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Title:
SHOULDER STRAP POSITIONER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/101942
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a shoulder strap positioner for releasably connecting a first and a second strap of a child restraining seat harness, where the shoulder strap positioner comprises a male member configured to be connected to a first strap of the child restraining seat harness and a female member configured to be connected to a second strap of the child restraining seat harness, and where the male member can be removably connected to the female member (1b), where the female member comprises a receptacle provided with an opening for insertion of the male member, the opening being provided over a part of a circumference of the female member, where at least one rib is provided over a part of the opening, and where the male member comprises an tongue provided with a groove, the male and female members being locked to each other through a movement of the male member towards the at least one rib, the at least one rib being brought into contact and accommodated in the groove through this movement, and released from each other through a movement of the male member away from the at least one rib.

Inventors:
KOENRAADS, Marloes (Zeeburgerkade 260, 1019 MK Amsterdam, NL)
WESTRA, Hugo (Statensingel 41 A2, 3039 LC Rotterdam, NL)
Application Number:
EP2018/082407
Publication Date:
May 31, 2019
Filing Date:
November 23, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HTS HANS TORGERSEN & SØNN AS (N-3535 KRØDEREN, N-3535, NO)
International Classes:
A44B11/25; B60N2/28; B60R22/10
Foreign References:
US20140103697A12014-04-17
US5084946A1992-02-04
US20140008960A12014-01-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ONSAGERS AS (P. O. Box 1813 Vika, Oslo, N-0123, NO)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A shoulder strap positioner (1) for releasably connecting a first and a second strap (Bl, B2) of a child restraining seat harness (B), the shoulder strap positioner (1) comprising a male member (la) configured to be connected to the first strap (Bl) of the child restraining seat harness (B) and a female member (lb) configured to be connected to the second strap (B2) of the child restraining seat harness (B), wherein said male member (la) is removably connected to said female member (lb), characterized in that the female member (lb) comprises a receptacle (lc) provided with an opening (ld) for insertion of said male member (la), the opening (ld) being provided over a part of a circumference of said receptacle (lc) of the female member (lb), where at least one rib (2) is provided over a part of the opening (ld), and where the male member (la) comprises a tongue (4) provided with a groove (6), the male and female members (la, lb) being locked to each other through a movement of the male member (la) towards the at least one rib (2), the at least one rib (2) being brought into contact and accommodated in the groove (6) through this movement, and released from each other through a movement of the male member (la) away from the at least one rib (2).

A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that each of the male and female members (la, lb) comprises a leg member (le) extending out from the respective male and female member (la, lb), and a plate element (lf), where fastening means are provided at least over a part of each plate element (lf).

3. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 2, characterized in that the

receptacle (lc) of the female member (lb) has a substantially annular or rectangular form.

4. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the

opening (ld) is a through-going opening over at least a quarter of the

circumference of said female member (lb).

5. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 2, characterized in that the

fastening means comprises Velcro.

6. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that a first part of the opening (ld) has a height that is at least a height of a tongue (4) of the male member (la).

7. A shoulder strap positioner according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the opening (ld) comprises a first part and a second part, the first part having a height (hl) and the second part having a height (h2).

8. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 2, characterized in that the plate element (lf) is provided with a flange or ridge (5) around all of its sides.

9. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 2, characterized in that the leg member (le) of the male member (la), at an end connected to or integrated to the tongue (4), has a curved termination.

10. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the receptacle (lc) is provided with a plurality of internal protrusions or ribs (3).

11. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the shoulder strap positioner (1) has a concave shape.

12. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the receptacle (lc) comprises a hollow, where the opening (ld) leads into the hollow.

13. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 2, characterized in that the leg member (le) and the plate element (lf) form an angle between them, the angle preferably being 4-20 degrees, more preferably 7-15 degrees.

14. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the tongue (4) has a tapering form over its length.

15. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 10, characterized in that the protrusions or ribs (3) are arranged diametrically opposite each other inside the hollow.

16. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the groove (6) has a curved or rectilinear form.

17. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the movement is a rotary movement.

18. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 1, characterized in that the movement is a rectilinear movement.

