- Don’t seat him too far back in the car. He’s more likely to feel nauseated if he sits in the back of a van, behind the axle, than if he sits in the middle seat.
- You can bring some toys or books for your child, but keep in mind that playing or looking at a book can sometimes make matters worse. If this is the case for your child, try other distractions, like singing, listening to the radio or chatting with him.
- Looking out the window may help prevent motion sickness, so talk about what’s going on outside. Did you know that gazing into the distance helps our brain register that our body is moving? Invent some games to engage him — see how many different trees he can spot, or help him find animals (a bird perched on a fence, a kitty on a doorstep, a dog being walked).
- Before the trip, provide your toddler with a small snack so that he has something in his stomach, and take frequent breaks during the trip to give him a chance to calm his tummy. Offer him plenty of fluids to keep him hydrated, otherwise he may get headaches, dizzy or weak, which would only make him more miserable.
It’s interesting to know that there are medications that you can give your child, but you’ll want to know how that will affect him before you leave home. Dramamine, for example, is simply a form of Benadryl, a common sedating antihistamine. Although antihistamines aren’t usually recommended for regular use by kids, an occasional children’s dose of Benadryl or Dramamine for a long car trip may be in order. Talk to your doctor about this first.
Keep in mind that these medicines may cause your child to have a dry mouth and nose, so keep a lot of fluids handy. They also often cause drowsiness, but sometimes they have the opposite effect and cause — heaven forbid — irritability and hyperactivity. If you want to give medication a try, again ask your child’s doctor about the correct dose for your child’s age and weight.
Motion sickness patches aren’t an option, as they’re not for use on children under age 12. Don’t cut one in half to deliver a smaller dose to your preschooler. That would be a very bad idea.
Do you have any tips on your own to help a child suffering from carsickness?