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Auto advice: Worried about car sickness on long summer journeys? Our motoring expert offers some remedies

From what to do before you set off to what to bring in case someone falls ill and how to stop children from feeling sick on the move 

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"Take some simple steps before you set out so your loved ones arrive at their holiday destination feeling tip-top." Stock image

"Take some simple steps before you set out so your loved ones arrive at their holiday destination feeling tip-top." Stock image

"Take some simple steps before you set out so your loved ones arrive at their holiday destination feeling tip-top." Stock image

What is car sickness?

Car sickness can turn an eagerly awaited family trip into a nightmare and occurs when the brain receives conflicting information from the inner ears, eyes and nerves.

What is the best way to ease it?

While it is a fairly common experience for children ages two to 12 there are some ways that it can be eased or even prevented. Distraction is often the best cure so encourage children to focus on things outside the car, so they avoid activities that keep attention inside. It is best not to resort to DVDs or handheld devices such as iPads as these can often make car sickness worse. Instead opt for audio books or, with youngsters, play I Spy and other games that encourage them to look out the window. Also make sure the child is well rested before the journey as not getting enough rest has been shown to contribute to car sickness. Ensure the car is properly ventilated. Getting out for a walk regularly is a good idea as motion sickness is related to our sense of balance so even a short walk can make a difference.

Is it better to travel on an empty or full stomach?

While it is not a good idea to travel on an empty stomach, be careful with snacks before you set off so avoid greasy and spicy foods. Drinking plenty of water will help and munching on ginger biscuits or dry crackers will help some children cope with motion sickness. Chewing gum can also help.

Where should you sit in the car if prone to car sickness?

Where you sit in the car can make a difference so move any child feeling queasy to the middle in the back seats so they can focus clearly on the road ahead. Also drive as smoothly as possible, avoiding sudden braking and harsh acceleration.

What about over-the-counter remedies?

If you are planning a long road trip it is a good idea to ask a pharmacist about over-the- counter medications to prevent car sickness. Alternatively anti-sickness travel bands can bring relief to some so may be worth trying. If the problem is persistent, talk to your doctor.

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Top tip: It is always best to be prepared with a waterproof bag and a clean-up kit. Include a change of clothes, cleaning spray, paper towels, antibacterial hand wipes and a towel to cover the cleaned seat.

Contact Geraldine: email sundaymotors@independent.ie

 


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