|Publication number||US3878570 A|
|Publication date||Apr 22, 1975|
|Filing date||Jun 5, 1973|
|Priority date||Oct 7, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3878570 A, US 3878570A, US-A-3878570, US3878570 A, US3878570A|
|Inventors||Charles J Donnelly|
|Original Assignee||Charles J Donnelly|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (35), Classifications (18)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [1 1 1111 3,878,570 Donnelly 1451 Apr. 22, 1975 1 1 ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL 3.634.651 12/1970 Sicgel et a1 128/1 B ATTACHMENT AND CRlB 3.713.182 1/1973 McNeil 5/362  Inventor: Charles J. Donnelly, 8606 Horacio Pl.. NE. Albuquerque, N. Mex. 871 1 l  Filed: June 5, 1973  Appl. No.1 367,205
Related U.S. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Scr. No. 187.329, Oct. 7.
 U.S. Cl. 5/97; 5/362; 55/267; 55/385; 55/DIG. 29; 128/1 B  Int. Cl. ..L A470: 27/08  Field of Search 55/267. 385, DIG. 29;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,021,930 4/1912 Jackson 5/362 2,154,638 4/1939 Reeves 55/D1G. 29
2,461,432 2/1949 Mitchell... 5/284 2.648.327 8/1953 Gibbon.... 128/1 3,051,164 8/1962 Trexler 3.225.365 12/1965 Miller et a1.
3.311.935 4/1967 Petty 5/109 Primary E.\aminer-Bernard Nozick Attorney, Agent, or Firm-lane. Aitken. Dunner & Ziems  ABSTRACT An environmental control attachment suitable for use with cribs is disclosed comprising a readily attachable and detachable frame structure for removably supporting a flexible canopy to enclose substantially the crib area. In another embodiment. the frame comprises a folding mechanism which may be collapsed within the confines of the crib when the environmental feature is not in use. The frame preferably supports the canopy in such a manner that the canopy hangs within the crib enclosure to provide an additional safety feature for the infant. Means are provided for supplying air to the substantially enclosed crib and for filtering, heating and humidifying the air. Means are also disclosed for transmitting a slight vibration to the crib structure which preferably includes a blower and an eccentrically-mounted motor to impart a vibration which may be transmitted, for example. to the mattress support to cause the crib structure to vibrate.
8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTED APR 2 21975 sum 2 ur 2 FIG 5.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL ATTACHMENT AND CRIB CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of the applicants prior copending application. Ser. No. 187.329. filed October 7. 1971 now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to an improvement in cribs for infants. More particularly. this invention relates to attachments for cribs for infants for substantially enclosing the crib and controlling the environment within the enclosure and for further imparting vibrations to the crib. Still more particularly. this invention relates to attachments for existing cribs for providing heated. humidified. and filtered air to an enclosed crib and for imparting vibrations to the crib.
Infant incubator equipment and medical treatment chambers for infants. particularly premature infants. are known to the art as shown. for example, by the U.S. Pat. No. 2.648.327 and British Pat. No. 805.133. as well as in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3.610.716 and 3.051.163. In general. these patents disclose the desirability of maintaining a closely controlled atmosphere within the incubator or isolated crib. For example. the temperature. humidity. and oxygen content may be controlled. and filtered air supplied to the cribs. In general. however. such environmental control arrangements have not been provided for infant's cribs used primarily in the household. which generally are unenclosed structures. The patent to Andrews et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3.344.442. suggests the use of a crib cover as an attachment for a crib. but directs no attention to environmental control within the crib. or to vibrating the crib. Thus. environmental control devices for converting conventional cribs to substantially enclosed environmentally controlled cribs having vibration imparting mechanisms have apparently not been available in the art.
Accordingly. it is a problem to provide an apparatus as a readily attachable and detachable adjunct to a conventional crib for converting the crib into a substantially environmentally enclosed system so that filtered. humidified. and temperature controlled air can be provided to the enclosure. Moreover. it is a problem to provide to the art conventional vibration-imparting mechanisms for use with such cribs. Accordingly. it is a primary object of this invention to provide an apparatus for attachment to a conventional crib to enclose substantially the crib so that the environment within the enclosure may be controlled.
It is another object of this invention to provide an apparatus for filtering. humidifying. and controlling the temperature of air supplied to the enclosure.
It is an additional object of this invention to provide an attachable. collapsible frame member for suspending a canopy over a crib to enclose substantially entirely the crib so that air can be supplied to the enclosure under predetermined conditions.
It is another object of this invention to provide means for vibrating the crib to aid in the comfort of the infant.
These and other objects of the invention will become apparent from a review of the accompanying written description of the invention and a review of the drawmgs.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Directed to achieving the aforementioned objects and to overcoming some of the problems in the prior art. this invention comprises a frame for supporting a canopy about the top of a crib of the type which generally comprises a plurality of side walls. one or more of which may comprise side rails. fixedly or adjustably secured to a base member which may act as a mattress support. In one embodiment. the frame may be secured to the upper reaches of the side walls or side rails to support a plastic or vinyl canopy thereon. Preferably. the canopy extends laterally downwardly along any side rails to an extent to enclose substantially entirely the area circumscribed by the side rails. This latter feature materially increases the safety of the crib in preventing an infant from becoming entangled between the side rails.
