Avoiding getting carsick on the way to Grandma’s

Your children are looking forward to going to visit Grandma at Christmas, but she lives four hours away and they tend to get carsick… Here are some tips to make them more comfortable:

  • Don’t let them leave on an empty stomach. Hunger tends to increase motion sickness. Have them eat a small meal or a snack 30 to 60 minutes before you leave. Avoid greasy, hard-to-digest foods.
  • If old enough, a child who gets very carsick can sit in the front. If not, make sure he or she can see outside the car. Use a booster seat if necessary.
  • Tell your children to look out the window. Avoid reading, games and videos that focus the eyes inside the car.
  • Keep them busy with songs, stories and jokes in order to keep their mind off the fact that they are in motion.
  • Make regular stops to step outside the car and breathe in some fresh air.
  • Never smoke inside the car and avoid strong odours (wait until you get to your destination to apply some perfume!).
  • If a child starts to feel sick, find a safe spot to stop the car, have the child step out of the car and lie on his or her back for a few minutes (if there is no clean place to do so, then open all the car doors and have the child lie down on the back seat). Wet a facecloth with some water (or snow!) and apply it to your child’s forehead.
  • Plan ahead, in case all else fails: Always bring water (to rinse the mouth) as well as cleaning supplies in case of an accident (e.g. water bottle and facecloth, plastic bags, paper towels or baby wipes).

For children who regularly get carsick, certain medications can relieve the discomfort. They do have their drawbacks and are not suitable for all children, so always speak to your doctor or pharmacist before giving them to a child.

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