Helping Your Child Through Car Sickness

Summer road trips are a chance for family fun. But what should you do if your child suffers from car sickness?


Heading out on a road trip this summer? Awesome! A nice, leisurely drive through the countryside is a great chance for family bonding and is necessary when you are trying to get to your vacation destination. But a bout of motion sickness can turn even the shortest trip into a torturous affair. What should you know about car sickness and preventing it in your kids?

Why does car sickness happen?

The disparity between what you are seeing (the stationary view of the inside of a car) and what you are feeling (you body’s vestibular system registers that you are moving) causes your child’s body to become confused. This difference results in the production of a neurotransmitter, which the body mistakes for an indicator of hallucinogenic poisoning. The body then tries to rid itself of source of the problem (a.k.a your poor child starts to get sick to their stomach).

How to prevent it

There is a fine balance between too much and enough food in your baby’s belly before a big trip. Try to think of a light but sustaining meal full of protein and complex carbs. Avoid junk food that may be fatty or greasy and steer clear of anything acidic (no orange juice). Also make sure you have a lot of water ready for the trip.

The best defence against car sickness may be rest. So try to get your little one to close their eyes (removing one of the offending senses) and sleep during the trip.

It may also be difficult, but try to keep kids from focusing on any non-moving object such as reading or playing a game with cards. Try to keep a window open so they can get some fresh air and try on some music they enjoy to try to keep their minds of the sickness.

Ginger is a good natural nausea remedy, so grab a few chewable ginger candies for the road. Gravol has Natural Source Ginger Lozenges that are perfect for on-the-go. They also offer a line of Quick Dissolve Chewables for both adults and kids to prevent and treat nausea, vomiting and dizziness due to motion sickness. Bonus: they come in great flavours to keep the kids happy!

Dealing with the aftermath

If all of your prevention methods fail, it is best to be prepared for the possibility of a sick child. Pack an emergence kit full of ziplock bags, water, spare clothing, wipes and even a wash cloth to clean up after what may be an unavoidable carsick moment.

Once the act is over and the clean-up is dealt with, try to make a pit stop as soon as it is safe to do so. Let your little one get some air, walk around and having some cool water. Once back in the car, try to get them to sleep, or at least close their eyes for as long as they can.

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