19. A shoulder strap positioner (1) according to claim 7, characterized in that the first part of the opening (ld) has a length that is at least a width of the tongue (4) of the male member (la).

Description:
SHOULDER STRAP POSITIONER

The present invention relates to a child safety seat integrated into a vehicle passenger seat or separate therefrom, and more specifically a child safety seat having a connecting device to removably secure child seat harness belts together.

It is well-known that many standard vehicle restraint systems do not adequately protect children from injury during vehicle collisions. For example, shoulder seat belts often do not adjust sufficiently to accommodate a child, sometimes resulting in the shoulder seat belt being dangerously positioned at the child's neck. To remedy this problem, supplemental child vehicle restraints, such as child safety seat assemblies, have become an increasingly popular way of properly restraining children during vehicle collisions, thereby reducing injuries resulting therefrom. Instead of the conventional shoulder seat belt restraint, child safety seat assemblies usually employ some form of harness that extends across the entire torso of the child.

A child restraint system may be built into a vehicle passenger seat or may be included within a child seat restable upon the vehicle passenger seat. A variety of different types of harness systems are available at the market today. Typically, the restraint system includes a pair of webs or straps extendable downwardly over the shoulders and against the chest of the child to a pair of tongues or a single tongue, which is, in turn, lockingly engaged with a buckle secured to the child safety seat assembly. In order to position the webs or straps together across the child's chest, quick disconnect connectors usually are utilized.

The length of the straps and the connection points between one or more of the webs or straps and the seats of child safety seat assemblies are usually adjustable so that the child safety seat assemblies are able to accommodate children of different sizes. Adjusting the connection points between straps and seats of some conventional child safety seat assemblies can be a cumbersome, time consuming process. Thus, caregivers of children would appreciate a child safety seat assembly having a simple, easy-to-use harness strap retainer apparatus for adjusting the connection point of the harness to the seat. It is also known that child safety seat assemblies with three- or five-point safety harnesses may include a one- or two-piece sliding clip that is intended to hold the pair of webs or straps in place over the child's shoulders. The pair of webs or straps are generally threaded through a plastic clip, which should rest on the child's chest at approximately armpit-level. Unfortunately, because the plastic clip slides easily to adjust to the size of the child, an active child may soon discover that he or she can slide the plastic clip down, slip the harness webs or straps from his or her shoulders, and climb out of the car seat, whereby these clips will be less effective. When a child sits in a child safety seat, instances occur when the child exploits extra slack in the harness to slide the harness off the shoulders. This results in an unsafe situation, as the child is no longer strapped in its child safety seat.

Furthermore, new European regulations (R129) states that such child-proof lock assemblies must be opened in a single action and with a force smaller than 15N.

US 5.084.946 discloses a quick disconnect connector. A female member includes an outwardly opening cavity formed by four integrally formed sidewalls. A male member is insertable into the cavity and includes a pair of flexible spring biased arms releasably lockable and extendable into a pair of slots formed in the sidewalls of the female member. Ramps formed on the flexible arms are arranged relative to the slot edges to force the arms inwardly apart from the sidewalls to unlock therefrom when oppositely directed forces are applied to the opposite ends of the male member and female member. Cooperating guide means formed internally on the sidewalls and on a center post are mounted to the male member guide the male member relative to the female member. Slots formed in the opposite ends of the male member and female member mountingly receive belts arranged

perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis of the male member and female member.

US 2014/0008960 Al discloses a harness retainer for use with a juvenile safety seat including a first belt mount that couples to a first harness belt, a second belt mount that couples to a second harness belt and couples to the first belt mount, and a lock that moves from a locked configuration to an unlocked configuration, wherein the lock moves from the locked configuration, blocking movement of the first belt mount away from the second belt mount, to the unlocked configuration, allowing movement of the first belt mount away from the second belt mount.

Publication Dl relates to a restraint safety device, where figure 5 shows a preferred embodiment of the restraint safety device. Child safety seat 10 includes a five-point harness system 12. ln the five-point harness system 12, a chest clip 18 and buttons 19 have been attached to the shoulder straps 3A and 3B, see also figures 6 and 7A, 7B. ln the first preferred embodiment, buttons 19 function as chest clip stops in that they stop the child from sliding chest clip 18 downward or upward, enabling chest clip 18 to remain appropriately positioned over the child's chest. Because chest clip 18 stays positioned over the child's chest, the child is prevented from escaping from the 5 -point harness system and remains securely protected by the car seat harness system.

