of a pair of spaced apart gear sectors 53 a, 53 b. Sector gears 53 a, 53 a of the structures 52 are diagonally opposed to one another and gear sectors 53 b, 53 b are likewise diagonally opposed to one another. Gear sectors 53 a, 53 a each have a shoulder 79 and the gear sectors 53 b each have a shoulder 78-78. The shoulders 78-78 are each closer to a vertical axis which coincides with arrow A in FIG. 13 such that the shoulders 78, 78 are each closer to said central axis. Diagonally aligned sector gears 53 a, 53 a mesh with an associated diagonally aligned sector gear 53 b, 53 b.

The locking member 58 is held against axial movement within the central piece 54 by bolt 68 and nut 70 while being capable of rotating about the vertical axis. A tab 72 is integrally joined to locking member 58. Distance D1 between ends 72 a-72 b is greater than the distance D2 between ends 72 c-72 d. Tab 72 is positioned beneath side guides 74, 74. The opposite ends 72 c, 72 d of tab 72 are engaged by shoulders 78-78 when the hub 50 is lowered to the erected position to prevent hub 50 from being accidentally unlocked and to thereby secure the locking button 58 in a locked position (shown in FIGS. 5-9). A torsion spring 76 biases the locking member 58 to rotate in the counter-clockwise direction shown by arrow B to move the tab 72 to the locked position when the hub is in the erected position. Note that the shoulders 79-79 provide sufficient clearance to permit the tab to move to the locked position.

With the hub 50 in the lowered position, the spring-biased tab 72 rotates counter-clockwise until ends 72 a, 72 b each engage an associated shoulder 78, 78. Once opposing surfaces 72 c, 72 d of tab 72 each engage an associated shoulder 78, the gear structures 52 cannot rotate in either direction about pins 66 because tab 72 is prevented from rotating by shoulders 78, 78, retaining the tab in a locked position. This is best seen in FIG. 6. The locking surfaces 78 a, 78 a, 79 a, 79 a of the gears 53 a, 53 a, 53 b, 53 b, abut the underside 72 c of tab 72 preventing the hub assembly 50 from being lifted. The underside of bracket 56 rests in a supporting surface when the play yard is fully erected (see FIG. 4).

To release the gear structures 52 so they can rotate, the locking member is turned clockwise, preferably by gripping curved wire handle 80. The gear sector structures 52 include diagonally opposed clearance shoulders 79, 79 that provide sufficient clearance for tab 72, allowing the tab 72 to rotate in the clockwise direction. When the tab 72 is so rotated, opposite ends 72 c, 72 d of tab 72 each enter into one of the gap spaces 82 between the opposing pairs of gear sectors wheels 53 a-53 b. Once the ends 72 c, 72 d of tab 72 each enter into one of the gap spaces 82, the blocking surfaces 79 a, 79 a, 78 a, 78 a are clear of tab 72, enabling structures 52, 52 to rotate freely about their associated pivots 66 allowing hub 50 to be lifted to its raised position shown in FIGS. 10-12.

As is best seen in FIG. 12, although the tab 72 is urged counter-clockwise because of the spring bias, the tab 72 is prevented from rotating by the interior sidewalls of the gear sectors 53 a, 53 a and thus the tab is retained within the gap 82. Upon lowering to the erected position, tab 72 is clear of the shoulders 79, 79 as well as surfaces 78 a, 78 a, 79 a, 79 a (see FIG. 3), enabling the spring 76 to urge the tab 72 toward the locked position shown in FIGS. 5-9 without the need for manually rotating the locking button 58 into the locked position.

FIGS. 14-20 show one of the upper horizontal rail locking mechanisms 200. FIGS. 14-16 show the locking mechanism 200 in its locked position, while FIGS. 17-19 show the unlocked position.

The locking mechanism 200 comprises mounting bracket 202, a locking wedge 204, a locking spring 206, a push button 208, and a cover 210. The bracket 202 optionally has a pin 212 and a spacer/bushing 214 that provide structural support: the bushing 214 fills the gap between opposing walls W1-W2 of bracket 202, and thus inhibits their movement towards or away from each other when under stress.

The push button 208 and locking wedge 204 engage one another in a threaded, snap-fit, or other secure arrangement. The arm 205 of wedge 204 extends through spring 206, which spring has one end 206 a which presses against the push button 208 and an end 206 b secured to the projection 203 of bracket of 202. When assembled as shown in FIG. 15, the spring 206 biases the push button 208 in the direction of arrow C and away from bracket 202. This bias force also urges the wedge portion 207 of the locking wedge 204 in the direction of arrow C. Depressing the push button 208 against the force of spring 206, compresses the spring 206 and drives the wedge portion 207 into the hollow cover 210 attached to the bracket 202, as shown in FIG. 18.

In the locked position (FIGS. 14-17), the wedge portion 207 engages inserts 29 provided in upper frame rails 28. Inserts 29 and rails 28 are pivotally mounted to bracket 202 by a pin 216 which prevents inserts 29 from moving along their axes and further prevents inserts 29 from rotation about their axes. The inserts 29 each have a cutout 218 that engages an associated end of the wedge portion 207 to achieve this locked position. To prevent inadvertent unlocking, the cutouts 218 each preferably have a small integral protrusion 220 that engages an associated recess 222 in wedge 207.

