As you may remember from 2009, the AAP issued a report advising the 2 year old rule:
Recent data shows why toddlers between ages 12 and 23 months who ride rear-facing in a car safety seat are more than five times safer than those riding forward-facing in a seat.
Previously, the AAP only said babies should be rear-facing to age 1.
By issuing a formal "policy statement," the pediatrician group makes this recommendation official. The AAP notes that car crashes are still a major cause of injury to small children.
What about concerns for kids being uncomfortable riding rear-facing? Would their feet or legs be injured in a crash? The AAP says this is a common concern, but not supported by any evidence.The benefits of riding rear-facing outweigh concerns about leg injuries.
The good news: more car seats today have rear-facing limits that go to 40 lbs and beyond. That will make it easier to follow this advice; older seats had such low limits it was hard to keep a child rear-facing behind a year.