|Publication number||US3780919 A|
|Publication date||Dec 25, 1973|
|Filing date||Jan 19, 1972|
|Priority date||Jan 19, 1972|
|Also published as||CA988475A, CA988475A1, DE2301457A1|
|Publication number||US 3780919 A, US 3780919A, US-A-3780919, US3780919 A, US3780919A|
|Original Assignee||Gerico Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (49), Classifications (6), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Hansson Dec. 25, 1973 1 INFANT CARRIER  Inventor: Margaret S. Hansson, Boulder,
12/1933 Great Britain 224/6 11/1950 Austria 224/6 Primary ExaminerGerald M. Forlenza Assistant Examiner]erold M. Forsberg Attorney-Reilly and Lewis  ABSTRACT A carrier for an infant child includes a fabric pouch in which the child can be seated having leg openings near its bottom end and a unique strap arrangement includes shoulder straps and reinforcing straps so connected to the pouch and to one another as to permit secure but adjustable suspension either from the front or back of the user. A head support is disposed between the open upper end of the pouch and the shoulder straps in a manner such that it can be retained in a head-supporting position or folded down into the pouch in an out-of-the-way position.
9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures INEA-N'ZIECARRIER Titer-present invention; generally concernsa carrier for aninfantchild;andzmore particularly relates to a.
fab-riccarrier ofthetyperwhich may be suspended from the-shoulders of a;user.
Childcarriersoffthevtype which are adapted-to be suspended; fromv the. shoulders of a user are. now in widespread'use forrcarryingchildren in'piggyback fashionover terrain not adapted for travel by wheeled carts, carriages andzthezlik-e. Such carriers are. often usedzby m-en-and;women. in hikingandother extended walkingactivitiesso:thatsitsisimportant that the carrier be'.-c.omfo.rtable:for both the user and the child. Generally thecarriers .includea frameworkof metal or some other-rigid materiali from which is suspended a fabric pouch-inwhichthe-childfican sit. This type of carrier, however; ispractically speaking'limited for use with childrenof at least thetoddler stage because of the size of -the frame.necessary torcomfortboth the user and the child. Anexampleofsuch-a carrier is disclosed in US. Letters Pat. No. 3;097',773"issued. to G. A. Cunning.-
ham"; Carriersadaptedtfdr use with babies or infants of.
only a few month's ofrage, generally speaking, are designediso that theinfant is heldclose to the body of the user where the. infant'has a feelingof security. Typical of such infant carriers are those disclosed in US. Letters-Pat. No. 3,481,517to A: L. Aukerman and in US. Letters-Pat. No. 2,411,331 to N. Nettleship.
ln -carriersfor infants or babiesof a very young age, it is-preferably desirable that the carrier includea support'for theinfants head; since it is-frequently the case that theinfant is-not strong enoughto independently hold his head erect. However, as the infant grows older and requires less head. support, it isdesirable. for the comfort and contentment of the infant that his head not be;confined.so that he.is free to move his head and observe his surroundings.-
Thetinfant carrier ofthe present invention is made of alight fiexiblefabric material and includes a pouch in which'the child can be seated. The pouch is uniquely securedto strap means which are adapted to pass over theshoulders of the-userso that the child can be supported either in front'orin back of the user. A head support is-flexibly connected to the shoulder straps so that nit*is-movablebetween an in-useposition wherein it supports thehead of'the-Jnfant and an out-of-use position wherein it is fOIdBdi'dOWH into the pouch with the infant so. that the infant s head is free to moveabout without restriction. A'pair of reinforcement straps are attached tothe-pouch-in-such a manner that they-reinforce thepouch at'tthe: bottom wherethe maximum amount ofwear occursand. also serve to adjustably and releasably connect thehead support to the shoulder straps for easy manipulation of the-headsupport.
Accordingly, it is-an object of the present invention to. provide an infant carrier of the-type adapted to be suspendedv from th'e.shoulders of a userhavinga head support :which is-movable between in-use and out-ofuse-positions.
ltiisanotherobject of'the present invention to providean-infa'nt carrier witha head support movablebe- It is a further object of. the presentinvention to provide. an infant carrier of the type which can besuspended from the shoulders of a'user eitherin-.front or:
in back of the user and has an adjustable'reinforcing and shoulder strap arrangement which reinforces-the carrier to extend its'useful life.