To unlock the upper horizontal rails for folding, the protrusion 220 and the recess 222 must first be disengaged so that the push button 208 can be depressed. Prior to this disengagement, the push button 208 cannot be depressed because of the engagement of the protrusion 220 and recess 222. In practice, this disengagement is accomplished by lifting the bracket 202 slightly, which swings each protrusion 220 upward and away from its associated recess 222. To unlock the mechanism 200, the push button 208 is pressed in to by a distance sufficient to assure that the wedge 207 is clear of the path of movement of the cutout 218 as each rod 28 rotates about its associated pin 216.

FIGS. 21 and 22 show an upper corner piece 30 that engages tapered outer ends 302 of associated upper frame rods 28. Each rod 28 fits into an associated slot 30 b and rotates about a pin 304 extending through opening 307 each in arm 302 and openings 308 in corner piece 30. Corner piece 30 minimizes the possibility of trapping a finger in the corner piece 30, by using the narrow tapered end 302 and cooperating narrow slot 306.

FIGS. 23 and 24 show one of the lower corner pieces 34. The lower support rod 32 rotates about pivot pin 400 within the opening 402 within the lower corner piece 34. It should be noted that the tapered end/narrow slot design for the upper corner piece may also be incorporated into the lower corner piece 34.

Vertical arm 24 is force-fitted into bore 403 of corner piece 34. Arm 24 has an integral tab 24 a which is normally biased in an outward radical direction and which snap-fits against an upper edge 404 a in opening 404 in corner piece 34 when the rod 24 is pushed into bore 403 by an amount sufficient to clear edge 404 a of opening 404. Rod 24 may be removed from lower corner piece 34 by pressing tab 24 a inwardly sufficient to clear edge 404 a. Foot 405 is preferably provided with a “tread” to provide a non-slip grip with a surface supporting the play yard.

Several alternate embodiments of the play yard will now be described.

FIGS. 4A-C show a play yard frame having rails or legs 24 that include a telescoping rail portion 25 that extends therefrom to lengthen the legs, and thereby increase the overall height of the play yard. The legs are lengthened by pulling the telescoping leg portion 25 out from the leg 24 until the push-button 27 engages hole 29 in leg 24. Cross-section FIG. 4C shows the push button 29 mounted to a leaf spring 27 a contained within telescoping rail portion 25.

Although one extendible position is shown in FIGS. 4A-4C, multiple positions would be possible of the leg 24 had multiple holes 29 to engage the push button 29 along its length.

The advantage of the extendible legs is twofold. First, it allows the play yard to have an even more compact folded form. Second, the play yard's height can be adjusted, which is particularly important if the portable play yard is used as a bedside bassinet (see below).

FIGS. 25-35 show a play yard with a fold-down arm 528. FIGS. 25-28 show the frame for the play yard having the fold down arm; FIGS. 28-31 show the play yard having the fold-down arm with the enclosure mounted thereon; and FIGS. 32-35 show the play yard having the fold-down arm with the bassinet attachment mounted thereto.

As is best seen in FIGS. 25-28, the play yard frame has an arm 528 pivotable between a raised position (see FIG. 27) and a lowered position (see FIGS. 25 and 26). The arm 528 pivots about pin 531; in its raised position, the arm 528 is at the same height as rods 28. In the lowered position, the fold-down arm 528 is lower than the frame rods 28.

At each position, the arm 528 is locked in place. In the raised position, pin 530 engages hole 532 on corner piece 540, and in the lowered position, pin 530 engages hole 534 on rail 24 (note that the hole 534 is shown within the rail 18, although in practice, it may be preferred that the hole 534 is contained within a thickened portion of the rail 18 or an extension from the rail 18). The pin 530 extends from locking corner piece 550, which comprises a fixed portion 552 and a sliding portion 554. The sliding portion 554 moves parallel to the axis of the arm 528 as shown in phantom in FIG. 27. The pin 530 moves with the sliding portion 554 such that movement to the phantom position shown in FIG. 27 withdraws the pin 530 from engagement with either of the holes 532, 534. The pin 530 and sliding portion 554 are spring-biased (spring not shown) toward the locked position so that releasing the sliding portion 554 extends the pin 530 to the position shown in FIG. 28.

Having described the frame, now the enclosure 514 mounted on the frame will be described in more detail. As best seen in FIGS. 29-31, the enclosure 514 is similar to that shown in FIG. 1, with notable differences necessitated by the fold-down arm 528. First the enclosure sleeve 517 a that encloses the vertical rails 24 near the drop down arm 528 extends only part way up the rail 24 to end at point 517. This leaves the hole 534 exposed so that it can engage push button 530.

