5 tricks to avoid motion sickness

Kinderling News & Features

Summer is nearly upon us and so are the car trips. Whether it’s a long drive up and down the coast, the day trip out of town or you’re visiting family and friends, you’ll probably experience the dreaded motion sickness. We spoke with CPR KidsSarah Hunstead about reducing motion sickness for the whole family.

1. Take the book and iPad away 

Although books and devices can be great activities for our children on long car trips they can also trigger or exacerbate their motion sickness. Instead, try to encourage your child to focus outside the car, Sarah says. 

“Unfortunately, something like an iPad or a book for my kids is the trigger and so that’s why it’s better for them to focus on what’s happening outside the car.”

2. Know the signs 

Learn the signs to your child’s motion sickness so you can pre-empt the vomit and be prepared. 

Listen to Sarah on Kinderling Conversation:

“Get them to tell you how they’re feeling, and know their triggers. I know when my kids were younger they’d go quiet, they'd start yawning ... they’d then get cranky and go pale and clammy and I’d go, 'allright here we go, bags out people',” Sarah says. “Understand your child, know how they look and be prepared for it and for a long trip, chat to them.” 

3. Bring non-leak vessels for catchment 

Contain the chuck! This one is for you just as much as for them - be prepared and invest in some vomit bags specifically designed to trap and contain the mess. All good pharmacies stock them in single use packs and larger packs.

“Preparedness is also key, if you've got a child who chucks in the car then purchase the vomit bags, you can buy them from the chemist. I’ve used everything from dog poop bags to shopping bags to anything that’s handy, but these bags have the plastic ring around the top and is really good at catching it and containing everything,” Sarah recommends. “Have it in the car where they can grab it, if necessary.” 

4. Try natural nausea relievers 

When you feel nauseous you’ll give anything a go for relief (first trimester mamas, we feel for you). Anti-nausea bands or pressure point bands can help for some, and the same can be said for ginger.

“I have tried wristbands with pressure points, I think I may have gotten only a bit of relief from them, but give it a go,” Sarah says. “I swore by ginger when I was pregnant with morning sickness, and certainly give it a go. Make sure you follow the directions of the packet and ensure it’s suitable for your child’s age.” 

5. Seek medical help 

If your child's motion sickness is unbearable or you’re embarking on a long trip, Sarah suggests you see your GP, paediatrician or pharmacist. 

“Of course, if you’re going on a long trip and you have a child who has very bad motion sickness, it is worth going and chatting to your GP or paediatrician because it may be time for some medication,” she says. This depends on the age of your child, but chat to a professional for some ideas as a last resort.