Car Sickness on Road Trips – How Can You Prevent It?
Sometimes people – usually kids – just can’t handle being in a moving car for extended periods. Car sickness is just another form of motion sickness, like airsickness or seasickness. It happens when there’s a disconnect in the information the brain receives from the inner ear, eyes, and nerves in the extremities.
Picture a little kid sitting low in the back seat and unable to see out the window, or an older kid playing a video game or reading a book in the moving vehicle. The inner ear senses motion while the eyes and arms and legs don’t. It can result in nausea, upset stomach, dizziness and vertigo, cold sweats and loss of appetite or even vomiting.
It can be tough to remedy with some kids, but one good method is to reduce that conflict in sensory input. Rather than focusing on books, movies or games, encourage him to watch things outside the car’s windows and check out the scenery. If your kid naps, maybe napping during a trip would be a good idea.
Be careful about meals before the trip…do not have a spicy or greasy lunch before the trip, and schedule the meal for an hour or so before so it has time to digest. If the trip is a short one, skip the meal completely if possible.
Make sure there’s plenty of fresh air and ventilation, and try to keep the kid distracted with songs or music or conversation. For kids age 2 and older, Dramamine can cut the effects, and for kids 6 and older Benadryl can be used (and can help bring on that nap). If the car sickness feeling starts, pull over when you can and let the kid get out and walk around. Encourage him or her to lie down with closed eyes…a cool cloth over the forehead might also help and comfort the child.
At Master Auto and Tire, we don’t want anyone to be carsick – it’s a miserable feeling! We also don’t want anyone to have car trouble on the road, so make an appointment with us for a complete check-up for your vehicle before you pack up and hit the highway.