Top five tips to cure car sickness this bank holiday

Image of Neil Thomason
Author: | Updated: 25 May 2018 11:40

Many people will be heading away this bank holiday to take full advantage of the three-day weekend. Wherever you’re going the car journey can actually be part of the fun (depending on congestion) but for those with small kids it also means greater odds of hearing a phrase guaranteed to strike fear into any parent’s heart – “I feel sick!”

A parent's worst nightmare: long queues and car sickness

Have no fear, we’re here to provide you with five tips on keeping that dreaded car sickness at bay. After all, the last thing you want to spend your weekend doing is cleaning the seats of your lovely, pristine car trying to get rid of that stain:

1. Move to the middle

Believe it or not but by seating the passenger in the middle of the row, whether they’re a child or an adult, it can help combat the feeling of road sickness as it allows them to see the road ahead while in motion.

If the middle-rear-seat has a three-point (lap and diagonal) seat belt a child seat can be secured easily, what’s more this is also the safest part of the car as it’s the furthest away from the sides.

2. Drive smoothly

Easier said than done in bank holiday traffic but where possible try and avoid harsh acceleration and sudden braking as this violent motion can do a lot to make passengers nauseous.

Another issue, and again it’s easier said than done on UK roads, it to avoid going over potholes where possible as the motion can often be quite violent and this can be the breaking point for people feeling car sick.

3. Distract sufferers

Often the best way to deal with someone feeling car sick is to take their mind off it in any way possible. The best way to do that, whether they’re a big adult or small child, is with car games or car karaoke, and let’s face it – who doesn’t like an intense go at the Alphabet Game or singing along to some cheesy 80s classics when in the car?

Along these lines though, avoid letting them play videogames, watch a film or keep their head down staring at a phone screen as this can make the feelings of car sickness worse. Research recently carried out by Ford, with the help of motion sickness experts, found that passengers who stared at screens for the duration of a short journey fell ill after an average of just 10 minutes

4. Use a pillow

Child seats naturally have good head restraints already, but if your rear passenger is an adult ensure they have a pillow handy to support their head and keep it as still as possible. Car sickness is caused by one part of your balance-sensing system (your inner ear, eyes, and sensory nerves) sensing that your body is moving, but the other parts don't, so by avoiding exaggerated motion it can help.

5. Keep fresh air circulating

Yawning and perspiring are warning signs for a condition that is caused by mismatches between signals the brain receives, so whether it’s the window open to keep fresh air in or the A/C blowing to circulate cool air, this can be enough to quell any feeling of nausea in the back of the car.

With all that said, have a great bank holiday!

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