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United States Patent Application 20070246982
Kind Code A1
Nett; Reiner ;   et al. October 25, 2007

Child protection system for motor vehicles

Abstract

A child protection system comprises a back rest, a back support on the seat back, a head rest component of the back rest which is displaceably mounted on the back support, a first adjusting mechanism which is used to adjust the position of the head rest component in relation to the back support in the longitudinal direction of the back, two lateral shoulder support flanges which are arranged in a transversal manner in the longitudinal direction of the back and at a distance from each other on the lateral support section of the head rest component, and a second adjusting mechanism which is used to adjust the distance between both lateral shoulder support flanges in a transversal manner to the longitudinal direction of the back. A coupling mechanism is configured such that during actuation, one adjusting mechanism as well as the other adjusting mechanism is triggered.


Inventors: Nett; Reiner; (Aschaffenburg, DE) ; Boll; Rudiger; (Bessenbach, DE)
Correspondence Address:
    FOLEY AND LARDNER LLP;SUITE 500
    3000 K STREET NW
    WASHINGTON
    DC
    20007
    US
Assignee: TAKATA-PETRI AG

Serial No.: 783283
Series Code: 11
Filed: April 6, 2007

Current U.S. Class: 297/250.1
Class at Publication: 297/250.1
International Class: A47C 1/08 20060101 A47C001/08


Foreign Application Data

DateCodeApplication Number
Oct 8, 2004DE10 2004 049 754.0

Claims



1. A child protection system for motor vehicles for arranging on a motor vehicle seat, comprising: a backrest which extends along a backrest longitudinal direction; a back support of the backrest, the back support being arranged on a seat shell and configured to provide rear support of a child's torso; a head restraint subassembly of the backrest, the head restraint subassembly being movably mounted in the backrest longitudinal direction on the back support and is configured to provide rear and/or lateral support of a child's head; a first setting mechanism for setting a position of the head restraint subassembly with respect to the back support in the backrest longitudinal direction; two lateral shoulder protection cheeks which are arranged spaced apart from each other transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction on a respective lateral supporting section of the head restraint subassembly; a second setting mechanism for setting a distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction; and a coupling mechanism to couple the first and second setting mechanisms to each other in such a manner that, when one setting mechanism is actuated, the other setting mechanism is also triggered, wherein the distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks is configured to be set by pivoting the two lateral supporting sections about a pivot axis.

2. The child protection system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the two setting mechanisms are coupled to each other in such a manner that, when the first setting mechanism is actuated, the second setting mechanism is triggered.

3. The child protection system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the coupling mechanism includes a coupling gear for converting a movement along a first direction into a movement with a component perpendicular to the first direction.

4. The child protection system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the first direction is the backrest longitudinal direction.

5. The child protection system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the coupling gear is a toothed gear.

6. The child protection system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the coupling gear is a screw or spindle gear.

7. The child protection system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the coupling gear is a lever gear.

8. The child protection system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the coupling gear is a traction gear.

9. The child protection system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the coupling gear comprises at least one guide element guided along a guide track.

10. The child protection system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the coupling gear is configured to convert a longitudinal movement into a rotational movement or for converting a rotational movement into a longitudinal movement.

11. The child protection system as claimed in claim 3, wherein the coupling gear is configured to convert a longitudinal movement along a first direction into a longitudinal movement along another direction.

12. The child protection system as claimed in claim 10, wherein the coupling gear comprises a rack and a pinion meshing therewith.

13. The child protection system as claimed in claim 10, wherein the coupling gear comprises a screw or spindle and a nut in engagement therewith.

14. The child protection system as claimed in claim 10, wherein the coupling gear comprises a crank.

15. The child protection system as claimed in claim 10, wherein the coupling gear comprises a traction mechanism and a pulley driven thereby.

16. The child protection system as claimed in claim 9, wherein each guide track is designed as a guide slot in which a guide element engages.

17. The child protection system as claimed in claim 9, wherein each guide track is designed as a guide surface on which a guide element slides.

