Some kids get car sickness, which can make journeys of all lengths a lot more stressful. And driving with kids can be hard enough as it is!
In this post we’ll discuss some ways you can help your kids deal with car sickness, to make your journey a lot more pleasant for everyone.
What Causes Car Sickness in Kids?
Car sickness is usually caused by conflicting signals in the brain. If there’s a disconnect between what your eyes see, and what your inner ear balance system feels, then you may feel nauseous as a result.
Often, the motion of a car can be enough to trigger car sickness in kids, particularly as the car goes around bends. But other things can cause car sickness too, such as:
- Certain smells
- Focusing on nearby objects, for example, some people only feel car sickness when they try and read in the car.
Children may be more likely than adults to experience car sickness because their senses are still developing, though nobody knows for sure.
There is more information about motion sickness on the NHS website.
How To Prevent Car Sickness in Children
You might not be able to prevent car sickness entirely. But there are a few things you can do to make car sickness less likely:
- Plan your trip to avoid excessively bendy or bumpy roads. You could also try and time your journeys so that they coincide with naptime.
- Open the car window to let in some fresh air.
- Avoid feeding your child any rich foods before their journey.
- Take regular breaks and instruct your child to take deep breaths of fresh air when you stop.
- Don’t give your child a book or a tablet to keep them entertained on the road, as staring intently at an object can cause that disconnect in the brain that leads to motion sickness. Instead, encourage your child to look out the window, or play a game of I Spy to pass the time.
If your child always struggles with car sickness, and nothing you do seems to make any difference, talk to your doctor. They might be able to recommend some medication that will help them manage their nausea on the road.
Advice and Guidance for Travelling With Children
We’ve got loads of guides on our website to help you make travelling with children of all ages as easy as possible:
- The ultimate travelling with kids checklist!
- Fun games to play with children on long car journeys.
- When can children sit in the front seat of a car?
- How to look after children and babies when paying for petrol.
Also be sure to read our essential guide to child car seats. It features advice on the law concerning child car seats, on how to choose the right seat for your child, and on how to safely install a child seat in your car.