If your child suffers from motion sickness in the car, it can make family road trips miserable for both him and the rest of the family. Motion sickness is a common condition that occurs when the brain starts to receive conflicting information from motion-detecting body parts, including the eyes, extremities, and inner ears. Sitting in the back seat or reading a book in the car can both lead to car sickness as a result, as the brain tries to figure out what’s happening. The inner ear will be sensing motion, but the rest of the body’s sensors will see stationary words on a page or the back of the driver’s seat.
This can lead to a variety of unpleasant symptoms for your little one, including dizziness, fatigue, a cold sweat, or an upset stomach. More serious cases could even lead to vomiting. Although car sickness can strike any age, it’s most common in children from ages 3 to 12. There are both over the counter and prescription medications that can be used to alleviate motion sickness, but in many cases natural remedies can do the trick.
Control the Car’s Environment
To help reduce the sensory overload that can lead to motion sickness, try to discourage your child from reading or playing games in the car. Play distracting games that encourage them to look out the window, like “I Spy” or a family scavenger hunt. Travelling during nap time can also help solve the problem, as your child will sleep right through the journey. It’s best to choose a car that’s comfortable, dark, and equipped with climate control to avoid a hot and stuffy environment. You can compare options at sites like carsales.com.au to find something like a Toyota Corolla with air conditioning and plenty of vents as your main family car. If that fails, try opening the window to let fresh air inside.
Eat a Bland Meal before Getting in the Car
If your child is prone to feeling sick in the car, the last thing you want to give them is a greasy or spicy meal right before getting inside. For shorter journeys, try waiting until you get to your destination to eat if possible. Dry crackers or plain white rice can help keep hunger at bay while discouraging nausea.
Some people find that peppermint is able to calm an upset stomach. You could try putting a few drops of peppermint essential oil on a cloth and waving it in front of your child’s nose, or encouraging them to drink peppermint tea.
Ginger is another natural remedy often used to help prevent sickness and nausea. Ginger candies or cookies are not only delicious but can help fight motion sickness. Ginger soda and ginger tea are other alternatives if your child feels too sick to eat anything.
Every child is different, and may respond to only one of these or none of the above. If none of these natural remedies seem to help, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about other therapies or medication that could be used. There are over the counter medications that are considered safe for children over a certain age, including Benadryl and Dramamine. Yet sometimes all that’s needed is a breath of fresh air and a good time out from the car!