Publication D2 relates to a child restraint harness having a chest clip device, where the child restraint harness 100 may be provided on a child seat 102 having a seat portion 104 and a seatback 106. The child restraint harness 100 can include waist straps 110A and 110B, a crotch strap 112, shoulder straps 114A and 1 14B, and a fastening buckle 116 held with the crotch strap 1 12. ln one embodiment, the child restraint harness 100 can implement a three-point attachment including two fasteners 120A and 120B operable to engage and lock with the buckle 116. The two fasteners 120A and 120B can include a right fastener 120A connected with the right waist strap 110A and the right shoulder strap 114A, and a left fastener 120B connected with the left waist strap 110B and the left shoulder strap 1 14B.“Left” and“right” as used herein can refer to the two lateral sides of the child. In one embodiment, the right waist strap 1 10A and the right shoulder strap 1 14A can be formed from a same continuous web material that is routed through the right fastener 120 A, and the left waist strap 110B and the left shoulder strap 114B can be formed from another continuous web material that is routed through the left fastener 120B. Each of the fasteners 120A and 120B can include a tongue portion adapted to engage through the buckle 116. In addition, the child restraint harness 100 can include a chest clip device 130 operable to properly position the two shoulder straps 114A and 1 14B.

Publication D3 relates to a child restraint assembly for a child vehicle seat, where figure 1 illustrates a child seat 10 that employs a child restraint assembly in accordance with the invention. The child restraint assembly generally includes a chest clip 100, a buckle assembly 200, a harness adjuster 300, and a harness 400 that is threaded through the chest clip 100 and the buckle assembly 200 and that is adjustable via the harness adjuster 300.

Restraining users during travel typically comprises an inefficient process with little flexibility. Accordingly, there exists a need in the art to overcome at least some of the deficiencies and limitations described herein above, or to provide a useful alternative.

Accordingly, a need remains for a child-proof lock assembly in order to overcome the above-noted shortcomings, or to at least provide a useful alternative. The present invention satisfies such a need by providing a harness lock assembly that is easy to use, provides peace of mind to drivers, and greatly increases the safety achieved for a child placed in the child safety seat. Such a child-proof lock assembly keeps a child safely restrained and allows the motorist to concentrate on driving the vehicle. The lock assembly also helps parents avoid expensive tickets for improperly restraining their children, and ultimately saves lives by effectively restraining infants and toddlers in the event of an accident.

These objects are achieved with a shoulder strap positioner according to the following independent claim, with additional embodiments set forth in the dependent claims.

According to the present invention it is provided a shoulder strap positioner for releasably connecting a first and a second strap of a child restraining seat harness, where the shoulder strap positioner comprises a male member configured to be connected to, for instance, said first strap of the child restraining seat harness and a female member configured to be connected to, for instance, said second strap of the child restraining seat harness, where said male member is removably connected to said female member, and where the female member comprises a receptacle provided with an opening for insertion of said male member, the opening being provided over a part of a circumference of said female member, where at least one interior rib furthermore is arranged within the receptacle, and the male member is provided with a corresponding tongue, said male and female members being locked to each other through a movement one way and unlocked from each other through a movement opposite way.

The movement that is used to connect and lock (or vice versa) the male and female members of the shoulder strap positioner to each other may be a rotary movement or a rectilinear movement.

However, it could be envisaged that the male member and female member could also be connected to other parts or elements, for instance shoulder sleeves connected to or being a part of the straps of the child restraining seat harness.

In one exemplary embodiment of the present invention, each of the male and female members may comprise a leg element, where one end of the leg element is connected to or integrated into the male/female member, while an opposite end of the leg element is provided with fastening means, such that the male and female members can be removably connected to, for instance the first and second straps of the child restraining seat harness. Alternatively, the opposite end of the leg element may be connected to or integrated into a plate element, whereby the plate element may be provided with the fastening means over a part or whole of its length. The plate element and the leg element may be arranged to be perpendicular to each other, but it should be understood that the plate element and the leg element may also be arranged to form an angle between them which is smaller or greater than 90 degrees.

