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Bored children in the car: a risk factor for drivers

Child sleeping in the car


There minds are constanly working overtime, they never get tired and are constanly looking for stimulation. They may find that being in the car doesn’t provide enough stimulation for them and they become bored, something we must try to avoid.

Why a bored child can become overwhelmed after only a few minutes. They begin to feel uncomfortable, their heart rate and breathing speed up, they begin to feel hot and bothered. Until they are old enough (from about five), they are not aware of the passage of time, so for them, half an hour can feel like an eternity and for those of using trying to drive with a screaming child, it can feel like a nightmare.

How do you stop a child becoming bored?

It isn’t always easy, but we should try to plan a journey around the natural rhythem and timetable of the child. After a few weeks we know when our child is more likely to have a sleep. Usually after lunch when they are ready for an afternoon nap or if they are likely to wake early to be fed and then want to go back to sleep.

Planning a journey to coincide with the time when they would usually have a nap allows us to travel a good few kilometres while they are comfortably asleep. We should however be prepared and have something to entertain then them once they wake up. Try to avoid any loose items that they may want to throw around inside the car.

Talking books or a DVD player, installed on the back of the front seat, a passenger sitting in the back seat to play games to entertain a child, can help to make the journey much easier.

It is also important that we are always aware that when travelling with children, it is them that will determine when and how often we have to stop, and so, how long the journey might take. We need remain flexible and consider their needs. Like wise, we must be patient and try not to get annoyed with them which would end in making the journey even more difficult and could cause us to drive more agressively, increasing the risk of an accident.

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