Patent application title: MULTI-PURPOSE BLANKET AND ARM PAD
Kelly Douglas (Naperville, IL, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47G902FI
Class name: Beds bedclothing waterproof
Publication date: 2013-11-21
Patent application number: 20130305450
A multi-purpose device configurable between a blanket and a pad, such as
an arm pad includes a fabric sheet forming at least a portion of the
blanket. A first fastener is disposed on the first surface of the sheet
and a second fastener, distally located from the first fastener, is
disposed on the second surface of the sheet. The sheet is configurable in
a non-folded arrangement as a blanket such that the first and second
fasteners are not fastened, and the blanket is configurable in a folded
arrangement as a pad such that the first and second fasteners are
connected. The pad may be configured to be wrapped around and fastened to
an object, such as a car seat handle.
1. A multi-purpose blanket and pad device comprising: a fabric sheet
having a first surface and a second surface; a first fastener disposed on
the first surface of the fabric sheet; and a second fastener disposed on
the second surface of the fabric sheet and distally located from the
first fastener, wherein the fabric sheet is configurable in a non-folded
arrangement with the first and second fasteners not fastened to form the
blanket, and the fabric sheet is configurable in a folded arrangement to
form a pad, and wherein the pad is configured to be wrapped about at
least a portion of an object and the first fastener is arranged to be
releasably fastened to the second fastener to retain the pad around the
2. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one line of weakness about which the fabric sheet is folded.
3. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 2, wherein the at least one line of weakness is formed at least partially by stitches.
4. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 1, further comprising a third fastener disposed on the first side of the fabric sheet proximate to the first fastener, wherein the first and third fastener are connectable in the non-folded arrangement to hide at least a portion of at least one of the first or second fasteners.
5. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 1 wherein the first and second fasteners are complementary hook and loop fasteners.
6. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one of a padding or filler material disposed at least partially between the first surface and the second surface.
7. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one of a water-proof, water-resistant, or germ resistant material disposed at least partially between or within the first surface and the second surface.
8. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 1, further comprising a flap extending from a portion of a perimeter of the fabric sheet, wherein the first fastener is disposed on the flap.
9. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 1, wherein the fabric sheet is generally circular in shape.
10. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 1, wherein at least one of the first surface and the second surface comprises an interactive element.
11. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 10, wherein the interactive element is a mirror.
12. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one item attachment point disposed on at least one of the first or second surfaces.
13. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 12, wherein the item attachment point is a loop of material.
14. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 12, wherein the item attachment point is disposed along a perimeter of the fabric sheet.
15. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 12, wherein the item attachment point is disposed on the second surface such that the item attachment point is exposed when the device is in the folded arrangement and wrapped around the object.
16. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 1, further comprising two parallel lines of weakness extending at least partially across the length of the fabric sheet, wherein the blanket is foldable about the lines of weakness.
17. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 16, wherein the two parallel lines of weakness generally divide the fabric sheet into thirds.
18. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 16, further comprising a flap having a width extending from a portion of a perimeter of the fabric sheet, wherein the first fastener is disposed on the flap, and wherein the lines of weakness are disposed approximately the width of the flap apart.
19. A multi-purpose device as recited in claim 1, wherein the object is a handle of an infant care product.
20. A method of converting a blanket into an arm pad for a handle comprising: providing a fabric sheet forming a blanket, the blanket having a first surface and a second surface, the first surface including a first fastener, and the second surface including a corresponding second fastener; folding the blanket; wrapping the folded blanket about the handle; coupling the first fastener to the second fastener to releasable fasten the wrapped blanket around the handle.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 This application is a non-provisional application claiming priority from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/640,943, filed May 1, 2012, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
 The present description relates generally to an infant care product and more particularly to a multi-purpose blanket and arm pad.
BACKGROUND OF RELATED ART
 Providing physical and mental stimulation at an early age has become an accepted norm for raising an infant. It is typically accepted that babies need to sleep on their backs, but should spend awake time on their tummies. Recent research has shown that babies who do not spend enough time on their tummies, may fall behind on their developmental milestones. It is also generally recommended that infants be supervised by an adult during tummy time and tummy time sessions should also always be held on the floor. While providing a soft, safe location for an infant on the floor may be relatively easy at home, when away from the house, adults may prefer to resort to utilizing a blanket to protect the infant against dirt, germs, etc. Thus, in light of the typically active lifestyle of today's parents, it is oftentimes beneficial for a parent to carry and provide a comfortable and portable blanket for an infant to rest upon during tummy time sessions.