The fastening means may, for instance, be Velcro, but a person skilled in the art would understand that also other fastening means could be used to connect the male and female members to the straps of the child restraining seat harness.

The fastener means may be provided on one or both sides of the leg elements or the plate elements.

In one exemplary embodiment, the plate member may have a substantially rectangular form, but it could be envisaged that the plate member could be designed with other forms, for instance an oval form, a square form or the like. Furthermore, the plate element may be provided with a flange or ridge around all of its sides, the flanges or ridges forming a hollow or sunken area in the plate element, in which hollow or sunken area the fastener means can be arranged. The fastening means will then not extend above the flanges or the ridges, whereby the child cannot be injured from the fastening means during the use of the shoulder strap positioner.

The female member comprises further an at least partly hollow receptacle, where the receptacle, may have a substantially annular or a substantially rectangular form, when seen from above. However, it could be envisaged that the receptacle of the female member could be designed with other forms, for instance a polygonal form, an oval form or the like.

The male member comprises further a tongue, where the tongue of the male member can be inserted into the opening provided in the receptacle of the female member in order to lock the male and female members. Furthermore, the tongue of the male member is provided with a groove, where the groove will act with at least one rib provided in the opening in the receptacle of the female member in order to connect and lock the male and female members. The groove may have a width and a depth that is slightly larger a width and a height of the rib, such that the rib can be accommodated in the groove when the male and female members are connected and locked to each other. The groove may have a curved form or a rectilinear form.

The opening provided in the receptacle of the female member is arranged in such a way that it may extend, for instance, over a quarter of the circumference of the receptacle, but the opening could also be arranged to extend over a smaller or larger length of the circumference of the receptacle. The opening may have a varying or fluctuating height over its length, where a first part of the length of the opening may have a height that is twice the height of a height of a second part of the length of the opening. Furthermore, the height of the second part of the length of the opening may be slightly larger than a height of a tongue of the male member. The

arrangement of the opening (i.e. the length and the height of the opening), will allow a user to slide the tongue of the male member into the opening provided in the receptacle of the female member, where the male and female member, during this operation, in one exemplary embodiment of the shoulder strap positioner, will form an angle relative each other, whereafter the male and female members are moved relative each other until the tongue of the male member is moved past a rib provided in the receptacle of the female member. When the tongue of the male member is moved rotated past the rib, the male member will be locked to the female member, through the groove and the rib, in which position the male and female members may be aligned co-linear with each other (i.e. form a straight line) and a side of the male member is brought into abutment with a beginning (or end) point of the slit. The child restraining seat harness is then tensioned in order to even further exert a force on the shoulder strap positioner. When the male and female members are fastened to their respective first and second straps of the child restraining seat harness and the male member is locked to the female member, and the straps of the child restraining seat harness is tensioned, it will not be possible for the child to open the shoulder strap positioner. The first and second straps of the child restraining seat harness will exert outward forces parallel to a horizontal plane of the shoulder strap positioner, preventing the male and female members to be moved and therefore opened.

Other advantages and characteristics of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description, the appended drawings and the following claims, wherein

Figures 1D show a first embodiment of a shoulder strap positioner according to the present invention, figure 1 A showing the shoulder strap positioner from above, figure 1B showing the shoulder strap positioner from below, in a connected and locked state, figure 1C showing the shoulder strap positioner in a state where the shoulder strap positioner is to be connected and locked (or vice versa) and figure 1D showing the shoulder strap positioner from side, in a connected and locked state,

Figures 2D show a second embodiment of a shoulder strap positioner according to the present invention, figure 2A showing the shoulder strap positioner from above, figure 2B showing the shoulder strap positioner from below, in a connected and locked state, figure 2C showing the shoulder strap positioner in a state where the shoulder strap positioner is to be connected and locked (or vice versa) and figure 2D showing the shoulder strap positioner from side, in a connected and locked state,

Figures 3A-3C show how the shoulder strap positioner according to figures 1A-1C and 2A-2C can be connected to a child restraining seat harness installed in a child safety seat,