18. The child protection system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the back support is arranged on the seat shell in a non-displaceable manner in the backrest longitudinal direction.

19. The child protection system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the back support is arranged foldably on the seat shell.

20. The child protection system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks is configured to be set by pivoting the two shoulder protection cheeks with respect to each other about the pivot axis.

21. The child protection system as claimed in claim 20, wherein the pivot axis runs perpendicular to the backrest longitudinal direction.

22. The child protection system as claimed in claim 20, wherein the pivot axis between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks is arranged on the head restraint subassembly.

23. The child protection system as claimed in claim 1, further comprising an actuating handle to actuate the first or second setting mechanism.

24. The child protection system as claimed in claim 23, wherein the actuating handle is arranged in a recessed grip.

25. The child protection system as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a locking mechanism to lock a setting of the first or second setting mechanism.

26. The child protection system as claimed in claim 25, wherein the locking mechanism comprises a latching mechanism.

27. The child protection system as claimed in claim 25, wherein the locking mechanism is prestressed elastically in a direction of a locked state.

28. The child protection system as claimed in claim 25, wherein the locking mechanism is assigned an operating element for releasing the locking mechanism.

29. The child protection system as claimed in claim 28, further comprising an actuating handle to actuate the first or second setting mechanism, and wherein the operating element is formed by the actuating handle.

30. The child protection system as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a display device to display a setting of at least one of the setting mechanisms.

31. The child protection system as claimed in claim 30, wherein the display device comprises a scale and a pointer which are each provided on one of two parts, which can be adjusted with respect to each other by the first or second setting mechanism.

32. The child protection system as claimed in claim 31, wherein the pointer is formed by a viewing window.

33. The child protection system as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a belt guide for a seatbelt positioned on at least one of the lateral shoulder protection cheeks of the head restraint subassembly.

34. The child protection system as claimed in claim 33, wherein the belt guide is arranged on a lateral shoulder protection cheek of the head restraint subassembly in such a manner that, in an event of a change in the distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction, a position of the belt guide transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction also changes at the same time.

35. The child protection system as claimed in claim 34, wherein the belt guide is moved together with the shoulder protection cheek arranged on the same lateral supporting section.

36. The child protection system as claimed in claim 33, wherein the belt guide is configured to move in the backrest longitudinal direction in an event of a change in the position of the head restraint subassembly.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation of International Application PCT/DE 2005/001495, which has an international filing date of Aug. 22, 2005; this International Application was not published in English, but was published in German as WO 2006/039877, both of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The invention relates to a child protection system for a motor vehicle.

[0003] A child protection system for a motor vehicle is used for arranging on a motor vehicle seat and comprises a backrest which extends along a backrest longitudinal direction, with a back support, which is arranged on a seat shell and is intended for the rear support of a child's torso, and with a head restraint subassembly, which is mounted movably in the backrest longitudinal direction on the back support and is intended for the rear and/or lateral support of a child's head, wherein the head restraint subassembly furthermore has two lateral shoulder protection cheeks (side cheeks) which protrude spaced apart from each other transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction from a respective lateral supporting section of the head restraint subassembly. In order to set, firstly, the position of the head restraint subassembly with respect to the back support in the backrest longitudinal direction and, secondly, the distance of the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction, said child protection system is assigned a first and second setting mechanism.

[0004] A child protection system of this type is used for holding children traveling in a motor vehicle and, for this purpose, is fastened to a motor vehicle seat in a suitable manner. The back support of the child protection system is used for stabilizing a child's back and, for this purpose, extends in the backrest longitudinal direction along the spinal column of a child in a normal position in the child protection system. In the present case, the head restraint subassembly, which is arranged on the back support in a displaceable manner in the backrest longitudinal direction, is used not only to support a child's head but additionally also has lateral shoulder protection cheeks which, in particular in the case of a lateral crash, are intended to ensure that a child's upper body, namely the shoulders and possibly upper arms, are supported laterally.

