Q&A: How can I manage my child's motion sickness?
Just recently, my toddler has begun to have troubles getting car sick (very easily). Is there anything I can do to help her manage motion sickness? We love taking day trips.
I am sure there are many parents who can sympathize with this unpleasant (and often messy) problem! Many children—and some adults—may suffer motion sickness or car sickness. Most experts explain that this happens as a result of the body’s sensory system receiving conflicting information: The body senses motion because of the visual stimuli and movement of the car, but the body is still. As a result of this imbalance, symptoms can include nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Your child may also appear pale and feel sweaty.
Most children will outgrow this, but there are those that continue to be prone to becoming car sick throughout their lives. There are many recommendations and tips that may or may not be helpful for your child. Through trial and error, you will find the right combination of factors to ease or eliminate this unwanted problem.
- Keep the car cool and don’t overdress your child to avoid overheating.
- Place your child’s car seat towards the center of the vehicle.
- Avoid greasy or fast-food meals that may cause tummy upset.
- Avoid stop-and-go driving—sudden jerks and windy roads can make it worse.
- Giving a book to a child to distract her may make it worse. Have your child instead look straight ahead at the horizon rather than to the side at fast moving-traffic and landscape.
- Play music she likes to distract her.
- Pull over if symptoms get too intense
- Be prepared with a bib, wipes, changes of clothes, and a removable car seat cover for washing in the case of consistent vomiting.
- Feed her 30 minutes to an hour before you leave, giving the food a chance to settle.
- Offer small dry snacks periodically, such as crackers, to help nausea.
- Ask your pediatrician if medication is appropriate.
Hopefully you will continue to take the
day trips you enjoy and using some of these tips will make it a more pleasant experience for all of you!