Figures 4A-4D show how the shoulder strap positioner according to, for instance, figures 1A-1C is used,

Figure 5A shows, in greater detail, the female member of the shoulder strap positioner according to figures 1A-1C,

Figure 5B shows, in greater detail, the male member of the shoulder strap positioner according to figures 1A-1C,

Figure 6A show, in greater detail, the female member of the shoulder strap positioner according to figures 2A-2C, Figure 6B show, in greater detail, the male member of the shoulder strap positioner according to figures 2A-2C,

Figures 7A-7D show a third embodiment of a shoulder strap positioner according to the present invention, figure 7A showing the shoulder strap positioner from above, figure 7B showing the shoulder strap positioner from below, in a connected and locked state, figure 7C showing the shoulder strap positioner in a state where the shoulder strap positioner is to be connected and locked (or vice versa) and figure 7D showing the shoulder strap positioner from side, in a connected and locked state,

Figure 8A shows, in greater detail, the female member of the shoulder strap positioner according to figures 7A-7D, and

Figure 8B shows, in greater detail, the male member of the shoulder strap positioner according to figures 7A-7D.

In figures 1A-1D and 5A-5B is shown a first exemplary embodiment of a shoulder strap positioner 1 according to the present invention in a connected and locked state, and a state where the shoulder strap positioner 1 is to be connected and locked (or vice versa).

The shoulder strap positioner 1 for releasably connecting a first and second strap Bl , B2 of a child restraining seat harness B comprises a male member la and a female member lb, where the male member la is configured to be connected to said first strap Bl of the child restraining seat harness B and the female member lb is configured to be connected to said second strap B2 of the child restraining seat harness B. The child restraining seat harness B may also comprise shoulder sleeves B3, where the shoulder sleeves B3 in appropriate ways then are connected to the straps Bl, B2 of the child restraining seat harness B, or to a child safety seat S. A person skilled in the art would know how this is done, whereby this is not described any further herein.

Furthermore, the male member la and the female member lb can be releasably connected to each other, where the shoulder strap positioner 1 , when the male and female members la, lb are connected and locked to each other, will prevent that a child can unlock the shoulder strap positioner 1 and thereafter remove the straps Bl , B2 of the child restraining seat harness B from its shoulders when seated in a child safety seat S.

The female member lb comprises an at least partly hollow receptacle lc which is provided with an opening ld for insertion of a tongue 4 of the male member la, the opening ld leading into the hollow, where the opening ld is provided over a part of a circumference of the female member lb. The opening ld may have a length that will be a quarter of the circumference of the receptacle lc, such that the tongue 4 of the male member la can be inserted into the hollow receptacle lc of the female member lb through the opening ld and thereafter rotated relative to the female member lb in order to be brought to a locking position with the female member lb.

A first part of the opening ld is provided with a length having a height hl, and a second part of the opening ld is provided with a length having a height h2. The height hl of the first part may, for instance, be twice the height h2 of the second part of the opening ld, and the height h2 of the second part of the opening ld may, for instance, be slightly larger than a thickness of the tongue 4 of the male member la.

The transition between the first part and the second part of the opening ld, i.e. the first height hl and the second height h2 of the opening ld is abrupt, i.e. the first height hl will be narrowed to the second height h2 through a substantially vertical restriction v.

The receptacle 1 c will be provided with a rib 2 (see figure 5 A), where the rib 2 will extend over the length of the second part of the opening ld, and along the circumference of the receptacle ld.

The receptacle 1 c is further provided with a number of internal protrusions or ribs 3 on its hollow inside, where the internal protrusions or ribs 3 will face toward a center of the hollow. These internal protrusions or ribs 3 will act like rotation stoppers for the tongue 4 of the male member la, whereby the male member la will be prevented from further rotation relative the female member lb when the male member la is brought into abutment with the internal protrusions or ribs 3.

The male member 1 a comprises a tongue 4 which is configured to be inserted the opening ld of the female member lb, and thereafter rotated in the opening ld.

