Road trips with kids are a challenge on their own. Traveling with a carsick child can be a nightmare. For those parents with children prone to motion sickness, here’s a variety of tips to help prevent and treat nausea on the road.
Best Tips to Keep Your Child from Getting Carsick
How to Prevent Car Sickness
Monitor Meals Beforehand
Eating greasy foods and large meals before traveling can contribute to motion sickness. If you can, it’s best to avoid eating or to stick to a bland snack like crackers, toast or yoghurt before taking off.
Give Ginger a Go
Ginger is a common natural remedy for nausea. Drinking ginger tea or ginger ale before traveling may help to curb sickness beforehand. Keep ginger candies in your vehicle in case sickness strikes on the road. If you can’t find any ginger products, peppermint is also a popular remedy.
Ask your doctor if an over-the-counter nausea medicine like Dramamine is right for your child. Medications should be taken about an hour before riding in the car, but be aware that drowsiness is a common side effect. If your child continues to struggle with nausea on the road, it may be time to ask if a prescription medicine is necessary.
How to Treat Car Sickness Once It Hits
Keeping the mind busy has been proven to help with nausea in many cases. Try to distract your child with music, conversation or a game like I Spy.
Motion sickness is often caused by mixed signals sent to the brain by the eyes and the inner ear. When your child is focused on a still object like a book or a screen, the eyes suggest to the brain that they are still. At the same time, the balance receptors in the ear pick up movement from the car. To fix this, try having your child focus their attention to the horizon through the windshield. You could also try having your child stabilize their head against the headrest or against the side of the car. If your child is young enough to be in a rear-facing car seat, do not try to distract them with toys, as this can cause the nausea to worsen. Instead, try to coax them to sleep with a song.
[Read More: Car Seat Safety Tips for Parents]
Try Some Fresh Air
Motion sickness can be enhanced by stale air or subtle odors. Sometimes just breathing in some fresh, cool air is enough to combat nausea. Open a window if you can, or keep the air running through your vehicle.