Why some children get carsick & motion sick: causes, treatment & prevention

by Peggie Mars, Wheel Well
Why some children get carsick & motion sick
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Car sickness is a common issue among children, especially during long car trips. It’s caused by the brain receiving conflicting signals from the inner ear and eyes, resulting in dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Car sickness can have a significant impact on a mother’s daily routine, especially if her child is frequently experiencing it.

Car trips to school, extracurricular activities, and other appointments can become a source of stress and anxiety for both the child and the mother. In severe cases, car sickness can even limit a child’s ability to participate in certain activities and events.

How to prevent car sickness in children

There are a few remedies that you can try to prevent – or at least reduce – car sickness in children, including:

  • Encourage your child to look out the window at the passing scenery. This helps the brain process the movement of the car and reduce dizziness.
  • Keep the car well-ventilated. Fresh air can help prevent nausea.
  • Avoid heavy meals before a car trip. A full stomach can make car sickness worse.
  • Give your child a small snack, such as crackers or ginger candy, to help settle their stomach.
  • Encourage your child to take deep breaths and relax. Stress can make car sickness worse.
  • Keep a plastic bag or bucket in the car in case your child needs to vomit.
  • Medications such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or scopolamine (Transderm-Scop) can be used for children who experience severe car sickness, but these should be used under the guidance of a paediatrician.
  • Keep your child occupied during the trip with activities such as colouring books or electronic devices.

Natural remedies that can help prevent or reduce car sickness in children

  • Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties that can help settle a child’s stomach. You can give your child ginger candy or ginger tea before a car trip.
  • Peppermint: Peppermint has a calming and soothing effect on the stomach and can help reduce nausea. You can give your child peppermint candy or apply peppermint oil to their wrists.
  • Acupressure: Applying pressure to the P6 acupressure point (located on the inside of the wrist) can help alleviate nausea and vomiting.
  • Aromatherapy: Some essential oils, such as peppermint, ginger, and lavender, can help reduce nausea. You can diffuse these oils in the car or apply them to a tissue for your child to inhale.

It’s important to keep in mind that what works for one child may not work for another and that some remedies may have side effects, so it’s best to consult with a paediatrician before trying any new remedies.

If the problem persists and affects the daily routine and activities of the family, it’s best to consult with a paediatrician or an ear nose and throat specialist to rule out any underlying medical condition.

Car sickness can be a frustrating and disruptive issue for both children and parents, but by trying some of these remedies and consulting with a paediatrician, if necessary, you can help reduce the chances of your child experiencing car sickness during your next car trip.

As a professional car seat cleaning service provider, we at Wheel Well understand the importance of keeping car seats clean and hygienic to ensure the overall health and well-being of children. We offer deep cleaning services that can remove any dirt and bacteria that may be present in the car seats. We welcome parents to reach out to us for more information on our services and how we can help keep their car seats clean and hygienic.

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