[0005] So that a child protection system of this type provides a particular child with the best possible comfort and, in particular, best possible safety in the event of a crash, both the height of the head restraint, i.e. the position of the head restraint subassembly with respect to the back support in the backrest longitudinal direction, and the width of the head restraint, namely the distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks (side cheek distance) transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction, have to be matched to the size and in general to the anthropometrical circumstances of the particular child's body. The mechanisms for setting the position of the head restraint subassembly in the backrest longitudinal direction, on the one hand, and for setting the distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks, on the other hand, are used for this.

[0006] However, in the case of known child protection systems of this type, there is the problem that the requirement of separately actuating two different setting mechanisms in order to set the height of the head restraint (length of the backrest), on the one hand, and of the distance between the side cheeks (width of the backrest), on the other hand, is associated with some complexity. This increases the risk of misoperations and may also lead to regular adaptation of the settings to the anthropometrical circumstances, which change with a child's age, being prevented.

SUMMARY

[0007] One exemplary embodiment relates to a child protection system for motor vehicles arranged on a motor vehicle seat. The child protection system comprises: a backrest which extends along a backrest longitudinal direction; a back support of the backrest, the back support being arranged on a seat shell and configured to provide rear support of a child's torso; a head restraint subassembly of the backrest, the head restraint subassembly being movably mounted in the backrest longitudinal direction on the back support and is configured to provide rear and/or lateral support of a child's head; a first setting mechanism for setting a position of the head restraint subassembly with respect to the back support in the backrest longitudinal direction; two lateral shoulder protection cheeks which are arranged spaced apart from each other transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction on a respective lateral supporting section of the head restraint subassembly; a second setting mechanism for setting a distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction; and a coupling mechanism to couple the first and second setting mechanisms to each other in such a manner that, when one setting mechanism is actuated, the other setting mechanism is also triggered. The distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks is configured to be set by pivoting the two lateral supporting sections about a pivot axis.

[0008] It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only, and are not restrictive of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description, appended claims, and the accompanying exemplary embodiments shown in the drawings, which are briefly described below.

[0010] FIG. 1 shows a child protection system with a height-adjustable head restraint subassembly and lateral shoulder protection cheeks which can be adjusted in their distance from each other.

[0011] FIG. 2 shows a child protection system according to FIG. 1 with a different setting of the height of the head restraint and of the distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks.

[0012] FIG. 3 shows a concrete design of the child protection system shown schematically in FIGS. 1 and 2.

[0013] FIG. 4 shows an exploded illustration of the child protection system from FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0014] Embodiments are therefore based on providing a child protection system which can have convenient and reliable operability.

[0015] According thereto, the child protection system comprises a coupling mechanism by which the two setting mechanisms of the child protection system are coupled to each other in such a manner that, when one setting mechanism for setting the associated actuating variable (height of the head restraint or distance between the side cheeks) is actuated, the other setting mechanism is also triggered.

[0016] This leads to an increase in the operating convenience, since the two setting mechanisms can be operated in one actuating step, for example by single-handed actuation of an associated actuating handle. This simultaneously also reduces the risk of misoperation, since all of the setting operations can take place with one and the same actuating element.

[0017] The coupling mechanism provided according to embodiments is designed in particular in such a manner that, when the first setting mechanism (for setting the height of the head restraint) is actuated, the second setting mechanism (for setting the distance between the side cheeks) is triggered.

[0018] For this purpose, the coupling mechanism has a gear for converting a movement along a first direction into a movement with a component perpendicular to that first direction, i.e., for example, a gear for converting a movement in the backrest longitudinal direction (during the setting of the height of the head restraint) into a movement with a component perpendicular to the backrest longitudinal direction (for setting the distance between the two shoulder protection cheeks) or vice versa. For example, toothed gears, spindle gears, lever gears, traction gears, slotted guides or sliding guides or sliding wedges interacting with one another are suitable for this.

[0019] According to an embodiment, the gear is used for converting a longitudinal movement into a rotational movement or vice versa, for example by a rack and an associated pinion meshing therewith, by a screw (spindle) and a nut (spindle nut) mounted thereon, by a flexible traction mechanism (cable) and an associated pulley rotatable by the traction mechanism, or by a crank gear.