 In addition, most states currently have laws requiring infants to be restrained in special safety seats whenever they are travelling in vehicles. Therefore every parent is required by law in most places to place their infants in such seats. Ideally parents desire one seat that they can place their infant in, can carry them around, and if travelling by a vehicle, strap the infant in the same seat. Most infant car seats, however, will accommodate an infant up to at least 22 pounds, which may make carrying the infant in the car seat difficult, awkward, and in some instance, painful. While some infant car seats available in the market include a carrying handle, the provided handle oftentimes comes with minimal padding, usually inadequate to protect and/or pad the adult's hand and/or crook of the elbow. Thus, there is an identifiable need to provide a product that cushions and prevent the car seat handle from digging into and injuring the carrier's arm.
 In light of these issues, it is evident that packing for an excursion out of the house can be an ordeal for people with small children. Bags can easily become filled with toys, blankets, pads, and other child-care-related items, including diapers, sanitary wipes, clothing, powders, pacifiers, etc. Thus, providing a blanket that allows for a parent to provide an infant with a clean, cushioned place for a tummy time session and also providing an additional cushion for protecting the parent's arm when carrying the car seat simply adds to the number of items that the parent must remember to pack and/or carry while out of the house.
 Accordingly, there is real need for a multipurpose device that can be utilized both as a blanket and as an arm pad for a car seat, thereby providing for a solution while eliminating at least one extra item that an adult must carry.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of an example multipurpose blanket of the present disclosure shown in its expanded state.
 FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the example blanket of FIG. 1.
 FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of the example blanket showing a first side of the blanket being folded onto a center portion.
 FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of the example blanket showing a second side of the blanket being folded onto the center portion.
 FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of the example blanket showing a first portion of the center portion of the blanket being folded into an arm pad.
 FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of the example blanket showing a second portion of the center portion of the blanket being folded into an arm pad.
 FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the example arm pad formed by folding the blanket as illustrated in FIGS. 3-6.
 FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the example arm pad shown attached to an infant car seat handle.
 FIG. 9 is an enlarged perspective view of the example fastener located on the top face of the example blanket.
 The following description of example methods and apparatus is not intended to limit the scope of the description to the precise form or forms detailed herein. Instead the following description is intended to be illustrative so that others may follow its teachings.
 Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, an example multipurpose blanket 10 is shown in its expanded state with a generally circular perimeter 14. In FIG. 1, a first face 12 of the example blanket 10 is shown. In FIG. 2, a second face 16 of the example blanket is shown. In this example, the two faces 12, 16 are manufactured from two separate fabrics, sewn together along the perimeter 14 to form the blanket 10. It will be appreciated, however that the two faces 12, 16 may be made from any combination of fabrics and/or suitable materials, including a single layer, multiple layers and/or various combinations of layers and/or materials as desired.
 In regard to the material utilized, each of the two faces 12, 16 may be made from any suitable foldable fabric and/or material as desired, including, for example, a fleece-type material. In at least one embodiment, the material is preferable machine-washable, but the blanket 10 may be manufactured from any washable and/or non-washable material as desired. Additionally, as mentioned, the two example faces 12, 16 may be suitably attached via any means including sewing, fastening, etc., and in at least some embodiments, the two faces 12, 16 may be at least partially separable, such as, through the use of a zipper, buttons, ties, hook and loop, and/or other fastener. Additionally, in at least one example, the blanket 10 may include padding and/or other filler material (not shown). Still further, at least one face 12, 16 of the blanket 10 may be integrally or separately provided with a water-proof, water-resistant, and/or germ resistant material as preferred.
 In this example, the first face 12 of the example blanket 10 includes at least one interactive element 20, such as, for example, a flexible mirror to provide stimulation to an infant placed on the blanket 10. While a mirror is shown, the blanket 10 may include other interactive elements including colors, patterns, tactile elements, visual elements, tie, buttons, zippers, snaps, hooks, etc. In this example, the first face 12 is intended to be used as the primary space for an infant to be placed, but it will be appreciated that either side of the blanket 10 may be used. Still further, while the blanket 10 is currently illustrated as being generally circular in shape, any suitable shape may be provided, including simply geometric shapes, such as squares, rectangles, etc. and/or complex geometric shapes such as characters, animals, objects, etc.
