Bleah! We’ve all been there, done that. Motion sickness is no fun, no matter how old you are.
If there's a road trip in your future, and one of your little passengers is prone to tummy trouble on the road, the best thing to do is to be prepared with ways to minimize the discomfort - and to deal with it if the worst comes to pass.
Here are 9 ways to help keep your kids’ tummy contents where they belong, and help prevent motion sickness.
Position motion-sickness-prone kids in the middle of the back so, their eyes are directed straight out to the road.
Kids often get sick when what they're looking at (a book or the scenery whizzing by) doesn't match the motion that their bodies feel.
Motion sickness occurs when the brain receives conflicting information from the inner ears, eyes, and nerves in the joints and muscles. If they still feel motion-sick, suggest that they focus on something motionless and far away, like the horizon.
Don't let kids read in the car, especially on curvy roads. There is something about the mix of printed words on a page and a winding road that don't agree with most people. To avoid nausea, sing along to the radio or listen to books on tape.
Open a window and let a little fresh air in at the first sign of motion sickness. Fresh air does a big - and little - body prone to becoming car sick good. This could prevent a full-fledged tummy episode. Or, stop the car as soon as possible and let your child get out and walk around, or have your child lie on his or her back for a few minutes with closed eyes.
If there's a history of car sickness, keep pre-road trip meals light. This trick will go miles toward helping a nervous stomach keep its contents within.
Provide cold ginger ale for sipping and crackers for nibbling. (Here's a great reason to keep a small cooler in the car.) These on-the-road tummy settlers can save the day - or night. Not to mention your car's interior.
If a child is feeling car sick, put a wet, cold cloth over the child's face. This cool comforter can calm her system down. And if that doesn't work, you'll just happen to have a bag handy.
Pack an ice scraper (great for scooping up chunks, ick), motion-sickness bags (a.k.a. plastic trash bags), and wet wipes for quick cleanups.
Have a change of clothes for the motion-sickness-prone child handy. If it happens, you'll be ready to remove clothes and utilize the fresh replacements.
Finally, if your kid is likely to get car sick, ask your doctor about giving him or her a safe over-the-counter medication for kids to prevent motion sickness before the trip begins.
The over-the-counter medication meclizine (Bonine, Antivert, Dramamine) is approved for kids 2 and older and can be a useful preventive measure for short trips or mild cases of motion sickness.
Your pediatrician may also choose to prescribe medications for longer trips, or if your child repeatedly develops severe motion sickness.
One example of prescription medication is a patch containing scopolamine (Transderm-Scop) that often is effective in preventing motion sickness.
The antihistamine diphenhydramine (Benadryl), approved for kids 6 and older, may also prevent symptoms.
Both medications work best if taken about an hour before traveling.