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You’ve got the car packed for your next road trip, your route is planned, but that sinking feeling sets in. It has nothing to do with high cost of gas; rather it is the fear of car sickness. More likely to occur in children aged 2 – 12, people who routinely get migraines and pregnant women, motion sickness can be the bane of road trips. There is help available though.
Car sickness “results from a conflict between the eye and ear: the inner ears detect that the car is moving, but the eyes– focused within the car– do not. The brain receives conflicting signals, and nausea results.” – source About.com Family Vacations
Instead of throwing in the car keys, follow these tips to avoid car sickness:
- Choose the right foods – Before and during your road trip, eat bland foods. Avoid spicy, greasy foods and alcohol consumption. Don’t eat foods that have caused stomach upset in the past. Bring along crackers, ginger candy, mints, soda water and ginger ale.
- Keep your eyes on the scenery – Reading books, watching movies and playing video games can all cause or worsen car sickness. Look outside the car instead, preferably out the front window. Find a focal point and keep your eyes on that.
- Take short breaks – Give your stomach a break by stopping the car, especially if you are feeling queasy. Walk around a bit and get some fresh air.
- Call shotgun – Sitting in the front seat can reduce the conflicting signals of your brain. Looking forward is better than looking out the side window because the scenery seems to fly by quickly. * Do not put car seats in the front seat or change rear-facing seats to forward.
- Use medication – Try over the counter medications such as Dramamine, Benadryl or Bonine. If all else fails, get a prescription from your doctor.
Be prepared for a motion sickness reaction by buying an emesis bag. (These work at home as well.) Your car and other passengers will thank you.
Car sickness shouldn’t prevent car rides and road trips. It may take time to find the right combination of tips to help you feel better. Start with short rides, see what works and work up to longer drives.
What do you do to avoid car sickness?
This post is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Seek the advice of a medical professional.
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