 For attaching the blanket to a car seat handle, the first surface 12 is provided with a flap 22 having a first fastener 24. In this example, the first fastener 24 includes either a hook or loop material as is well known in the art. Complimentarily, for receiving the first fastener 24, attached to the second surface 16 is a corresponding second fastener 26, which in this example includes the corresponding hook or loop material to couple to the first fastener 24 when the blanket 10 is folded as described. To better provide a soft material surface for an infant, the fastener 24 may be provided with a mating fastener 28 that allows the flap 22 to fold over such that the fastener 24 is no longer exposed, thereby preventing accidental contact with either of the fasteners 24, 28 when in normal use. An example of the flap 22 in a folded position may be seen in FIG. 9. Although a hook and loop fastener structure/material is described and shown, it is to be understood that the materials may be connected via any suitable fastening means including buttons, buckles, ties, etc., as desired.
 At least one of the first and second surfaces 12, 16 may be provided with optional creases and/or fold-lines 30a, 30b for assisting in folding the blanket 10 as desired. For example, as illustrated in the present example, the fold lines 30a, 30b are formed through use of stitching such as, for example, quilting stitches. The example fold lines 30a, 30b generally divide the blanket 10 into a first portion 31a, a second portion 31b, and a center portion 31c. It will be appreciated, however, that the fold-line, if present, may be provided via any suitable means including different fabrics, patches, etc. and may divide the blanket 10 into any number of portions suitable for folding.
 FIGS. 3-7 show one method of folding the blanket 10 into a compact form, which may be used as a pad 32 such as an arm pad for use as with a handle 34 of an infant car seat 36 as illustrated in FIG. 8. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the blanket 10 is folded along the fold lines 30a, 30b so that, in this example, the blanket 10 is folded approximately in thirds with the first and second portion 31a, 31b being folded onto the center portion 31c. Thus, as illustrated, the partially folded blanket 10 is approximately the width of the flap 22, but it will be understood that the width of the folded blanket 10 (e.g. the center portion 31c) and/or the width of the flap 22 may vary.
 As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the blanket 10 may then be further folded to bring the fastener 26 into mating contact with the fastener 24. For instance, the example blanket 10 is again folded in third, as shown in FIG. 5, and in third again as shown in FIG. 6. It will be understood that the blanket 10 may be alternatively folded in various ways including, for example, by rolling, folding in fourths, etc.
 Referring now to FIG. 6, the folded blanket 10 generally defines a centerline 40. In this example, the object (e.g., the handle 34) about which the blanket 10 is to be attached to form the pad 32 is brought into contact with the centerline 40 for the final step. More particularly, the blanket 10 aligned such that the handle 34 is placed on the centerline 40 and the blanket 10 is folded about the centerline 40 to form the pad 32 illustrated in FIG. 7. To secure the pad 32 to the handle 34, the flap 22 is pulled over the surface 16 to couple the fastener 24 to the fastener 26, thereby removably attaching the pad 32 over the handle 34. FIG. 8 illustrates one example of the blanket 10 folded about the handle 34 of the car seat 36 to form an arm pad 32.
 Sill further, as can be seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, the surface 16 of the blanket 10 may include at least one item attachment point, such as for example loops 46, ties, buttons, etc., for attaching an object to the pad 32. Additionally, as best illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the perimeter 14 of the blanket 10 may include at least one item attachment point such as a loop 47 for attaching an object to the blanket 10 in the extended state. For instance, the loops 46, 47 may be utilized to attach toys and/or other visually and/or physically stimulating items above the car seat 36 and/or on the blanket 10 when extended. Still further, the surfaces 12, 16 of the blanket 10, and thus the outer surface of the pad 32 may be provided with visually interesting patterns, colors, etc. to simulate and engage an infant placed on the blanket 10 or in the car seat 36.
 Although certain example methods and apparatus have been described herein, the scope of coverage of this patent is not limited thereto. On the contrary, this patent covers all methods, apparatus, and articles of manufacture fairly falling within the scope of the appended claims either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.
Patent applications in class Waterproof
Patent applications in all subclasses Waterproof