US 3636566 A
A swaddler for babies which is formed of a cellular laminate of transparent plastic sheet material, the sheet material being folded upon itself to form a bag and the material having an integral extension projecting from the opening of the bag, the extension being adapted to be wrapped about the head of a baby lying within the bag to form a hood for the baby.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Sutherland 1 Jan. 25, 1972  SWADDLER 3,034,132 5/1962 Landsberger et al.
' 3,098,563 7/1963  Inventor: James M. Sutherland, The Chlldrens 990 10/1967 Hospital Research Foundation, Elland and 3,412,410 1 1/1963 Bethesda, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229 3,513,970 5/1970 Eckholm ..2l7/53 2 970  Filed Feb 1 Primary Examiner-Bobby R. Gay  App]. No.: 7,456 Assistant Examiner--Darrell Marquette Att0rneyWood, Herron and Evans  U.S. Cl ..2/69.5, 5/343 51 Int. Cl. ..A4ld 3/00  ABSTRACT Field of Search 1/139, 146-14 A swaddler for babies which is formed ofa cellular laminate of 1 /2 2/ 32 transparent plastic sheet material, the sheet material being folded upon itself to form a bag and the material having an in-  References Cited tegral extension projecting from the opening of the bag, the extension being adapted to be wrapped about the head of a UNITED STATES PATENTS baby lying within the bag to form a hood for the baby.
2,675,552 4/l954 Jackson 2/695 6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEU JANZS i972 INVENTOR. 5M \Ell BY 1 A MAML 5 5mm m-roRNsYs SWADDLER This invention relates to a swaddler for newborn babies and more particularly, the invention is directed to a transparent plastic insulated bag adapted to receive the baby and maintain its temperature during periods of cold stress such as, for example, the first few hours after birth or other times when a baby might be exposed to a cold environment such as during transfer from one hospital to another.
Keeping babies warm immediately following birth has been a problem for a long period of time. Unless the infant is protected against the chilling effects of being born into an airconditioned delivery room, the rectal temperature of a newborn baby will fall at approximately 0.2 Fahrenheit per minute and the skin temperature will fall at approximately 0.5 Fahrenheit per minute for periods during the first 30 minutes following birth. Thus, if no care is given to keeping the baby warm its deep (rectal) temperature might fall as many as 46 Fahrenheit in the first hour or so. Since it has been observed that a babys chances for survival are measurably improved if kept warm after birth, ordinarily steps are taken to keep the babies warm by wrapping the babies in flannel blankets, placing them in incubators or by exposing them to radiant heat. A recent proposal has been to place the baby in a Silver Swaddler which is a bag of plastic material having a thin layer of aluminum laminated to the inside.
An objective of the present invention has been to provide a swaddler for infants which will greatly reduce the drop in temperature of a newborn baby and which will provide other important advantages over existing practices as will appear below. More specifically, the invention provides a swaddler consisting of a bag formed of a plastic material such as polyethylene, which is a laminate of two or more sheets, the sheets being joined together over selected areas in such a way as to provide multiple gas-filled cells or bubbles throughout the major portion of the surface of the material. The bag preferably has an extension which can conveniently be wrapped about a projecting head of a baby so as to assist in keeping the head warm, the head being a significant portion of the body surface and hence, an important area of heat loss. The bag is preferably transparent and relatively easily torn for reasons which will appear below.
Two advantages are derived from the cellular laminate. First, the cellular structure gives the bag a certain structural rigidity which is not found in thin plastic films. The structural rigidity assists materially in the act of placing the baby inside the swaddler and precludes the possibility of asphyxiation from conforming too closely to the babys face. Further, the cellular structure appears to materially increase the insulative quality of the bag in maintaining the temperature of the baby. Still further, the irregular surface of the to assists in providing The transparency of the bag is a desirable feature in that it keeps the entire baby visible at all times during this critical portion of the babys life. Further, the transparent nature of the bag coupled with its rupturability, enables the attending nurse or physician to have ready access to any portion of the babys body for operations such as taking of blood specimens from the fingers or toes, clamping the umbilical cord, giving the baby injections and the like.
The several features of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view of the invention showing a baby swaddled within the bag,
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the material from which the bag is formed, and
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view illustrating the cellular material from which the bat is formed.
Referring first to FIG. 2, the bag is formed of a sheet of cellular material to be described in detail below, the sheet being L-shaped to provide a first panel 11, a second plan 12 and a hood forming extension or flap 13. The flap 13 preferably has a pressure-sensitive adhesive or comparable securing medium such as fasteners, along the line indicated at 14 at its free edge. The bag is fonned simply by folding the panel 12 along the fold line 15 onto the panel 11 and sealing along the adjacent free edges. The sealing along the edges indicated at 16 and 17 in FIG. 1 can be conventionally done as by heat sealing or any other suitable means. 1 attach no critical importance to the shape of the material from which the bag is fabricated. It can be rectangular as well as L-shaped. Alternatively, the bag could be formed from two sheets sealed along their adjacent edges.