Other objects, advantages and featuresof the present invention will become more readily appreciated andunderstood from a consideration of the. followingzdee tailed description taken in conjunction with'the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of-the carrier-suspended from the shoulders of a user with a child seated therein; FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the carrier shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a rear elevation of the carrier of FIG. 1; and' FIG. 4 is a bottom plan of the carrier of FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawings which show by way of illustrative example aninfant carrier 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention, the-infant carrier 10 can beseen in FIG. 1 to include a pouch-12' in. which the infant can be seated, a head support- 16 for holding the infant's head in an erect position, and
supporting straps generally designated 18 including: shoulder straps 20 and reinforcement straps 221 The pouch 12 is made of a strong but flexiblefabric material such aslight canvas or the like and when not folded has a cup-like configuration with leg openings 24near the bottom end 26 thereof and an open upper end 28 through which the upper torso and head of the infant can protrude when seated in thepouch. The supporting straps 18 for the carrier are also made of a strong but flexiblefabric material such as light canvas and each includes a shoulder strap 20 and a reinforcement strap 22 which are secured to the pouch as by sewing in a specific arrangement to be described hereinafter.
Referring first to the shoulder straps 20, they can be seen in FIG. 2 to have one end sewn as at 29 to the front portion 31 of the pouch adjacent the open upper end 28'. The shoulder straps extend away from the upper end of the pouch in a divergent angle so that they form a substantially V-shaped configuration whereby when the carrier 10 is in use, the shoulder straps can be comfortably extended over the shoulders of the user. The shoulder straps are comprised of a cushioning portion 30 and a fastening portion32 each of which defines approximately one-half the length of the shoulder straps.'The cushioning portion is wider than the fastening portion and comprises the segment of the shoulder strap which lies on the shoulder of the user and is sewn to the upper end of the pouch. The wide cushioning; portion 30 of the shoulder straps distributes the weightof the infant across a substantial area of the shoulders:
of the user for optimum comfort. Theend of the-cushioning portion 30 which is not sewn to the pouch is securely sewn to one end of the narrower fasteningzportion 32so that the fastening portion has a free end 33 available to be attached to a reinforcement strap 22 as will be discussed hereinafter.
The reinforcement straps 22 are approximately the same width as the fastening portion 32-of the shoulder straps 20 andare also made of a stronglbut flexible material such as light canvas. They are secured to the pouch 20 as by sewingin such a manner that they have free lower ends 34 which extend away from thefront portion of the pouch in between'the leg openings 24 and criss-cross at the bottom of the pouch before extending upwardly across the rear portion 36 of the pouch toward the open upper end 28. The upper portions of the reinforcement straps 22 extend beyond the open upper end of the pouch and each is sewn to one side edge of the head support 16 so as to retain the head support in slightly spaced relation from the open upper end 28 of the pouch. The reinforcement straps extend on beyond the upper edge of the head support defining free upper ends 38 (FIG. 3) of the reinforcement straps which are adapted to be adjustably and releasably attached to the shoulder straps 20 as by buckles 40 which are affixed to the shoulder straps at a position which is substantially equispaced between the two ends of the cushioning portion 30 of the shoulder straps. The lower free ends 34 of the reinforcement straps are provided with fasteners 42, such as D-ring fasteners, so that the free ends 33 of the fastening portion 32 of the shoulder straps can be easily and readily adjustably attached to the lower ends of the reinforcement straps. When the fastening straps are attached to the reinforcement straps, a closed loop is established whereby the carrier can be comfortably suspended from the shoulders of a user. The adjustment allowed by the D-ring fasteners 42 enables the user to position the carrier for optimum comfort both to himself and the infant.
It will be appreciated that, with the reinforcement straps 22 criss-crossing at the bottom 26 of the pouch, the pouch will be reinforced to give added strength to the area where the infants weight is concentrated. Thus, the useful life of the pouch is extended by providing additional strength to the fabric in the area where there is the greatest tendency for the fabric to wear.
It can be seen that, by disconnecting the upper free ends 38 of the reinforcement straps from the buckles 40 on the cushioning portion 30 of the shoulder straps, the head support 16 along with the upper portion of the reinforcement straps can be folded down into the pouch 12 in the out-of-use position so that the infants head movement will not be inhibited by the head support. In reverse, it is very simple to draw the head support and upper portion of the reinforcement straps back out of the pouch and quickly and easily attach the free upper ends of the reinforcement straps to the buckles on the shoulder straps to again secure the head support in its in-use position. The simple procedure for moving the head support between in-use and out-of-use positions makes the carrier 10 adaptable for use with infants in various stages of growth. It also makes the carrier useful when it is desirable that an infants head be supported some of the time, perhaps when sleeping, and unsupported the remainder of the time. Also, the reinforcement straps are adjustably secured in the buckles 40 so that the position of the head support when in its in-use position can be adjusted to satisfy variables such as the size of the infant and particularly his head size.
Another important feature of the invention isthe spaced relationship between the head support 16 and the open upper end 28 of the pouch which eliminates any bulk folds in the material when the head support is folded into the pouch in the out-of-use position asmight be present if the pouch were integral ,with the head support. This prevents any undue discomfort for the infant which, as is well known, is critical to the contentment of the infant.
