Tips to prevent your kids from getting car sick

Posted by Jodi Breska MD
July 26, 2016

Car Sickness 400x300

Packing up the kids for a road trip can be difficult. Making sure they are stocked with things to do to keep them occupied can be a tough battle on its own. If car sickness, a common type of motion sickness, is thrown into the equation, road trips can be even more of a struggle.

Car sickness occurs when the brain receives mismatching information from the ears, eyes and nerves in the extremities. The results of this sensation are upset stomach, fatigue and, of course, vomiting. This experience is fairly common for children ages 2 to 12.

Although the reasons children are so prone to car sickness are still unexplained, here are some suggestions that may help you keep your child from getting car sick on your next trip:

  • Cut down on sensory input. Loading up your kids with movies and books during a road trip may not be the best thing for them, especially if they are easily car sick. Encourage them to focus on things outside the vehicle instead.
  • Offer distractions. Talking, listening to music and singing songs with your child could serve as a good distraction during a car trip.
  • Provide adequate air ventilation. Make sure the car is free of odors and there is a decent amount of ventilation.
  • Be careful with snacks. Greasy and spicy foods are not going to be good for your child before a car trip. If the trip is going to be long, feed your child a small, bland snack before you leave.
  • Try medication. If your child is age 2 or older, ask your child’s health care provider about over-the-counter medications available for car sickness. Dimenhydrinate is available for children ages 2 and older, and diphenhydramine is available for children ages 6 and older. Drowsiness is a common side effect of these drugs.

If you follow these suggestions and your child is still experiencing car sickness, ask your child’s health care provider about other options. Identifying car sickness triggers can aid in making difficult car trips a thing of the past.

Jodi Breska, M.D., is a family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare in Arcadia.



Leave a Comment

Comments (0)


Leave a Comment

Name
Email
Comments
Enter the Letters and/or Numbers Below
Captcha

Speaking of Health

Expert guidance and advice.

Online Resource Center

Focusing on specific health conditions to give you the information you need to participate in your care.