Car Sickness and Road Trip

Updated on February 11, 2012
J.L. asks from Minneapolis, MN
11 answers

My 5 y.-o. has a history of getting queasy on long highway drives yet we have planned a multi-day road trip for our summer vacation. Anyone have luck in dealing with carsickness? Especially preventing it? It's been about two years since he last threw up in the car, but I think the memory of that is what makes him kind of freak out when he starts to feel sick. I've heard that they should look out the window but I worry we won't keep him entertained if he can't look at books, draw, etc. We've never used DVD in the car and I also wonder how that would affect it or not. We can and will play games that involve looking out the window, and listen to books on CD which he can do while looking out the window, but we have a lot of hours to fill here! Also, the kids are both in backless boosters now. Does anyone have advice on how to help kids get comfy enough to sleep in their boosters? Thanks!

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answers from Madison on

Try not to take back, windy, hilly roads. My son throws up on the same stretches of road I did when I was a kid!

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answers from Washington DC on

Ask the doctor to prescribe motion sickness patches. My SS and his best friend got some for our cruise. You can leave them on for several days and they just stick behind his ear. SS gets VERY sick sometimes and wasn't sick at all on the entire cruise.

I'd get them small pillow pets - toys and pillows. And get some card games and other little travel things. Hide new little toys (like from the $1 bin) and give them a "car bag" when you get out on the road.

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answers from Madison on

My daughter has issues with getting carsick. I bought child size Seabands for her. They are wrist bands with a pressure point. She uses them on long car trips and flights. They really have helped her avoid feeling sick. I found them at Target.

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answers from Richmond on

My middle child was the queen of puking in the car... she grew out of it :)

I used to put her by the window, so she could get fresh air if she felt sick. We always had baggies too, just in case.

My pediatrician said that's WRONG ;) Sitting in the center seat helps their equilibrium and makes them feel more on balance... but still, bring puke bags, just in case ;)

They also sell 'motion sickness bracelets' at CVS; never tried them, not sure if they work, but my husband swears by them when he goes out on boats in the ocean, so maybe they're worth a shot!

In regards to comfort, kids are way more bendy than we are. Let them bring a stuffed animal and maybe a favorite blanket to prop themselves up with. Really, no matter how crooked and awkward they look when they doze off, if they were uncomfortable, they'll wake up. I promise ;)

Good luck :)

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answers from Augusta on

Dramamine and fresh air should help.

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answers from Killeen on

Dramamine is good. I have a son who also gets queasy in the car. if its nice out i roll his window all the way down. He's 4. I only give him Dramamine during long trips. and roll window during town trips. Oh sometimes reading or drawing makes the queasy worse.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I have heard that on ships people who get motion sickness take 1/4 to 1/2 dose of Benadryl. The medication in motion sickness meds is the same thing.

Ask the doc about this medication. Either the liquid Benadryl or the pill form for motion sickness. That way he won't have to suffer through it at all. Poor kid.

My friend gets totally nauseous if she reads while the car is moving. I would sure start now and see what works and doesn't. Let them watch a movie on the way to school, read a book same thing, start now and see how he reacts.



answers from Las Vegas on

Try ginger candy, you can pick it up at Trader Joe's. Hopefully he likes it. My 6 year old eats it.



answers from Minneapolis on

Seabands work GREAT!!! Buy them in pharmacy area. Be sure they are worn correctly and on both wrists. Have him sit in the center of the back seat looking forward not out the side windows. He shouldn't have things like books to look at. Contrary to some, our daughter did well when she had a DVD to watch but not on her lap; it had to be in front of her like between the 2 front seats or a mounted ceiling player. Keep air circulating and have gallon zipper bags on hand just in case.



answers from Denver on

My son used to get car sick all the time. He has luckily outgrown it. I keep gallon sized Ziploc baggies in his seat just in case.
Fresh air always helped. Make sure he isnt watching movies. Looking out the front windshield helps. The wrist band pressure point things help me a ton! They also sell Ginger suckers or chews that help with motion sickness. I have found them by the checkstand at Target. My mother in law uses those and says they are great.



answers from Rochester on

Keep the car cool and when he starts to feel sick crack the windows open for fresh air. Take a break from reading to look out the window. The front window is probably best. If possible, stop and let him walk around a little bit. Ginger will help, but a lot of times the Ginger candy has too strong a flavor for kids. Try Ginger ale to drink or Ginger snap cookies.

I bought kid sized neck pillows at Target that help our kids.

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