Imagine a young child sitting low in the back seat without being able to see out of the window — or an older child reading a book in the car. The child’s inner ear and body will sense motion, but his or her eyes won’t. The resulting mismatch of signals to the brain can bring on nausea, upset stomach, cold sweat, fatigue, and loss of appetite or vomiting: Otherwise known as travel sickness or car sickness.
It’s not clear why car sickness affects some children more than others. While the problem doesn’t seem to affect most infants and toddlers, children ages 2 to 12 are particularly susceptible.
Reduce sensory input mismatch. Encourage your child to look at things outside the car – preferably straight ahead – rather than focusing on books, games or movies. If your child still takes regular naps then travelling during nap time also might help.
Carefully plan pre-trip meals. Don’t give your child spicy or greasy foods or a large meal immediately before or during car travel. If your travel time will be short, skip food entirely. If the trip will be long or your child needs to eat, give him or her a small, bland snack — such as dry crackers and a small drink — before it’s time to go.
Provide air ventilation. Adequate air ventilation can often help prevent car sickness. Try to keep the air clear of any strong odours, too.
Offer distractions. If your child is prone to car sickness, try distracting him or her during car trips by talking, listening to music or singing songs.
Pretending to drive. Get your child to pretend to drive with a toy or imaginary steering wheel. Also encourage them to lean slightly into the corners as if they were on a motorbike. This can help lessen sensory mismatch.
If your child starts to develop car sickness, stop the car as soon as possible in a safe place and let your child get out and walk around — or lie on his or her back for a few minutes with closed eyes. Placing a cool cloth on your child’s forehead also might help.
Alternatively consider letting your child try TravelShades Junior Horizon motion sickness relief eyewear…. Hopefully available very soon!