Nothing quite ruins a fun family trip than a bad case of motion sickness.
If you’ve ever experienced it, it’s no fun at all. The nausea can be overwhelming, and just imagine how much worse it feels for a child. It sucks.
Some people seem to experience car sickness worse than others. I remember when I was a kid, my sister would almost always get motion sick if she didn’t sit in the front seat. I rarely ever had a problem with it.
If your child is prone to car sickness, we’ve compiled a few tips that just might help them out.
- What causes motion sickness?
- Things you can do to help your child.
- How medication can work as a last resort..
What causes motion sickness?
When you get motion sick, it’s because your brain and body are confused by their senses of motion.
For example, reading in the car is a common car sickness trigger. Your eyes are like “yep, we’re totally not moving right now” but your brain & inner ear are saying “yep, we’re totally moving right now.”
Motion sickness occurs when the body and brain disagree on the senses of motion, especially the eyes and ears. For example, a common trigger for motion sickness for people is trying to read while in a car.
Some people are much more sensitive to motion sickness than others. If your child is one of them, you’ll be happy to know that you just might be able to prevent it.
Things you can do to help prevent motion sickness.
Here are some things you can do to help your child with their motion sickness. With a little luck, you just might be able to figure out what’s causing it.
Be alert to signs of motion sickness.
First of all, if you notice any signs that your child is getting motion sick, you should stop whatever is causing it right away.
Common symptoms include sudden sweating, fatigue and queasiness. if you notice any of these symptoms, or if they tell you that they’re feeling sick, it’s not going to be long before vomiting starts!
If you’re in a car, this is a good time to take a pit-stop, even at the side of the road, if necessary.
If you’re taking a flight, you can’t exactly pull the plane over, but getting them a cool, damp cloth to place on their forehead and telling them to look out the window can help.
The right clothing can make a huge difference.
Dress your child in clothing that is suitable for the weather is important.
If you’re going to be driving all day, or taking an airplane, remember that the temperature inside of the car or plane is going to be a lot hotter than it is outside, so having hot clothing wouldn’t be very comfortable.
Being hot and sweaty can be a trigger for travel sickness, so dressing lightly with the option of adding a jacket or warmer shirt for if it gets colder is the optimal solution.
Use a forward-facing car seat.
While some car seats, especially infant car seats, are designed to rear-face, this can unfortunately be a common trigger for travel sickness.
Facing backwards and looking out of a car window confuses the body’s senses, sending the child into motion sickness.
If at all possible, use a forward-facing car seat when you’re in a car. If traveling by train or any other means of transportation, let your child have a forward-facing seat.
Schedule trips during nap time.
If at all possible, scheduling trips during your child’s nap time is an easy way to avoid motion sickness. You can’t get motion sick if you’re not awake!
Give them a light snack.
While eating food might sound counter-productive when it comes to preventing motion sickness, the truth is that it can actually help a lot. Something like a few cookies, an apple, or crackers can help settle the sense of nausea associated with motion sickness.
Open a window or turn on the A/C.
A cool breeze or air conditioning can help some children with motion sickness, especially if it blows directly onto them.
Motion sickness medication.
While this should probably be a last resort, over-the-counter medications like Gravol are a sure-fire way to prevent motion sickness during trips.
However, you should always check with your pediatrician before using any medications like these.
They aren’t a perfect solution, either. For example, many motion sickness medications can make the user drowsy and sleepy, which wouldn’t be a good thing if you’re planning on having an active day.