Each of the male and female member la, lb comprises a leg member le, which leg member le of the female member lb, through one of its ends, in appropriate ways is connected to the receptacle lc of the female member lb and which leg member le of the male member la, through one of its ends, in appropriate ways is connected to the tongue 4 of the male member 1 a. An opposite end of the leg member 1 e is, in appropriate ways, connected to a plate element lf, where the plate element lf is to be connected to the first or second strap of the child restraining seat harness, whereby the plate element lf is provided with fastening means on both of its sides (i.e. an upper surface and a lower surface). The fastening means may be Velcro or the like. The plate elements lf are provided with a small flange or ridge 5 around all of their sides, such that there is provided a hollow or sunken area on both sides of the plate element lf, where the fastenings means, for instance Velcro, is arranged in the hollow or sunken area of the plate element 1 f in order to prevent discomfort for the child.

The tongue 4 of the male member la will, towards an end of the tongue 4 that is connected to the leg element le, be provided with a groove 6 (see figure 5B and 6B). The groove 6 is curved, such that the male member la could be rotated relative the female member lb.

When the tongue 4 of the male member la is inserted into the opening ld, the male and female members la, lb will form an angle relative each other, and when the male member la is locked to the female member lb, the male and female members la, lb will be aligned with each other and form a straight line.

Figure 1C shows the shoulder strap positioner 1 in a state where the shoulder strap positioner 1 is to be locked (or unlocked). The tongue 4 of the male member la is inserted into the first part of the opening ld provided in the receptacle lc of the female part lb, the first part having the height hl, and thereafter the male part la is rotated towards the second part of the opening ld. Through the movement, the rib 2 will be brought into contact with and accommodated in the groove 6 provided in the tongue 4 of the male member la. As the rib 2 protrude into the groove 6, the male and female members la, lb will be connected and locked to each other.

Figure 1D shows the shoulder strap positioner 1 from a side, where it can be seen that the shoulder strap positioner 1 has a substantially rectilinear design, i.e. a surface facing towards the child, when the shoulder strap positioner 1 is connected to the first and second strap Bl, B2 of a child restraining seat harness B, is substantially flat.

Figures 2A-2D and 6A-6B show a second exemplary embodiment of a shoulder strap positioner according to the present invention.

The female member lb comprises an at least partly hollow receptacle lc which is provided with an opening ld for insertion of a tongue 4 of the male member la, where the opening 1 d is provided over a part of a circumference of the female member lb. The opening ld may have a length that will be a quarter of the circumference of the receptacle lc, such that the tongue 4 of the male member la can be inserted into the receptacle lc of the female member lb through the opening ld and thereafter rotated relative to the female member lb in order to be brought to a locking position with the female member lb.

A first part of the opening ld is provided with a length having a height hl, and a second part of the opening ld is provided with a length having a height h2. The height hl of the first part may, for instance, be twice the height h2 of the second part of the opening ld, and the height h2 of the second part of the opening ld may, for instance, be slightly larger than a thickness of the tongue 4 of the male member l a.

The transition between the first part and the second part of the opening ld, i.e. the first height hl and the second height h2 of the opening ld is abrupt, i.e. the first height hl will be narrowed to the second height h2 through a substantially vertical restriction v.

The receptacle 1 c will be provided with a rib 2 (see figure 6A), where the rib 2 will extend over the length of the second part of the opening ld, and along the circumference of the receptacle ld.

The receptacle lc is further provided with a number of internal protrusions or ribs 3 on its hollow inside, where the internal protrusions or ribs 3 will face toward a center of the hollow. These internal protrusions or ribs 3 will act like rotation stoppers for the tongue 4 of the male member la, whereby the male member la will be prevented from further rotation relative the female member lb when the male member la is brought into abutment with the internal protrusions or ribs 3.

The male member 1 a comprises a tongue 4 which is configured to be inserted the opening ld of the female member lb, and thereafter rotated in the opening ld.