A control package for providing heated. humidified and filtered air into the enclosure is secured to the crib. Means are provided for imparting the vibrations of the motor in a blower assembly to the crib.
Means are also shown for adjusting the frequency of vibration of the crib.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:
FIG. I is a perspective view ofthe apparatus according to the invention attached to a conventional crib for infants:
FIG. 2 is a detailed plan view of a component of the instrument package to be secured to the crib in which FIG. 2A is a perspective view of the manner in which the package is secured to the bars of the crib and FIG. 2B is a side cross sectional view of the securing means:
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternative frame arrangement and canopy;
FIG. 4 is a side view of an alternative embodiment for imparting vibrations to the mattress support; and
FIG. 5 is a side view of the manner of attaching the apparatus of FIG. 4 to the mattress support and for adjusting the vibration frequency.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. I, the two components of the apparatus for attachment to the crib are designated generally by the reference numerals l0 and 11. wherein the reference numeral 10 relates generally to the apparatus for enclosing the crib and the reference numeral 11 relates to the control instrument package which is the source of the filtered. heated. and humidified air supplied to the interior of the crib.
The conventional crib is designated generally by the reference numeral 13. as shown. and comprises a plurality of support legs I5 enclosed on three sides by the crib enclosure members 16 secured to the legs 15. A mattress support member 17 is also secured to the legs 15 and to the side enclosure members 16 to define the crib 13. One side of the crib 13 is defined by a lattice or side rail arrangement comprising a plurality of generally vertical upright members 19 secured to an upper rail 20. While the open side of the crib is shown as fixed. in practice. the open rail assembly may be vertically adjustable.
The canopy assembly 10 comprises two pairs of end frame members 25 and 26. Each of the members 25 and 26 isadapted to be secured at one end thereof to the upper rail and to the top of unopposed side wall 16 and at the other end thereof secured to the frame cross member 27 to provide a suitable tent-like frame upon which a canopy 29 maybe secured. An additional re-inforcing structural member 30 is located intermediate the members 25 and is secured at one end to the top member 2.7.and secured at the other end to the top of the rear side wall 16 of thecrib 13. Preferably, the front portion of the frame remains unobstructed by additional frame members to facilitate placing the infant into the crib. v v
The canopy 29 is preferably transparent and designed to enclose the crib structure in a semi-airtight manner to enclose substantially entirely the crib. The canopy 29 may be fixedly secured to the rear portion of the frame and arranged to be opened on a front portion thereof.
A second aspect of the invention is the provision of an instrument package. designated generally by the reference numeral 11, adapted to be securely mounted on the crib frame. and. more particularly, to the members The instrument package 11 provides a source of filtered. heated, and humidified air supplied to the interior of the'crib 13. The package is arranged so that the slight vibration of the centrifugal-type air blower 41, incorporated in the package 11, is transmitted to the entirelstructure thus providing a soothing effect on the infantoccupant.
T-he;in,strumen,t package 11 comprises a rigid frame 32 whichimaybe affixed to any two vertical crib rails *19; by .the use of a1U-bolt 33 and a wing nut 34. The
frame 32 is provided with a plurality of laterallyextending slots 36 to make the connection secure and to provide a lateral adjustment feature so that the package may be accommodated on rails of varying widths.
The details ofthe connection of the frame 32 to the rail 19 are shown inFlG. 2A, while the cross-sectional arrangement is'shown .in H0. 28. Thin strips of rubber infant's environment is-cleansed .of dust and other pollutants. Second. the input air is also heated to a temperature which adults in the proximate area might find uncomfortable.for example, in the range of-78'-80F, but
orv other material designated generally by the reference numeral 38 may be provided between the frame 32 and the rail 19 to insure that the instrument package does it'otslide down the crib rails once affixed firmly in place.
Actuation of the power switch 40 provides current to a centrifugal .blower 41, and to the thermostat 42. Room air is then drawn into the blower through a foamtype filter affixed to the blower intake, as shown by the refe renee'numeral 43. Depending upon the setting of the thermostat 42 and the ambient air temperature of thecrib enclosure. the current may also flow to the heating element 44 mounted in the air discharge stream from the blower 41. The heated air then passes through a series of baffles 45 surrounding a wetted kitchen-type sponge .46. The filtered, heated, and humidified air is then passed directly into the crib enclosure through a flexible hose 47. Other types of heating, humidifying, and filtering systems, particularly more complex and sophisticatedsystems. may also be used within th scope of the invention. I
The advantages of such an enclosure enable, parents concerned with the physical and mental well being of their infant children to convert standard baby cribs into plasticzcanopy and the filtering system, air entering the which have a number of beneficial effects on the infant. For example, little or no clothing or bed clothing other than diapers are now required for the infant. This substantially reduces the monetary outlay, reduces laundry requirements and eliminates a danger of suffocation. In addition. liquid bodily wastes evaporate rapidly, reducing the incidence of diaper rash and other skin irritations. Moreover. the reduction of large demands of bodily heat appreciably lengthen the time periods between feeding, providing a more peaceful environment and social atmosphere for both infants and parents.