[0020] According to another embodiment, the gear is used for converting a longitudinal movement along a first direction into a longitudinal movement along a second direction, for example by a lever gear, by a guide element (for example in the form of a guide pin) guided in an associated guide track (for example in the form of a guide slot), or by interacting sliding wedges.

[0021] The distance between the two shoulder protection cheeks, which are spaced apart from each other transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction, of the child protection system, that is to say the width of the backrest, can preferably be set by pivoting the supports (about a defined pivot axis).

[0022] In order to actuate the two setting mechanisms, which are coupled to each other via the coupling mechanisms, use is preferably made of an actuating element (actuating handle) in the form of an actuating lever which is arranged in an associated recessed grip.

[0023] Furthermore, in a preferred embodiment, a locking mechanism is provided in order to lock a currently set height of the head restraint and a currently set distance between the side cheeks. For example, a latching mechanism which is prestreseed elastically (by a spring mechanism) in the direction of the locked state and which can be released by an associated operating element, is suitable for this. Said operating element is preferably formed by the actuating element which is used for resetting the height of the head restraint and the distance between the side cheeks. For this purpose, the actuating element is mounted movably, i.e., for example, in the form of a pivotably mounted actuating lever, such that by action on the actuating element, i.e., for example, by pivoting an actuating lever, first of all the locking mechanism can be released and then, by further action on the actuating element, for example by pulling with force applied in the backrest longitudinal direction, the one setting mechanism, i.e., in the present case, the setting mechanism for setting the length of the backrest, is actuated. According to embodiments, the other setting mechanism is also triggered at the same time by this, i.e., in the present case, the distance between the two lateral supports of the backrest is adjusted.

[0024] Furthermore, a display device for displaying the setting of at least one of the setting mechanisms is advantageously provided, which display device can be formed by a scale and an associated pointer which are each provided on one of two parts of the child protection system that can be adjusted with respect to each other, for example each on one of two backrest parts which are telescopic with respect to each other (back support, on the one hand, and head restraint subassembly, on the other hand). In this case, the pointer may be designed as a display window in the form of a viewing window behind which one part of the scale can be seen.

[0025] Expediently, at least one belt guide used for guiding a seat belt is arranged on the head restraint subassembly of the child protection system in such a manner that the position thereof is adjusted in a corresponding manner at the same time as the height of the head restraint and the distance between the side cheeks are reset. By this, the position of the belt guide of the child protection system is in each case adapted automatically to the current setting of the height of the head restraint and the distance between the side cheeks. The arrangement of a respective belt guide on each of the two lateral sections of the backrest is particularly preferred here according to an embodiment.

[0026] Embodiments will now be described with reference to the Figures.

[0027] FIG. 1 schematically illustrates a child protection system in the form of a child seat which has a seat shell 1 with a trough 10 and a backrest 2 protruding upward therefrom.

[0028] The seat shell 1 with the seat trough 10 forms a receptacle for the thighs, bottom and pelvis of a child, and the backrest 2 is used, firstly, to support a child's back by a back support 21 and, secondly, to support a child's head by a head restraint subassembly 22, with lateral shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 (side cheeks) also protruding from the head restraint subassembly 22, which shoulder protection cheeks are used to laterally support a child in the region of the upper arms and shoulders, in particular in the event of a lateral crash, and, for this purpose, protrude spaced apart from each other transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L from a respective lateral supporting section 7a, 7b arranged pivotably on the head restraint subassembly 22. In the present case, the backrest longitudinal direction L is understood as meaning that direction along which the spinal column of a child in a normal position in the seat shell 1 extends. The head restraint subassembly 22 is also referred to below simply as head restraint although it has additional subassemblies 26, 27, 28, 29 in comparison to conventional head restraints.