Each of the male and female member la, lb comprises a leg member le, which leg member le of the female member lb, through one of its ends, in appropriate ways is connected to the receptacle lc of the female member lb and which leg member le of the male member la, through one of its ends, in appropriate ways is connected to the tongue 4 of the male member la. An opposite end of the leg member le is connected to or integrated to a plate element 1 f. In this embodiment, the plate element lf and the leg element le are arranged to form an angle of, for instance, approximately 10 degrees between them, whereby the plate element lf will be parallel with the straps Bl , B2 of the child restraining seat harness B when the shoulder strap positioner 1 is connected to the straps Bl , B2 of the child restraining seat harness B and the male and female members la, lb are locked to each other. Through this arrangement of the leg member le and the plate element lf no part of the shoulder strap positioner will be in direct contact with the child. The plate element lf is to be connected to the first or second strap of the child restraining seat harness, whereby the plate element lf is provided with fastening means on both of its sides (i.e. an upper surface and a lower surface). The fastening means may be Velcro or the like.

Furthermore, the plate elements lf are provided with a small flange or ridge 5 around all of their sides, such that there is provided a hollow or sunken area on both sides of the plate element lf, where the fastenings means, for instance Velcro, is arranged in the hollow or sunken area in order to prevent discomfort for the child.

The tongue 4 of the male member la will, towards an end of the tongue 4 that is connected to the leg element le, be provided with a groove 6 (see figure 5B and 6B). The groove 6 is curved, such that the male member la could be rotated relative the female member lb.

Figure 2C shows the shoulder strap positioner 1 in a state where the shoulder strap positioner 1 is to be locked (or unlocked). The tongue 4 of the male member la is inserted into the first part of the opening ld provided in the receptacle lc of the female part lb, the first part having the height hl , and thereafter the male part la is rotated towards the second part of the opening ld. Through the movement, the rib 2 will be brought into contact with and accommodated in the groove 6 provided in the tongue 4 of the male member la. As the rib 2 protrude into the groove 6, the male and female members la, lb will be connected and locked to each other.

Figure 2D shows the shoulder strap positioner 1 from a side, where it can be seen that the shoulder strap positioner 1 has a substantially concave design, i.e. a surface facing towards the child, when the shoulder strap positioner 1 is connected to the first and second strap Bl, B2 of a child restraining seat harness B, is substantially concave.

Figures 3A-3C show how the shoulder strap positioner 1 according to figures 1A- 1D, 2A-2D and 7A-7D is connected to the child restraining seat harness B installed in a child seat S, where it can be seen that the male member la, through the fastening means, is connected to the first strap B 1 of the child restraining seat harness B, and the female member lb is connected to the second strap B2 of the child restraining seat harness B. Alternatively, the male and female members la, lb may be connected to shoulder sleeves B3 of the child restraining seat harness B, if the child restraining seat harness B comprises such shoulder sleeves B3. However, as a person skilled in the art would know how this can be done, this is not described any further herein. In figures 4A-4D is shown how the shoulder strap positioner 1 according to, for instance figures 1A-1D is used. In figure 4 A a child is placed in a child safety seat S, and the straps Bl , B2 of the child restraining seat harness B are then arranged over the shoulders of the child. The tongue 4 of the male member la is then inserted into the first part of the opening ld provided in the receptacle lc of the female member lb. In figures 4B and 4C the male member la is rotated towards the second part of the opening ld provided in the receptacle lc of the female member lb in order to bring the groove 6 provided in the tongue 4 into contact with the rib 2 of the opening ld. When the rib 2 is brought into contact and accommodated in the groove 6, the male and female members la, lb of the shoulder strap positioner 1 will be connected and locked to each other. In figure 4D is shown that the child restraint seat harness B is tensioned in order to even further exert a force on the shoulder strap positioner 1, whereby the child cannot open the shoulder strap positioner 1.

Figure 6B show a male member la of another exemplary embodiment of a shoulder strap positioner 1 according to the present invention, where the male member la is to be used with the female member according to figure 6A.

The male member la comprises a leg member le, where the leg member le, through one of its ends, is connected or integrated to the tongue 4 of the male member la.

An opposite end of the leg member le is connected to or integrated to a plate element lf. As described in accordance with figures 2A-2D, in this embodiment the plate element lf and the leg element le are arranged to form an angle of 10 degrees between them, whereby the plate element lf will be parallel with the straps Bl, B2 of the child restraining seat harness B when the shoulder strap positioner 1 is connected to the straps Bl, B2 of the child restraining seat harness B and the male and female members la, lb are connected and locked to each other. Through this arrangement of the leg member le and the plate element lf no part of the shoulder strap positioner will be in direct contact with the child.

