For those of you who read my blog, you may recall a post about a year ago entitled Rear-Facing Car Seats Until At Least 2. A little over a year later it is official. The American Academy of Pediatrics now advises that children stay rear-facing until at least two years old and even once they reach two years of age, they should only begin riding forward-facing when they outgrow the weight and height limitations of the rear-facing position. This means you may very well have smaller 3 year olds still facing backwards.
In an article discussing the new AAP car seat policy statement, Dr. Hoffman, a member of the AAP's committee on injury, violence, and poison prevention stated, "Parents are really viewing these transitions as graduations. There is a perception that this graduation is a positive thing. It's not. In these transitions, you lose protection every step of the way. Therefore you need to delay these transitions for as long as possible." This is a wonderful point and something pediatricians need to explain to their patients. The fact is children are safest facing backwards. Facing forward is not something that should be rushed but rather something that should be put off for as long as possible.