Parents

Volvo turns parents' heads with new child car seat — in the front seat

Whoa. Hold on. Is that car seat in the front seat?

Yes. Yes, it is.

Car maker Volvo is turning heads and creating buzz online with its new concept for child-safety seats in an unexpected area of the vehicle — right next to Mom or Dad. The company said the new approach could make it easier for parents to get their kids in and out of the car and keep an eye on little ones as they drive.

Volvo Cars
Oh baby! Someday you might be enjoying a whole new view on drives with Mom and Dad!

“Volvo Cars has completely re-imagined how children could travel safely in cars of the future,” the company said on its YouTube channel. “Shown in the XC90 Excellence, this concept is innovatively designed to make it easier to get the child in and out of the seat without compromising comfort. It also provides a safe rear-facing seating position that brings parent and child closer together, and includes smart storage for vital child accessories.”

The new concept involves removing the front passenger seat and replacing it with a raised platform outfitted with child-safety seat that can swivel and then lock in place in a rear-facing position. When the infant or toddler is buckled in, he or she can choose to babble at the driver or at passengers in the backseat.

Volvo Cars
Volvo said the new concept could make it "easier to get the child into and out of the child seat from an ergonomic and comfort perspective."

But is it safe? In the United States, young children are required to sit in the backseat for safety reasons, and parents are urged to keep them back there until age 12. For its part, though, Volvo said of its new child-safety seat that "from a safety perspective there is no difference between the rear seat or front seat, given that the airbag is disconnected."

What do you think of this new concept (which, incidentally, also includes heated cup holders for keeping a baby's bottle warm)? Let us know on the TODAY Parents Facebook page!

Follow TODAY.com writer Laura T. Coffey on Twitter @ltcoff and Google+.

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