Does this make you sick?
Whether it’s a short ride to the grocery store or a cross-country family road trip, car sickness can throw a curveball into what was supposed to be a relaxing, uneventful drive.
Dr. Kevin Dahlman, a pediatrician with Aurora Children’s Health in Whitefish Bay, Wis., says the nausea, vomiting and dizziness that comes with motion sickness is believed to be caused by conflicting messages in the brain.
“The inner ear, which helps manage your sense of balance, is truly the trigger behind motion sickness,” says Dr. Dahlman. “When a child is in their car seat, they aren’t focusing on just one thing outside, and that disconnect can increase sensitivity of the inner ear and bring on the symptoms.”
Dr. Dahlman offers the following tips to treat car sickness, especially in children:
- Over-the-counter medication: Children over the age of two can take dimenhydrinate, which is an antihistamine that prevents nausea and vomiting. Diphenhydramine can also help a child fall asleep during a car ride, which can be helpful during a car trip over two hours.
- Acupressure wristband: These wristbands can help decrease nausea by applying pressure to relieve tension.
- Play games: This is a simple way to distract children and also have some fun on the road.
- Ginger: Consuming ginger can help soothe an upset stomach because of its natural ingredients. Parents can buy ginger candy for the children at the store. Keep in mind, these ginger candies can be a choking hazard for children, so be cautious when giving them to your children.
About the Author
Meghan O’Grady, health enews contributor, is a public affairs intern at Advocate Aurora Health. She is a student at University of Illinois and majoring in Advertising.