. Still another advantage is that the entering air is humidified, which fact provides the obvious attendant helpful effects, particularly in very dry climates. The vinyl canopy which provides an air enclosure also provides a partial sound barrier. insulating the infant to some extent from disturbing room and/or outside noises. Still further, the general vibrations of the blower are purposely transmitted to the crib structure for their relaxing effect on the infant.
As stated. one of the aspects of this invention stems from the fact that it is provided in kit form for use with conventional cribs rather than comprising integral components of a fixed box-like structure or incubator, manufactured expressly as a baby enclosure. Thus, this development may be brought, at a very low cost, within the reach of millons of American parents.
HO. 3 shows an alternative embodiment for incorporating substantially the same features as shown in FIGS. '1 and 2. However, in this case, the frame members 50 may be provided as opposed corners of a rectangular lower frame support structure 51 sized to fit comfortably in existing cribs. Preferably. the lower frame structure 51 is adjustable to accommodate various sizes. In this embodiment, the frame members 50 are collapsible by use of a conventional folding mechanism comprising a plurality of support members 52 at the lower portion thereof. The canopy is a flexible canopy 53 which is supported from the support member 50, for example, by tying the canopy thereto by securing members 54 in such a manner that the canopy hangs within the crib enclosure, rather than falls outside of the enclosure. This provides an additional safety feature to insure that the very young infant cannot get his head or limbs caught between the rails 55 of the crib. In this embodiment. the crib is shown as comprising rails on four sides thereof which materially enhances that risk. which is largely overcome by this aspect of the invention. Another advantage which is apparent from sizing the can opy to this extent, is that the interior structure is more substantially enclosed so that the environment maybe better controlled. While the method of attaching the flexible canopy is illustrative. it is clear that other methods for securing the canopy, for example, as that shown in FIG. 1, or other uses with various types of frame members are also apparent.
As shown in detail in FIGS. 4 and 5, in order to induce and control the frequency of the physical vibration ofthe crib structure. the blower motor is eccentrically secured to a mounting plate 61 which may be pivotally mounted by conventional fastening techniques about a mounting pivot point 62. The rotating mass of the motor provides a torque which is counteracted by the motor mounting plate 61. The vibration of the motor mounting plate 61 is transmitted to the framework of a portion of the crib. for example. the mattress support member 63 through a damping spring 64 and a rigidly mounted control panel 67. The compression of the spring is controlled by an adjusting knob 65 so that when fully tightened. the spring is fully compressed and a minimum vibration is produced. Relaxing the spring compression by turning the knob enables the frequency of the vibration to be adjusted to the desired range. The panel 67 is rigidly mounted to the mattress by a suitable fastening technique. for example. by clamps. fastening members or the like.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The present embodiments are. therefore. to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive. the scope of the invention being indicated by the claims rather than by the foregoing description. and all changes which come within the meaning and range of the equivalents of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination. an apparatus for providing a controlled environment for an infant. including an infant's crib. the crib having a base member and a plurality of opposed side walls attached to the base member. with at least one ofthe side walls including a plurality of vertical spaced side rails. said apparatus further comprising:
attachment means secured to said crib for substantially enclosing said crib. said attachment means comprising a frame means including at least a plurality of frame members supporting an enclosure. said frame members being structurally adapted and removably secured to said crib adjacent each of the side walls and a canopy secured to said frame members defining the enclosure. said canopy comprising an impervious sheet and mounted to said frame members arranged to enclose substantially said crib in a substantially airtight manner; and
means including a blower and separator secured to said crib and communicating with the enclosure for controlling the environment within said enclosed crib and the enclosure being unsupported at the bottom for lifting of the canopy wall enabling access to the crib.
2. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said controlling means comprises air supply means for supplying air to said enclosure. means for filtering said air. means for heating said air to a predetermined temperature. and means for humidifying said air.
3. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said frame means includes a plurality of frame members adapted to be collapsed within said confines of said crib and means for securing said frame members in an upright position.
4. The apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein said canopy is secured to said frame members and arranged to extend laterally to an extent beyond the top rails of said side walls and located within the periphery of said walls.
5. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said frame means are secured to the side walls of said crib.
6. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1 further including vibration means for providing vibrations to said crib.
7. The apparatus as set forth in claim 6 wherein said crib further includes a mattress support and said vibration means includes a first member secured to said mattress support and an eccentrically-mounted motor secured to a second member and structurally interconnected to said rigidly mounted member to impart vibrations thereto and to said mattress support.
8. The attachment as set forth in claim 7 further including adjustable spring means for interconnecting said first member and said second member. said adjustable spring means being capable of adjusting the frequency of vibration of said mattress support.
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|U.S. Classification||5/97, 600/22, 392/360, 5/284, 55/DIG.290, 96/251, 55/385.2, 5/414, 96/294, 219/217, 219/400|
|International Classification||A61G11/00, A47D15/00|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S55/29, A61G11/00, A47D15/00|
|European Classification||A47D15/00, A61G11/00|