My Pediatrician says I can turn my son (1 year, 23 pounds) forward facing. Why should I keep him rear facing if my pediatrician says forward facing is fine?
Short answer, because it's safer. The American Academy of Pediatrics has been recommending rear facing beyond 1 year and 20 pounds for years. My question would be, if the pediatrician is not following the advice of the AAP on carseat issues, what else is he not following?
Children between 1 and 2 years old are 5 times safer rear facing than they are forward facing. That much we have studies and statistics for. We know that physics shows everyone is safer rear facing, just how much safer we don't know. We do know that the child's neck bones mature between 4 and 6 years old. And we know that in Sweden they rear face until 4 to 5 years old.
American carseats are now coming out with higher rear facing weight limits. Why? So children can rear face longer.