How to avoid travel sickness on car journeys
With the summer holidays upon us, a time where children enjoy a long break ahead of them and for some of us this means a long car journey with the kids.
There is nothing more that will dampen your happy memories of a trip to the countryside or a day by the beach than travel sickness. If your children suffer from travel sickness, then your summer road trips can just seem impossible and can easily be spoiled!
Motion sickness occurs when there are conflicts among your senses. Your brain receives mixed signals from the eyes, inner ears, and nerves in the muscles and joints.
Your body can become confused if it senses your eyes can see that you are moving but the body then feels like it is sitting still. There are many unpleasant side effects of motion sickness including vomiting, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and cold sweats.
It is unclear as to why many children suffer with car sickness and others don't. While the problem doesn't seem to affect most toddlers and infants, it is more common and particularly susceptible in children aged from 2 up to 12 years old. This is very true if your kids cannot see out the window or if they try to read a book or play on their tablet device while the car is in motion.
Here are some helpful tips to prevent car sickness in children:
- Matching your sensory inputs so let your eyes see the motion that the body is feeling. Rather than focusing on games, watching a movie or reading a book, encourage your child to look at things outside the car. Taking a nap while travelling in the car might help also.
- Be careful of what is eaten before the car journey. Avoid large meals immediately before or after the car journey. If the car journey is practically long then give your child a light meal before travelling, a bland snack such as dry crackers and a small drink, but never while the car is moving.
- Keep the car well ventilated and have no strong smells present in the car such as removing the air freshener. Turn on the air conditioning to keep air circulating around the car.
- Distract the children by playing observation games, singing songs, listening to music, or even just simply talking to them.
- If your child has become unwell while travelling in the car, then stop the car straight away and let your child get out and walk around to get some fresh air. You can also let your child close their eyes lie on his or her back for a few minutes. It may also help to place a cool face cloth on their forehead.
If your child still remains suffering from travel sickness, it may be a good idea to speak to your doctor about other options or medication.