In this manner the bag is formed and is ready to receive the newborn baby. The bag receives the baby immediately following its birth or with other anticipated cold stress, simply by introducing the baby into the bag through an opening 18 which is formed after the edges 16 and 17 are sealed. Usually, the baby's head, indicated at 19, will project slightly from the opening. The major portion can be enclosed by the bag simply by folding the free edge of the hood forming extension upon itself from the broken line positionindicated at 20 to the fold line position indicated at 21. The pressure-sensitive adhesive will then hold the adjacent free edges together to form the hood. Alternatively, other securing means could be employed as, for example, staples along the adjacent free edges of the hood-forming extension, tapes, clamps, clips or alternatively, the hood could be preformed. When the hood is preformed, it is simply folded back to expose the opening thereby permitting an infant to be conveniently inserted in the bag.
The material from which the bag is formed is illustrated in FIG. 3 and consists of a laminate of a planar sheet 25 and a bubbled or pocketed sheet 26, both sheets preferably being of a transparent rupturable material such as polyethylene. This material has been manufactured under the trademark Air Cap by the Sealed Air Corporation of Hawthorne, NJ. The films 25 and 26 are laminated as by heat sealing at the areas indicated at 27 so as to form cells 28 which are filled with gas, preferably air. The cells are generally hemispherical as shown and, depending upon room temperature, the entrapped air maintains the cells in fairly firm condition. Further, the combined effect of the two films and the entrapped air lends considerable structural rigidity or stability to the sheets.
While it is not absolutely critical, it is preferred that the laminate be folded upon itself so as to bring the planar sheet 25 to the inside of the bag leaving the bubbled sheet 26 on the outside of the bag. The bubbled exterior surface of the bag provides a very satisfactory surface for gripping the bag and the baby swaddled within to minimize the swaddled baby slipping out of the hands of a nurse.
The commercial forms of the laminate have different sizes of bubbles and I attach no criticality to the size or shape of the cells. In the illustrated embodiment, the bubbles are generally hemispherical, are 1 inch in diameter and are spaced approximately one-sixteenth of an inch from each other, that is, the cells are on l-l/I6 inch centers. A bag which is 12 inches wide, 16 inches long and has a 6-inch wide hood forming flap or extension has proved satisfactory.
The bag of the present invention is particularly useful in swaddling a nude baby immediately following birth and maintaining the baby swaddled for at least 1 hour and perhaps up to 6 hours. The first hour is particularly critical and thereafter the baby starts compensating by generating its own heat. The bag is also useful in keeping a baby warm during transportation between hospitals or departments in a hospital.
l. A swaddler for newborn babies comprising a bag of insulative plastic sheet material,
said bag being open at one end to receive a baby,
said plastic material being a tearable, transparent laminate of at least two thin sheets joined together over selected areas to form gas-filled cells over the major portion of said laminate,
whereby the insulative quality of said cellular laminate greatly reduces heat loss from a newborn baby, its structural rigidity facilitates handling of the bag and insertion of the baby into the bag, its transparent quality permits observation of the baby and its tearability permits access to and manipulation of the anatomy of the baby with a minimum of exposure to ambient air.
2. A swaddler according to claim 1 in which the inside sheet of said bag is generally planar and the outside sheet is bubbled to form said cells.
3. A swaddler according to claim 1 further comprising,
a hood forming extension of a portion of said bag projecting beyond the bag opening, said extension being adapted to be wrapped about a baby's head when the baby is in said bag.
4. A swaddler according to claim 1 in which said bag is formed from a single sheet folded upon itself and sealed along two edges to form said bag, and a hood-forming extension projecting from said opening and integral with one side of said bag.
5. A swaddler according to claim 3, and a pressure-sensitive securing medium along the free edge of said extension to permit said free edge to be folded upon itself and joined to form a hood about the head of a baby.
6. The method of handling a newborn baby comprising the steps of,
placing the baby into a plastic bag fonned from a cellular laminate of plastic material,
forming a hood of said material about the head of the baby leaving only the face exposed,
tearing the bag to form an opening adjacent a portion of the baby's body,
and performing a manipulation on the baby through said opening.
* t i t k UNITED STATES PATENT CFFECE CERTIFECATE 6F CGRECEWN Patent No. 3,63'6L566 Dated Januar 25; 1W2
lnventor(s) mes Pi. Sutherland It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 1, line 51, after of the, delete to" and insert bag Column 1, line 52, after a, insert grip on the swaddled baby thereby minimizing the possibility of accidents due to. slipping and the like.
Column 1, line 69, delete "bat" and insert bag Column 1, line 72, delete "plan" and insert panel Signed and sealed this. 22nd dayof August 1972.
ROBERT GOT'ISCHALK EDWARD MJFLETCHERJJR.
Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer USCOMM-DC 60376-Pt 1 us. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: I969 O-36l-S F ORM PO-105O (10-69)