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Road trips are a blast—unless your child is prone to motion sickness. We’ve been there, and it isn’t pretty. Here are 10 ways to avoid and treat motion sickness and nausea on your next trip:

1. Encourage your child to look outside the car rather than within it. That means “yes” to games like “I Spy” or the license-plate game or listening to audiobooks but “no” to movies, reading, drawing, and hand-held video games.

For young kids, when purchasing a car seat or booster, choose one that’s positioned high enough for your child to see out the window. (Note that while rear-facing kids seem to feel queasier, many experts feel it’s unsafe for kids to be forward-facing until they max out on the rear-facing car-seat height or weight limits.)

2. Avoid the “way-back”. If you have a third row of seats, don’t put the car-sickness-prone kid back there. The motion is felt more acutely in the last row.

3. Open the windows. Fresh air works wonders.

4. Steer clear of hard-to-digest food before the trip: nothing greasy or spicy, especially.

5. Pull over. Make frequent stops before motion sickness hits if possible. When a child starts to feel sick, make a pit stop to allow her to get out and walk around or lie down.

6. Try motion-sickness bands. Many parents swear by Sea-Bands http://www.sea-band.com/ca, in particular: bracelets that apply pressure to an acupressure point on the wrist.

7. Take ginger or peppermint. Evidence that ginger and peppermint ease nausea may be more circumstantial than scientific, but offering kids a ginger or peppermint candy can’t hurt. Just be sure to buy products made with real ginger. Most commercial ginger ales no longer contain real ginger. Chilled ginger tea or peppermint tea are great sugar-free options. (Be careful with peppermint essential oils—they aren’t always safe for kids. Read these excellent essential oils safety tips by a certified aromatherapist.)

8. Nibble on soda crackers. Plain, lightly salted soda crackers are the stuff of family road-trip legend. We dont’ know why they work, but they seem to!

9. Keep a washcloth and cold water handy. When kids feel clammy and nauseous, try applying a cool damp cloth to the forehead or back of the neck.

10. Medicate. Sometimes you need to pull out the big guns. In cases like this, we generally turn to Gravol. Try the fruit-flavoured Gravol Kids Quick-Dissolve Chewables and Gravol Kids Liquid (ages 2–12). Or, for kids 6 and up (and adults), the Gravol Natural Source Ginger Lozenges, which actually taste pretty great.

Finally, always be prepared for the worst. Keep ziplock bags, a change of clothes, and a full container of wipes on hand.

PHOTO: MAX Z/FLICKR CC

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