Since the carrier is fabricated of a light fabric material, an important feature of the carrier is that the effective load supported by the user is not much different that the weight of the infant himself. Another important feature of the carrier is that it can be folded into a very small package because of the minimum amount of fabric used in its construction, and thus carried in the purse or pocket of the user when not in use.
Although the present invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example and that changes in details of structure may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.
7 What is claimed is:
1. A carrier for an infant comprising in combination a pouch in which the infant can be seated, said pouch including a pair of lower leg openings and an open upper end, shoulder strap means affixed to the pouch and adapted to pass over the shoulders of a user, and a head support defining an extension of the pouch on the side thereof opposite the shoulder strap connection to the pouch, and means releasably connecting the upper portion of the head support to said shoulder strap means at a location along the length of the shoulder strap means in a manner such that the head support serves as a firm flexible support for the infants head.
2. The carrier of claim 1 wherein said means releasably connecting the head support to the shoulder straps includes a pair of reinforcement straps secured to the pouch and the head support and having free ends adapted to be individually connected to the shoulder strap means to retain the head support in an in-use position.
3. The carrier of claim 2 wherein said head support comprises a piece of flexible fabric sewn to the reinforcement straps whereby when the reinforcement straps are disconnected from the shoulder strap means the reinforcement straps can be folded so that the head support is positioned within the pouch in an out-of-use position. I
4. The carrier of claim 3 wherein said head support is connected to the reinforcement steaps in spaced relation to the open upper end of the pouch.
5. A carrier for an-infant comprising in combination a pouch in which the infant can be seated, said pouch including a pair of leg openings near the bottom and open at the upper end, a pair of shoulder straps each having one end secured to the pouch near the open upper end of the pouch for extension of said shoulder straps over the shoulders of a user, reinforcement straps secured to the pouch including free lower ends adapted to be individually attached to the free ends of the shoulder straps and free upper ends adapted to be attached to the shoulder straps at a preselected location along the length of the shoulder straps, and a head support secured to the reinforcement straps near the free upper ends whereby when the free upper ends are secured to the shoulder straps the head of the infant will be supported and comfortably held in place.
6. The carrier of claim 5 wherein said reinforcement straps comprise a pair of elongated straps being secured to the pouch along an intermediate portion of the straps so that the free lower ends extend awayfrom the pouch adjacent the leg openings and the free upper ends extend away from the pouch adjacent the open upper end.
7. The carrier of claim 6 wherein said reinforcement straps cross each other at the bottom end of the pouch adjacent the leg openings.
8. The carrier of claim 6 wherein said pouch, shoulder straps, reinforcement straps, and head support are made of a strong but flexible fabric material.
9. A carrier for an infant comprising in combination a fabric pouch in which the infant can be seated, said pouch including a pair of leg openings near the bottom and an open upper end through which the infant's head can protrude, a pair of flexible fabric shoulder straps secured at one end to one side of the pouch near the open upper end of the pouch, said shoulder straps having free opposite ends adapted to be passed over the shoulders of a user, a pair of flexible fabric reinforcement straps secured to the pouch with free lower ends extending away from the bottom of the pouch on said one side, said reinforcement straps criss-crossing at the bottom of said pouch and extending up the opposite side of said pouch from said one side and having free upper ends extending away from the open upper end of the pouch on said opposite side, said free upper ends being adapted to be individually releasably attached to the shoulder straps at a preselected location along the length of the shoulder straps, said free lower ends of the reinforcement straps and the free opposite ends of the shoulder straps having fasteners whereby they can be individually fastened together to complete loops which pass over and under the shoulders of the user for supporting the carrier on the shoulders of the user, and a fabric head support secured to the reinforcement straps in spaced relation from the open upper end of the pouch whereby'when the free upper ends of the reinforcement straps are fastened to the shoulder straps the head support will securely and comfortably support the head of an infant seated in the pouch and when the free upper ends of the reinforcement straps are not fastened to the shoulder straps can be folded to allow the head support to be positioned within the pouch in an out-of-- use position.
@2 3 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 19 Dated 25 December 1973 Inventor(s) Margaret H nsson It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
In the Claims:
Column 4, line 43, cancel "steaps" and substitute straps Signed and sealed this 9th day of April 197A.-
EDWARD M.FLETCHER-,JR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting; Officer Gommissionerof Patents
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|International Classification||A47D13/00, A45F3/04, A47D13/02|
|Sep 5, 1989||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: GERRY BABY PRODUCTS COMPANY
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:GERICO, INC.;REEL/FRAME:005252/0061
Effective date: 19890323
|Sep 5, 1989||AS01||Change of name|
Owner name: GERICO, INC.
Owner name: GERRY BABY PRODUCTS COMPANY
Effective date: 19890323