[0029] The child protection system, which is illustrated in FIG. 1, in the form of a child seat can be matched in its geometrical dimensions to the anthropometrical circumstances of a child's body in order to ensure the best possible comfort and greatest possible safety for a child using the child protection system. For this purpose, both the height of the head restraint, i.e. the position of the head restraint 22 with respect to the back support 21 in the backrest longitudinal direction L, and the distance between the lateral shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 (side cheeks) along a direction Q transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L can be set.

[0030] In order to set the height of the head restraint, the backrest 2 is overall of telescopic design and comprises two backrest parts 21, 22 which can be adjusted with respect to each other in the backrest longitudinal direction L and of which the one, lower back rest part 21 forms the back support and the other, upper back rest part 22, which can be displaced with respect thereto in the backrest longitudinal direction L, forms the head restraint. In order to set the length of the backrest, use is made of an actuating handle 3 which is arranged in a recessed grip 30 and is in the form of an actuating lever which is arranged on a head receptacle 23 (for receiving a child's head) provided on the head restraint subassembly 22 and which takes on a dual function:

[0031] (1) Firstly, by pivoting the actuating lever 3, a locking mechanism, which is formed by latching elements prestressed elastically into their locked state and with which the respectively current setting of the length of the backrest is locked, can be released. This makes it possible for the first time to reset the height of the head restraint by displacing the head restraint 22 with respect to the back support 21 in the backrest longitudinal direction L.

[0032] (2) Secondly, after release of the locking mechanism by exerting a tensile force, which acts in the backrest longitudinal direction L, on the actuating handle 3, a desired resetting of the height of the head restraint can be undertaken, with the two backrest parts 21, 22 forming the corresponding setting mechanism, namely the back support 21 and the head restraint 22 mounted movably thereon, being displaced with respect to each other in the backrest longitudinal direction L, cf. FIG. 2.

[0033] The setting mechanism 20 for setting the length of the backrest L, realized by the telescopic capability of the two backrest parts 21, 22, is assigned a display device 4 which comprises a display or viewing window 41 provided on the first, lower backrest part, namely the back support 21, and a scale 42 provided on the other, upper backrest part, namely on the head restraint 22. A certain excerpt of the scale 42 is visible in each case through the viewing window 41 in accordance with the relative position of the two backrest parts 21, 22 with respect to each other in the backrest longitudinal direction L, at which cutout the current setting of the height of the head restraint can be read. The scale does not absolutely have to specify the current overall length of the backrest 2, comprising back support 21 and head restraint 22, but rather, for easier operability, may also specify the height of a child (in cm) for which the particular setting of the length of the backrest is suitable. This display device 4 leads to a further reduction in the risk of misoperations, since the operator is immediately informed about the selected setting.

[0034] Furthermore, the child protection system illustrated in FIG. 1 has a setting mechanism 25 for setting the distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 (side cheeks) transversely with respect to the seat longitudinal direction L. For this purpose, the two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b of the backrest 2 are mounted pivotably about an axis 24 such that, by mutual pivoting of the two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b of the backrest 2 about the common bearing axis 24, the distance between the lateral shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 arranged thereon is increased or reduced in a direction Q transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L, cf. FIG. 2.

[0035] The two setting mechanisms 20, 25 are coupled via a coupling mechanism in such a manner that, when the height of the head restraint increases (in the backrest longitudinal direction L), the distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 also increases (in a transverse direction Q transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L), cf. FIG. 2, since a larger child generally also needs a greater amount of space transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L.

[0036] In order to convert a longitudinal movement of the two backrest parts 21, 22 with respect to each other during a setting of the height of the head restraint along the backrest longitudinal direction L into a rotational movement of the two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b of the head restraint 22 about a common bearing axis 24, use can be made of known gear mechanisms, such as, for example, a pinion gear with a rack and a pinion engaging therein, a screw or spindle gear, a traction gear with a traction mechanism and a cable pulley driven thereby, or a lever gear.

