Parent tips: Carsick kids & road trips

There are endless amounts of road trip tips out there, but one thing many moms and dads don’t always prepare for as they embark on a family road trip is the potential (and all too often occurrence) of carsick kids. With a little extra preparation, road trips don’t have to become a fiasco just because one of the kids gets sick. Expert Moms suggest the following tips to help prevent (or ease) carsickness in your children:

  • Plan to travel during naptime: If your schedule permits (and your child is known to sleep in the car), consider syncing travel time with naptime.
  • Ditch electronic devices: If you can, keep your kids looking out the window or toward the horizon by playing an old-fashioned game of I spy or license plate bingo. If the kids are too young, try distracting them with a family sing-a-long. If you’re going to have to listen to the “Frozen” soundtrack again anyway, why not make it a bona-fide in-car event?
  • Keep the air flowing: If your child is seated in the middle of the backseat, aim the air-conditioning vents straight at them. Or crack the windows to let fresh air inside the cabin.
  • Pack the right snacks: Bringing along mints, a cool bottle of water, or saltines or soda crackers to sooth nausea always helps. Avoiding greasy snacks and fast-food meals while on the road is even better.
  • Explore natural remedy options: Many health-food stores and pharmacies carry natural products that are safe for children to use. Anything from wristbands to behind-the-ear oil treatments or ginger tablets may help your child beat carsickness. Do your research; call your pediatrician and investigate ahead of time to learn what’s safe for your child before you hit the road.
  • Allow for frequent stops: Sometimes, just getting out of the car and moving around can keep carsickness at bay. If your child is on the verge, find a rest stop and have him lie down outside on his back with his eyes closed, with a cool towel on his forehead to help him recalibrate.

If carsickness is inevitable, no need to fear. Talk to your pediatrician about medication options, or make this simple travel kit created by Expert Moms:

  • Pack a water bottle, a plastic grocery bag, empty gallon-sized Ziploc bags, mints or gum (spearmint works well) and another Ziploc bag filled with warm, damp washcloths (stowed in a thermal lunch bag to keep them warm).
  • When your child is feeling like he or she is going to throw up and you can't pull over, give her the empty Ziploc bag to use. Then you can zip it up and throw it away when you get to the next trash can.
  • When she’s done being sick, give her a warm washcloth to clean up. Then have her drink some water and suck on a mint or chew some gum.