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Keep Kids Prone to Motion Sickness Entertained in the Car

by Susan Finch

Sep 20, 2017

PixelProseImages | Dreamstime

Travel Tips

Kids suffering from car sickness are at a disadvantage, both trying to keep it together and not lose their lunch while simultaneously keeping themselves entertained. And it’s not an easy feat for parents to manage a car-sick kid either. But there’s not much kids can do about it, and it’s not in their heads. According to Healthy Children, motion sickness occurs when the brain receives conflicting signals from the motion-sensing parts of the body. The idea is your inner ear, eye and nerves aren’t syncing up and getting conflicting signals about motion.

Kids on road Trip in backseat

Photo: Nuiiko | Dreamstime

Ask your doctor about special wrist bands or other remedies that can help combat motion sickness before your next trip. Once you’ve got their health under control, brainstorm some fun entertainment to keep kids happy and engaged on a long car trip. Here are some ideas to get started.


Keep it Cold

Fresh air or ice-cold air conditioning can often stabilize motion sickness and stave off nausea. But don’t expect your little kids to tell you that they’re hot. Not all kids, especially little ones, will articulate their temperature needs or won’t equate feeling sick with being hot.


Keep the ventilation going in the car and make sure the vents are adjusted appropriately. For kids who are both prone to motion sickness and getting too cold, bring along a lightweight blanket they can cuddle up with to keep their face cooled off and their bodies comfortable.


Skip the Videos

If your child can’t read in the car without feeling sick, chances are high they also won’t be able to play video games or watch videos. Do a test on some short drives to see how it goes, but it’s not worth it if your child is prone to intense motion sickness. Otherwise, they could spiral into feeling sick without much recourse to recover.


Start Storytelling

Don’t let your kids dwell on what they’re missing out on because of their motion sickness. Instead turn it into an opportunity for family bonding time. Start a storytelling challenge and set a timer for five minutes each. When the timer is up, it’s someone else’s turn to continue the story and see where it leads. The best part is you can resume the story on different road trips and create a special experience for your family.

Girl with headphones on in the car

Photo: Annems | Dreamstime

Listen to Books on Tapes

If your kids aren’t into making up stories for hours, listen to books on tape instead. Make it fun and choose their favorites or ones you’ve never bought for them before. Think about starting a collection like Harry Potter that the entire family can get into. Afterwards, turn it into an impromptu audio book club party and talk about the book and all of your theories.


Bring Treats

Some simple snacks and treats could help combat motion sickness before it starts. Gum has been effective for some in reducing their car sickness, though isn’t appropriate for all kids depending on their age. Ginger and peppermint can also be helpful, as well as simply sucking on something sweet. Choose sugar-free suckers and dole them out slowly in combination with other techniques. It will both help reduce boredom and can help settle a stomach.


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