Kids and Car Sickness

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Car sickness can strike a child when you least expect it. Be ready if one of your kids turns pale and nauseous during your family’s summer travels.

“Mom, I think I’m going to throw up!” is the last thing you want to hear when you’re traveling with kids. But queasy kids happen — especially on winding roads, boat rides and at amusement parks. The culprit is conflicting sensory messages going on in your child’s eyes and nerves, with ages 2 – 12 being most susceptible (luckily, infants and toddlers are immune). Moms who have dealt with queasy kids before have great ideas for you:

Consider night driving: If you’re driving a long way, leave at night or very early in the morning so your child will sleep through — he can’t get sick if he’s asleep!

Use the power of distraction: Nix reading in the car since it can make a kid woozy, but DO offer to play car games to distract your child. Try “I Spy,” “Hangman,” and “Name that Tune.” Some kids do well listening to music in their ear buds or watching a movie.

Try Sea-bands: The bands have small plastic studs that press into the wrist like acupressure. In a pinch, tell your child to apply pressure to his wrist with his other fingers at his pulse point.

Move him to the middle seat: Place a queasy child in the middle of the backseat so they can see out the front, which is less likely to be a blur. Tell your child to focus outside of the car, toward spots far away. Change the spot as needed.

Have an accident container handy: Keep a box of zip-lock gallon bags in the car in the event your child really does get sick. Toss it out as soon as you can so your car won’t smell.

Keep Queasy Pops on hand (available at Walgreen’s, CVS or

Think “ginger”: In the form or tablets or gum, ginger can really settle a tummy.

Keep him cool: Have a cool face cloth in a small bag of your car cabin as well as an ice pack for the back of the neck. Give it to your child to use in 10-minute increments.

Consider medicating: With your pediatrician’s permission, give your child Benadryl, Dramamine (available over the counter for ages 2 and older), or Bonine. For children over age 12, there’s also a prescription patch made from the drug Scopolomine.

Keep odors at bay: Travel with Febreze to get rid of accident odors; wet wipes and paper towels for messes.

In case of an accident: Travel with a handy set of extra clothes … just to be safe.

Handy Travel Apps

USA Rest Stops Locator
Helps you easily find the nearest rest stop on interstate and state highways. Free.

Hotel Tonight
If it’s been a long day in the car, you might consider stopping earlier than you might have. This app helps you locate a hotel room in major metropolitan areas. Free.

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