The science behind car sickness and how to prevent it. 

I read an article recently explaining the science behind car sickness. I suffered from this terribly as a child and couldn’t travel further than half an hour in the car without being ill. Luckily Lyla doesn’t suffer from it, our road trip around Europe would have been very different if she did.  Apparently because humans have only recently started travelling around in cars, buses etc our brains have not yet caught up, so your brain likely thinks you have been poisoned and responds by sending a message to flush the toxins out of your body. Although physically your body knows you are sat still, the fluid in your ears is sloshing around indicating that you are moving. This is where the confusion comes in and your brain suspects poisoning so reacts accordingly. You can read the full article Here

There are several ways to try and avert car sickness, some are listed below;

Stare forward out of a window as this helps the brain to think you are sat still.

Encourage children to play games where they have to look outside of the car rather than at books or games.

Avoid strong smells, perfumes, foods etc.

If you are to embark on a long journey choose a bland meal beforehand, like rice crackers for example. Avoid greasy foods.

Make sure the car is properly ventilated. Often this can mean opening the windows because in some cases smells through the air conditioning car exasabate the problem.

If possible sit them in the front seat, looking at the horizon can help settle feelings of queasiness.

Encourage them to sip water.

Finally there are several over the counter forms of medication you can buy for children who suffer from car sickness. Your local pharmacist can advise you on which is most suitable for your child.
I wish you a safe and pleasant road trip.


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