Rear-facing car seats, which support the head, neck and spine, are designed to distribute the crash forces across the shell of the car seat.
In fact, children in the second year of life are five times less likely to die or be seriously injured in a crash if they ride in a rear-facing car seat.
To protect your child, keep them rear-facing for as long as possible, at least until age 2. Babies under age 2 simply aren’t yet strong enough to withstand strong crash forces without the extra protection that a rear-facing car seat provides. Turning a child under age 2 to a forward-facing position can result in head, neck or spinal cord injuries in the event of a crash or a sudden stop.
Don’t rush! Remember, each time you “graduate” your child to the next seat, there’s a reduction in the level of protection for your child, so keep your child in each stage for as long as possible.