This is a guest post written by my wife, Amber. Let me tell you, she has years of experience dealing with motion sickness. Our youngest daughter gets sick on almost every extended car ride. Here is what Amber had to say…
Depending on your camping destination, you may be faced with a lengthy drive (check out Great Ways to Combat “Are We There Yet?”). We have certainly had our fair share of them. For us, this usually means dealing with the effects of motion sickness in one or more of the children.
Luckily, we have gathered some great advice over the years for handling just such a scenario.
Our eight year old often gets sick when in the car for an extended period of time. This isn’t uncommon with younger children. Prevention is the key and hopefully these tips will keep you upset-free during your travels.
- Temperature – Keep the temperature comfortable for everyone, but pay particular attention to those most susceptible to motion sickness. If a child is complaining of being too hot, that’s a good indicator that motion sickness may be setting in. Open a window or blast the air conditioning to help regulate them. A small battery operated fan or spray bottle may also assist in temperature regulation. Help your child prepare for the trip by dressing them in loose, comfortable clothing.
- Window shade – Covering the outside window with a shade will not only keep the harsh sun off of your children, but will also prevent them from looking out the side window – something that often triggers motion sickness.
- The view – Have your child look forward, through the front windshield and focus on a stationary object (e.g. the horizon) to help prevent motion sickness.
- Seating arrangement – Placing a child in the middle seat makes them more likely to look out the front window of the vehicle than the sides. Additionally, avoid the far rear seats in a van or SUV. The further back in the vehicle, the more motion is felt.
- Plan your route – Travelling on major highways makes for a smoother ride with less stops and jarring than taking the back roads. The smoother the ride, the better for those subject to motion sickness. Planning for stops along the way gives children an opportunity to get out of the car – a good idea for avoiding more than just motion sickness!
- Snacks – Hunger can trigger feelings of nausea. Pack some healthy snacks and plenty of drinking water. Avoid salty or sugary snacks and carbonated beverages.
- Wrist bands –Putting pressure on the wrist is known to reduce nausea. There are many available on the market, try a few and see what works for you. You can also try a plain old rubber band.
Some of these tips are also applicable if your camping adventures will include boating. When all else fails, make sure you have a couple of large Ziploc bags on hand. Not only will they catch a mess, they do a darn good job of sealing in any odour. Some antibacterial wet wipes wouldn’t hurt either!