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What Causes Carsickness in Children?

Motion sickness is common in both children and adults. The cause of motion sickness deals with the brain's ability to interpret messages based on what it senses.

Children often sit too low to see through the car window, and cannot make out the horizon on the road. This can be confusing and nauseating as the body senses the forward movement, but the brain struggles to process it without enough visual indication.

Is there any way to prevent carsickness?

Some car sickness can be prevented by using a child safety seat or booster seat that provides ample height for the child to see out the car windows. For longer car rides, try to entertain children with activities that prevent them from looking down for extended periods of time.

What can I do to relieve the symptoms of carsickness?

If your child alerts you that they are feeling unwell, try to pull over and stop immediately at the first sign of symptoms. Don't let your children travel on an empty stomach to keep some carsickness at bay.

If carsickness is a recurring problem for your child, don't hesitate to talk to your child's health care provider about the use of an over-the-counter travel-sickness medication.

Karen K. Meyer, MD

Methodist Physicians Clinic Hawthorne Court (178 & Q)

Dr. Meyer answers your questions about child development and parenting. Dr. Meyer decided to become a doctor when she was in school and learned about the body's systems and the miracle of how they all work together. She likes talking to children and helping them feel better. Dr. Meyer believes that children are not little adults and they need to be treated in a way that will help them understand why they aren't feeling well and what they can do to get better. She also works to build tru ...

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