LONDON – A European Union network of research teams named Eureka has developed a child car seat dubbed the Klippan Isofix Safety System (KISS), which saves parents from having to buy two seats as their baby grows into a toddler.

The KISS seat can fit any child up to 3-years old. Its Finland, Sweden and Estonia developers say the seat is lightweight, reasonably priced and rearward facing –considered to be safer than front-facing designs.

The seat can be attached using the new Isofix installation standard developed by auto makers, which incorporates a rigid link between the child seat and a vehicle’s passenger seat.

“As well as providing this extra solidity, it also removes the risk of slack installation, one of the key misuse areas for products installed with an adult seat belt,” a Eureka statement says.

Two anchor points on the car seat are attached to two bars on the back of the passenger seat. The KISS seat also can be installed using a regular seatbelt in vehicles up to 10-years old.

“The problem is that conventional seats are genuinely complicated to install, often including a number of separate parts,” says Bror Martin of Finland project participant Oy Klippan.

“There are different car seats for different age groups, and they do not necessarily fit correctly in all vehicles. The misuse of the old car seats is not safe. With this, there is only one way to install it, (thereby) reducing the risk.

“It has been very well received so far,” Martin adds. “By next year, we hope to have 25% of the market, which is roughly 150,000 seats.”

Graco Chidren’s Products Inc. already is marketing the seat in Europe under the Duologic brand name at a retail price of €400 ($520).

In addition to the lucrative consumer market, the KISS seat is being marketed to auto makers to be included as original equipment in their new vehicles.