Furthermore, the end of the leg member le that is connected to or integrated to the tongue 4 of the male member la has a curved termination, where this curved termination has the same form as the groove 6 provided in the tongue 4.

In figures 7A-7D and 8A-8B is shown a third embodiment of a shoulder strap positioner 1 according to the present invention, where the female member lb comprises at least a partly hollow receptacle lc which is provided with an opening ld for insertion of a tongue 4 of the male member la. The receptacle lc has a substantially rectangular or quadratic form, where the opening ld is provided in one of the sides of the receptacle lc. A first part of the opening ld is provided with a length having a height hl, and a second part of the opening ld is provided with a length having a height h2. The height hl of the first part may, for instance, be twice the height h2 of the second part of the opening ld, and the height h2 of the second part of the opening ld may, for instance, be slightly larger than a thickness of the tongue 4 of the male member la.

The transition between the first part and the second part of the opening ld, i.e. the first height hl and the second height h2 of the opening ld is abrupt, i.e. the first height hl will be narrowed to the second height h2 through a substantially vertical restriction v. However, it should be understood that the transition could be sloping.

The receptacle lc is provided with a rib 2 (see figure 8 A), where the rib 2 will extend over the length of the second part of the opening ld.

The male member 1 a comprises a tongue 4 which is configured to be inserted the opening ld of the female member lb, and thereafter moved along the opening ld.

Each of the male and female member la, lb comprises a leg member le, which leg member le, of the female member lb, through one of its ends, in appropriate ways is connected to the receptacle lc of the female member lb and which leg member le of the male member la, through one of its ends, in appropriate ways is connected to the tongue 4 of the male member 1 a. An opposite end of the leg member 1 e is connected to or integrated to a plate element lf. In this exemplary embodiment, the plate element lf and the leg element le are arranged to form an angle of, for instance, approximately 10 degrees between them, whereby the plate element lf will be parallel with the straps Bl, B2 of the child restraining seat harness B when the shoulder strap positioner 1 is connected to the straps Bl , B2 of the child restraining seat harness B and the male and female members la, lb are locked to each other. Through this arrangement of the leg member le and the plate element lf no part of the shoulder strap positioner will be in direct contact with the child.

The plate element lf is to be connected to the first or second strap of the child restraining seat harness B, whereby the plate element lf is provided with fastening means on both of its sides (i.e. an upper surface and a lower surface). The fastening means may be Velcro or the like.

Furthermore, the plate elements lf are provided with a small flange or ridge 5 around all of their sides, such that there is provided a hollow or sunken area on both sides of the plate element lf, where the fastenings means, for instance Velcro, is arranged in the hollow or sunken area in order to prevent discomfort for the child. The tongue 4 of the male member la will, towards an end of the tongue 4 that is connected to the leg element le, be provided with a groove 6 (see figure 8B). The groove 6 is rectilinear, such that the male member la could be moved rectilinearly relative the female member lb.

Figure 7C shows the shoulder strap positioner 1 in a state where the male and female members la, lb of the shoulder strap positioner 1 are to be locked (or unlocked). The tongue 4 of the male member la is inserted into the first part of the opening ld provided in the receptacle lc of the female part lb, the first part having the height hl, and thereafter the male part la is moved rectilinearly towards the second part of the opening ld. Through the movement, the rib 2 will be brought into contact with and accommodated in the groove 6 provided in the tongue 4 of the male member la. As the rib 2 protrude into the groove 6, the male and female members la, lb will be connected and locked to each other.

Figure 8D shows the shoulder strap positioner 1 from a side, where it can be seen that the shoulder strap positioner 1 has a substantially concave design, i.e. a surface facing towards the child, when the shoulder strap positioner 1 is connected to the first and second strap Bl, B2 of a child restraining seat harness B, is substantially concave.

The invention has now been explained with the aid of non-limiting exemplary embodiments. A person of skill in the art will understand that a number of variations and modifications can be made to the shoulder strap positioner as described within the scope of the invention as described in the appended claims.