When the fold-down arm 528 is in the lowered position as shown in FIG. 30, the enclosure 514 bends to allow the arm to freely pivot into the lowered position. The ability of the enclosure 514 to allow the arm 528 to lower is important, but so is the ability of the enclosure 514 to tightly close up when the arm 528 is raised, so as to discourage a child from reaching into any openings in the enclosure 514. This feature is best shown in FIG. 31.

FIG. 31 shows the enclosure 514 from an interior perspective with the fold-down arm 528 in the raised position. Two flaps 560 and 570 form the upper corner of the enclosure. Flap 570 has three VelcroŽ tabs 572, 574, 576 attached thereto. Tab 572 engages a protruding slot 525 attached to rail 24 and secures back on itself with a mating VelcroŽ connection 572 a. Tab 574 extends through the slot 525 to engage flap 560 at mating VelcroŽ connection 574 a. Finally, tab 576 extends across leg 24 to mate with flap 560 at mating VelcroŽ connection 576 a. The VelcroŽ, tabs, and slot form a tight fit that discourages a child from passing their hand through the corner of the enclosure. It should be understood that although FIG. 31 shows some gaps between parts, these would be minimized in practice.

FIGS. 32-35 show an optional bassinet (or bedside sleeper or changing table) padded addition 600 that fits over the upper rods 28 and arm 528. The addition 600, like the enclosure 514 and frame, has raised (FIGS. 32, 32A, and 32B) and lowered (FIGS. 33 and 34) positions corresponding to the position of the arms. The addition 600 slips over and engages the frame upper rails 28 and arm 528, as will be discussed in more detail. The addition 600 has a bottom 618, preferably cushioned, that receives the padded mattress 18. The mattress 18 can be used with the addition 600 or the play yard.

FIGS. 32 and 32A, however, show the addition 600 unmounted on the frame. FIGS. 32 and 32A are rear views of FIG. 32B showing the interior face 602 a of the front flap 602. In the raised position, the front flap 602 has an interior tab 604 that mates with a side 606 of the addition 600 using a VelcroŽ connection 604 a (shown in phantom since it is on the opposite tab face from that as shown), 604 b. The remainder of the joint between the front side 608 and the side 606 is a seam 610 that is preferably sewn. As can be seen from FIGS. 32 and 32A the interior of the addition 600 is, in this way, sealed off when mounted on the frame.

FIG. 32B shows the addition 600 mounted to the play yard frame with the enclosure 14 mounted thereon. The addition has inner sides 606, the front side 608, and a back side 609 that all slide within the enclosure 14. Exterior sides 626, back 629, and exterior front flap 628 slide over the outside of the enclosure 14. Within the joint between the interior and exterior sides, clips 630 snap fit over rails 528. The clips have a tab 630 a with a slot 630 b that engages a strap 630 c that is attached to the addition 600. Further, snaps 632 on the addition 600 engage corresponding snaps 632 a on frame corners (frame snaps shown in FIG. 25). The clips 630 and snaps 632 insure a secure connection between the addition 600 and the frame.

FIG. 32B shows the addition 600 mounted to the frame. Exterior addition side 628 engages a first exterior flap 629, also part of the addition 600, using a VelcroŽ connection 629 a, 629 b. A second exterior flap 640 attached to the addition 600 engages the enclosure 14 using a VelcroŽ connection 640 a, 640 b. The combination of these padded flaps insures that the hard frame corners are not exposed.

When the arm 528 is in the lowered position, as shown in FIGS. 33 and 34, the clips 630 are disengaged from arm 528, the VelcroŽ connections at 604 a,604 b; 629 a, 629 b; and 640 a, 640 b are detached, and the front flap 602 is folded down. In this position, first exterior flap folds inward to engage the side wall 606 in a Velcro (R) connection 629 c, 604 b. Second clips 631, identical in structure to first clips 630 but located on a lower side of the exterior face of the interior side 602 a, attach to rail 528 in its fold down position.

When used as a bedside sleeper, front flap 602 can slide under a mattress of a parental bed. The adjustable leg feature discussed above allows the height of the bedside sleeper to be adjusted for mattresses with different heights. This is important since the height of a top surface of a parental mattress cannot be known in advance.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7661156Feb 15, 2007Feb 16, 2010Thorley Industries, LlcPortable folding play yard with stabilized corner posts
US7836530Feb 13, 2008Nov 23, 2010Thorley Industries LlcFoldable child enclosure
US8060959Oct 18, 2010Nov 22, 2011Thorley, IndustriesFoldable child enclosure
US8458829Oct 14, 2011Jun 11, 2013Thorley Industries LlcFoldable child enclosure
US8517412Sep 22, 2011Aug 27, 2013Baby Trend Inc.Foldable stroller frame having three sections joined to and foldable around a common hub structure
US8756727May 10, 2013Jun 24, 2014Thorley Industries LlcFoldable child enclosure
CN102068158A *Jan 5, 2011May 25, 2011好孩子儿童用品有限公司Game enclosure
Classifications
U.S. Classification5/99.1
International ClassificationA47C7/00, A47D13/06
Cooperative ClassificationA47D13/063
European ClassificationA47D13/06B2