[0037] In the present case, a coupling gear 50 which has two slotted guides 51, 53 and 52, 54 is used as the coupling mechanism 5 for converting a longitudinal movement of the two backrest parts 21, 22 with respect to each other into an opposed rotational movement of the two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b of the backrest 2. Said slotted guides each comprise a guide slot 51, 52, which runs obliquely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L, i.e. is inclined with respect thereto, and is in the form of an elongated hole, and a guide pin 53 or 54, which is guided therein and is in the form of a pin or bolt. The two guide slots 51, 52 are inclined in the opposite direction with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L, and the associated guide pins 53, 54 each engage in a form-fitting manner in the associated guide slot 51 or 52.

[0038] The two guide slots 51, 52 running in an inclined manner are formed on an upper supporting section (extension) 210 of the lower, non-displaceable back support 21, and the associated guide pins 53, 54 are each provided on one of the two pivotably mounted, lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b of the backrest 2. The guide slots 51, 52 are therefore formed on a subassembly (back support 21) which remains fixed in position during a setting of the length of the backrest in the backrest longitudinal direction L while the associated guide pins 53, 54 are provided on a subassembly (namely on the head restraint 22 from the supporting sections 7a, 7b of which the lateral shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 protrude) which is moved during a setting of the length of the backrest in the backrest longitudinal direction L.

[0039] Owing to the inclined profile of the guide slots 51, 52 with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L, the movement of the head restraint 22 in the backrest longitudinal direction L is converted here into a movement of the two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b of the head restraint 22 with a component Q transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction. This involves a respective pivoting movement on account of the rotatable mounting of the two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b with respect to a bearing axis 24.

[0040] The pivoting movements of the two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b of the backrest 2 run in an opposite direction, corresponding to the opposite inclination of the two guide slots 51, 52, which are each assigned to one of the two lateral supporting sections 7a and 7b, this assignment being defined by the engagement of the two guide pins 53, 54, which are each provided on a lateral supporting section 7a, 7b, in one of the two guide slots 51, 52.

[0041] As an alternative to the coupling mechanism described in concrete terms in the present case, use may also be made of one of the other coupling mechanisms mentioned further above. It is merely important that the two setting mechanisms 20, 25 are coupled to each other via the coupling mechanism provided for this purpose in such a manner that a certain setting of the height of the head restraint or length of the backrest (in the backrest longitudinal direction L) corresponds to a setting of the width of the backrest (distance of the lateral shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 in the transverse direction Q), which setting corresponds to the ratio, customary for children, of height and width of shoulders.

[0042] It can furthermore be seen with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 that a respective belt guide 28 and 29 for a seat belt is provided on the two lateral sections 7a, 7b of the backrest 2, which sections are movable together with the head restraint 22 in the backrest longitudinal direction L and, in addition, can be set in their distance in a direction Q transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L. By this, a seat belt can be guided through the one or other belt guide 28, 29--depending in each case on the fitted position of the child protection system, for example behind the driver's seat or behind the passenger seat--in such a manner that it provides optimum protection for a child situated in the child protection system.

[0043] By the belt guides 28, 29 being arranged on the lateral sections 7a, 7b of the backrest 2, which lateral sections are connected to the head restraint 22 and can be pivoted with respect to each other, during resetting of the length of the backrest and width of the backrest, the position of the belt guides 28, 29 is simultaneously also adjusted in a corresponding manner. This enables the position thereof always to be matched optimally to the respectively selected setting of the length of the backrest and width of the backrest, which setting in turn depends on the size of the child to be held.

[0044] FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate by way of example a specific refinement and partial modification of the child protection system, only shown schematically in FIGS. 1 and 2, in the form of a child seat.

[0045] According to the assembled illustration in FIG. 3 and the complementary exploded illustration in FIG. 4, the seat shell 1 of the child protection system forms a seat trough 10 for receiving the bottom and the thighs of a child and is bounded laterally by pelvis supports 16, 17 for a child sitting in the seat trough 10.

[0046] The back support 21 is arranged on the seat shell 1 in a non-displaceable manner in the backrest longitudinal direction L but in a foldable manner about the pivot axis S and is designed and provided for the rear support of the torso, in particular the spinal column, of a child sitting in the seat trough 10 of the seat shell 1.

