How to Help a Car Sick Child: 6 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Win the war against car sickness before you buckle the safety belt.

Your family road trip has gone off without a hitch; that is until you hear the dreaded words “Mommy, I don’t feel so good.” According to Healthy Children motion sickness occurs when the brain receives jumbled messages from the eyes, ears and nerves found in your child’s extremities. The child’s inner ear and extremities can sense movement, but because of how she’s sitting in her carseat, the eyes aren’t able to register the same action. When it comes to the dreaded motion sickness, prevention is key, but it’s also possible to help lessen your child’s nausea while on the road.


  1. 1
    Pack an emergency motion sickness kit. Include plastic bags for when your child’s nausea gets the best of her, a can or bottle of a clear carbonated beverage – such as Sprite or 7-Up – and some soda crackers. Slowly sipping on the soda and eating a few crackers can help settle your child’s queasy stomach.
  2. 2
    Offer your child a small snack before you leave the house. Healthy Child recommends giving your child something small if she hasn’t eaten anything in the past three hours. A handful of cracker or piece of toast can help prevent motion sickness later.
  3. 3
    Encourage your child to look out the window instead of distracting her with a handheld video game or book. Focusing on a stationary object while the car is moving can lead to motion sickness. Play “I Spy” or encourage your child to count the number of red cars on the road to help keep her eyes on objects outside the vehicle.
  4. 4
    Distract your child to help take the focus away from the feelings of nausea. Sing a song together, turn up the radio or just talk about the fun time you’ll have when you reach your destination. For instance, tell your child about all the activities planned for your trip to grandma's house, including the zoo and a stop at her favorite ice cream shop.
  5. 5
    Stop periodically when you’re on the road. If your child is really struggling with nausea and cannot go a mile further, don’t hesitate to pull into a rest stop or parking lot and let your child rest. The Kid's Doctor recommends allowing your child to lie down across the back seat and take a break for a few minutes. Cover her forehead with a cool rag and give her a break before continuing down the road.
  6. 6
    Ask your child’s pediatrician about motion sickness medications. Benadryl and Dramamine for Kids are two over-the-counter products your pediatrician might recommend. They’re most effective if given to your child before the trip, but be aware they do produce some potentially unwanted side effects, including drowsiness.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bags
  • Clear carbonated soda
  • Soda crackers
  • Cool rag

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

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