Motion sickness is no fun, and it’s especially awful for kids, who may not have the tools or knowledge to be able to deal with it properly.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and eliminate motion sickness. One of the easiest ways to ward off motion sickness is to watch the road. Motion sickness is caused when your body (inner ears, nerves, etc.) sense you are moving, but your eyes see something different and the brain gets conflicting signals. This is why anyone in the back seat of a car, especially someone susceptible to motion sickness, is more likely to feel ill on windy roads, since it is more difficult to watch where you are going. Making a concerted effort to watch the road can eliminate motion sickness.
This strategy is easy for adults, but it’s tougher for little ones, who are easily distracted and may not understand the importance of keeping your eyes on the road.
Here are three tricks to get your kids to watch the road.
- Road games
Not only are games a great way to pass the time, but certain games are also a sneaky way to get your kids to focus on objects outside of the car.
“I spy” is one of the best games for this. The parent can start by saying “I spy with my little eye something…” and then a color or another adjective describing something outside of the car (“I spy with my little eye something round.”). The child (or everyone in the car) then guesses what you’re referring to.
Another option is the license plate game. The aim is to try to find as many states as possible. When you see a license plate from a different state, write it down (the parents might want to do this!).
- Point out various things outside of the car
Focus on one thing like landmarks or red cars or people walking dogs. See how many your kids can count, or have a competition to see who can find the most items in the category. The key to a successful game is to keep the child looking forward.
In addition to the games and strategies described above, old-fashioned rewards can work too. Give your kids goals such as “Look outside the car for five whole minutes.” When they successfully complete these challenges, reward them with a snack they love or the promise of something after the trip is over.
Making sure your kids’ eyes are glued to the road helps prevent and reduce motion sickness and makes car trips easier for all involved! Try one or more of these techniques next time you take a car trip. Good luck!