[0047] The head restraint 22 is mounted on the back support 21 of the backrest 2 in a displaceable, i.e. height-adjustable manner in the backrest longitudinal direction L, which head restraint, in the present case, involves a head restraint subassembly assembled from a plurality of components 6, 7a, 7b, 8.

[0048] A first constructional unit 6 of the head restraint subassembly 22 forms the actual head restraint element, which serves as a head receptacle, with a rear support 60 and two lateral supports 66, 67 for supporting a child's head.

[0049] The head restraint subassembly 22 comprises, as further constructional units, two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b, from the base body 70 of which there protrudes, in the region of the respective upper end, a lateral supporting cheek 76 or 77 which is used for the outer support of a respective lateral support 66, 67 of the head restraint element 6. From the lower end--as viewed in the backrest longitudinal direction L--of the particular lateral supporting section 7a or 7b protrudes in each case one of the lateral shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 which, by pivoting of the two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b with respect to each other about the bearing axis 24, as already described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, can be set in their distance along a direction Q transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L. Furthermore, one of the belt guides 28 or 29 is formed on each of the two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b.

[0050] The bearing spindle 24 of the lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b and therefore also of the lateral shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 protruding therefrom is formed on a further constructional unit 8 (rear covering) of the head restraint subassembly 22, the base body 80 of which extends essentially along the back support 21 of the backrest 2. For the pivotable mounting on said bearing spindle 24 of the rear covering 8, the two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b each have an inwardly directed tab 74 provided with a bearing opening 74a and 74b, respectively, for arrangement on said bearing spindle 24. Accordingly, the bearing spindle 24 and the two bearing openings 74a, 74b form the adjusting device 25 for setting the distance between the two shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 in a direction Q transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L by pivoting the supporting sections 7a, 7b about the bearing spindle 24, provided for this purpose, in the region of the upper end of the head restraint subassembly 22. In addition, the head restraint element 6 of the head restraint subassembly 22 is fitted on said bearing spindle 24 by a retaining opening 64.

[0051] The constructional units 6, 7a, 7b, 8 of the head restraint subassembly 22 are arranged on the back support 21 in such a manner that the head restraint element 6--as seen from a child sitting in the seat shell 1--extends in front of the back support 21 while the two lateral supporting sections 7a, 7b and the rear covering 8 extend behind the head restraint 21 and, in the process, the rear covering 8 closes off the child seat to the rear.

[0052] The first setting mechanism 20 of the child seat, which mechanism is used to set the height of the head restraint, i.e. the position of the head restraint subassembly 22 with respect to the back support 21 in the backrest longitudinal direction L, comprises a total of four longitudinal guides 21a, 21b, 21c, 21d on the back support 21, which longitudinal guides extend in the backrest longitudinal direction L and of which two longitudinal guides 21a, 21b or 21c, 21d in each case run parallel to each other and next to each other. Each of the longitudinal guides 21a, 21b, 21c, 21d is assigned a guide element 22a, 22b, 22c and 22d in the form of a guide pin on the rear covering 8 of the head restraint subassembly 22. By this, the rear covering 8 together with the further constructional units 6, 7a, 7b of the head restraint subassembly 22, which constructional units are mounted on said covering via the bearing spindle 24, can be displaced in the backrest longitudinal direction L with respect to the back support 21. Over and beyond the previously described longitudinal guides, further, additional longitudinal guides may also be provided which are used to guide the head restraint subassembly 22 with respect to the back support 21 along a backrest longitudinal direction L; in FIG. 3, the lower end of two such additional longitudinal guides can be seen which extend in the region of the upper end section of the back support 21 and which are predominantly concealed by the head restraint element 6.

