(WYTV) — Now that it’s November, some may be starting to think about holiday travel. Visiting family across the country is a big deal for Thanksgiving. But what if you — or, more importantly, the kids — get car sick?
Family physician Szymon Krzyzanowski, with Steward Medical Group, shares some of the causes of car sicknesses, and how parents can help their kids who may have it.
Car sickness is becoming more common in kids. Krzyzanowski says it’s most common in kids between 2 and 12 years old. A form of motion sickness, it can cause different symptoms from vehicle movement.
“Most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness — those are really the things to watch out for,” Krzyzanowski says.
Some symptoms last into a kid’s teenage years. Krzyzanowski says it’s unclear why car sickness happens in kids, but physiologically, he says it’s caused by a mix-up of internal messages.
“It’s a crossing of messages, basically from the brain to the inner ear. If you can imagine being in a moving car, the kid basically feels like they’re moving forward. They don’t have those landmarks,” Krzyzanowski says.
In other words, the body feels like it’s moving. The brain, however, doesn’t register the movement because a kid may not be seeing any movement.
Kids most at risk for car sickness may be reading a book on the car ride or looking at a tablet.
Luckily, the fix for car sickness is relatively simple: Look out the window.
“That is the easiest and best way to help with the symptoms of car sickness. Get the child to look up and sort of look outside. Opening up a window to get fresh air in,” Krzyzanowski says.
And if motion sickness still persists, Krzyzanowski has a couple of recommendations.
“Pulling over and stopping and having the child sit down, sort of outside or lay down. You can always do like a cold compress as well,” Krzyzanowski says.
Some medications can help for kids with chronic motion sickness. Krzyzanowski recommends Dramamine and Benadryl before riding in the car.