Mummy, I feel sick. What to do with a car sick child.

“Oh no!” is the normal parental reaction when a little voice from the back seat pipes up, “I think I’m going to vomit!” and you're a mere 20 minutes into a three-hour journey. But car-sickness (or nausea on a plane, boat, bus etc) affects many children in their early years so if this is a member of your family it pays to be prepared:

  •  Feed your child before you leave but keep it plain: cheese and crackers, Marmite on toast or a poached egg are all good tummy-fillers. Try to avoid high-fat, high-sugar foods and some people also suggest avoiding dairy.
  • Of course, wind down the windows to get fresh air blowing around, even if it’s raining.
  • Take a bottle of soda water with you — sipping carbonated water helps some nausea-sufferers so it’s worth trying.
  • For older preschoolers encourage them to look at the horizon or focus on a static point outside the car to help settle the stomach.
  • Try games to distract your child: “Who’s going to be the first to spot a red car!” etc.
  • You may have to stop for a few minutes to help the nausea subside. Also pack a couple of ice-cream containers or small basins if the inevitable happens.
  • If your child is often car-sick consider medication before a long trip. The Sea Legs brand is a non-drowsy type of antihistamine which needs to be taken an hour or more before your journey.
  • A Sea-Band wrist band is a drug-free option which works by applying pressure (via a plastic stud) on an acupressure point ion the wrist.

Under 5

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