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Car Sickness

How to Combat Car Sickness

Child with car sickness

As we hurtle through July and the end of the academic year, our minds inevitably turn to plans for the summer break.  For many people, this, of course, means going away on holiday. For those people who are not going away it will probably mean several days trips out.  If there is someone in your family who suffers from car sickness, often referred to as motion sickness because it doesn’t just occur when travelling in a car, then travelling can be miserable.

Here are just a few ideas to help you combat car sickness.

What is motion sickness?

Anyone can get motion sickness, but some people are more vulnerable than others, it is most common in children between the ages of 3-12. It is thought that motion sickness is caused when what your eyes see and what your inner ear, the bit that helps with balance, senses.

Before you travel

There are a couple of things that you can try before you travel that should be successful in helping you combat car sickness.

  • If you need to eat before travelling make sure that you avoid heavy meals and spicy or fatty foods. Don’t drink alcohol either

  • There are a number of over the counter medications that you can take for motion sickness, they should usually be taken a short while before travelling

In the car

Once you are in the car there are a few things that you can do to help avoid being travel sick, there are also a couple of things you shouldn’t do as well.

  • Position: The best place to sit in the car is in fact in the front seat, this gives you a view that is unblocked by another seat and should help your mind to focus without confusion.

  • Fresh air: Where possible makes sure that you have a window open, fresh air will help you to avoid feeling ill, it will also help remove bad odours from the car which can also add to feelings of nausea

  • Keep still: Try not to move around too much in your seat

driver with car sickness

  • Relax: This is possibly easier said than done if you are worrying about being ill, but listen to some music, close your eyes, or try a simple mental task like counting backwards

  • Water: It is important to stay hydrated, this will help keep your nausea to a minimum

  • Focus: Try to keep a focus on something that appears stable like the horizon, avoid concentrating on the other things that are moving around like other cars

  • Films and Books: You should avoid watching films or reading in the car if you suffer from car sickness as these can make you feel worse.

Alternative Remedies

Some people swear by alternative remedies when it comes to car sickness. Ginger is great for curbing the symptoms of nausea; ginger biscuits and ginger tea have a long history of being used for other types of nausea such as morning sickness.

Another alternative is acupressure bands - these apply pressure to a particular part of the wrist and, although there is little scientific evidence to back them up, many people feel they work well.

Following the tips above should, if not cure your car sickness, at least make it a little easier to bear.  What are your tips?