Parents have traditionally turned their infants’ rear-facing carseats around at the first-birthday milestone. But the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends waiting until age 2 – or until your baby reaches the maximum height and weight for their seat.
Rear-facing seats distribute the force of collisions over the entire body, and so offer better support for the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers. This means they are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash, according to a 2007 study in the journal Injury Prevention.
The recommendation also advises that most kids will need to transition from a carseat to a belt-positioning booster, which they should use until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, and age 8 to 12.
All children should ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old, according to the AAP.