[0053] To couple the first setting mechanism 20 of the child seat, with which mechanism the position of the head restraint subassembly 22 can be set with respect to the back support 21 in the backrest longitudinal direction L, to the second setting mechanism 25, with which the distance between the two lateral shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 (side cheeks) transversely with respect to the seat longitudinal direction L can be set, use is made, as coupling mechanism 5 or coupling gear 50, of guide elements 56, 57, which are provided on the height-adjustable head restraint subassembly 22, more precisely on the shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27, in the form of sliding lugs, each of which is arranged in the region of the lower end of each shoulder protection cheek 26, 27 and which face each other. Each of these two sliding lugs 56, 57 is respectively assigned, on the rear side (not visible in FIGS. 3 and 4) of the back support 21, a guide track which runs in an inclined manner with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L and is in the form of a sliding surface over which the two sliding lugs 56, 57 slide during a setting of the position of the head restraint subassembly 22 with respect to the back support 21 in the backrest longitudinal direction L. Owing to the inclined profile of the sliding surfaces assigned to the sliding lugs 56, 57 on the rear side of the back support 21--corresponding to the inclined profile of the guide slots 51, 52 according FIGS. 1 and 2--during a movement of the head restraint subassembly 22 with respect to the back support 21 in the backrest longitudinal direction L, a pivoting movement of the shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 about the bearing spindle 24 thereof is caused.

[0054] The sliding surfaces assigned to the sliding lugs 56, 57 are preferably form on guide rails which run in an inclined manner on the rear side of the back support 21.

[0055] They are inclined in such a manner that, when the head restraint subassembly 22 is raised in the backrest longitudinal direction L, such that the effective overall length of the backrest of the child seat is increased, the distance between the shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L becomes larger. Conversely, the distance between the shoulder protection cheeks 26, 27 transversely with respect to the backrest longitudinal direction L is reduced when the head restraint subassembly 22 is lowered along the backrest longitudinal direction L with respect to the back support 21 such that the effective length of the entire back rest is reduced.

[0056] As an alternative to simple guide surfaces, the sliding lugs 56, 57 on the rear side of the back support can also be assigned, as guide tracks, a suitable inclined guide slot (similar to what can be seen at items 51, 52 in FIGS. 1 and 2) or a respective profiled guide rail in which the respective sliding lug 56, 57 engages.

[0057] The head restraint subassembly 22 can be locked by a locking mechanism 9 comprising a latching mechanism in a respectively set position of the head restraint subassembly 22 with respect to the back support 21 in the backrest longitudinal direction L. For this purpose, the latching mechanism comprises a spring-loaded latching lug 90 which can be seen in FIG. 4 and is arranged, for example, on the rear covering 8 of the head restraint subassembly 22 and which is assigned, on the rear side (which cannot be seen in FIGS. 3 and 4) of the back support 21, interlocking elements, for example in the form of a longitudinal or latching toothing, into which the latching lug 90 can latch in an interlocking manner in a particular relative position of the head restraint subassembly 22 with respect to the back support 21. The head restraint subassembly 22 is then locked in a defined longitudinal position with respect to the back support 21.

[0058] Since the latching lug 90 is prestressed elastically in the direction of the locked state by a spring element, the head restraint subassembly 22 is normally locked in its respectively currently longitudinal position with respect to the back support 21. In order to unlock the locking mechanism 9 in the form of a latching mechanism, use is made of a unlocking lever 91 with a handle 92, the actuation of which enables the latching lug 90 to be disengaged from the associated latching toothing on the rear side of the back support 21 in order to be able to reset the position of the head restraint subassembly 22 with respect to the back support 21 in the backrest longitudinal direction L. In this case, the handle 91 preferably coincides with the actuating handle 3 which can be see in FIG. 3 and is grasped in order to adjust the head restraint subassembly 22 with respect to the back support 21 in the backrest longitudinal direction L.

[0059] Germany Priority Application 10 2004 049 754.0, filed Oct. 8, 2004, including the specification, drawings, claims and abstract, is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

[0060] Given the disclosure of the present invention, one versed in the art would appreciate that there may be other embodiments and modifications within the scope and spirit of the invention. Accordingly, all modifications attainable by one versed in the art from the present disclosure within the scope and spirit of the present invention are to be included as further embodiments of the present invention. The scope of the present invention is to be defined as set forth in the following claims.

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