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Road Trip Tips: How to Stop Motion Sickness in Kids (and Adults!)

Road Trip Tips: How to Stop Motion Sickness in Kids (and Adults!)
We have a 10-year-old son who is very prone to motion sickness and throws up even on Interstates or local car rides which last for more than an hour. For a family that loves to explore by car (which has included a 4,000 mile round trip from Washington to Wyoming to see Yellowstone National Park), ours son’s tendency towards motion sickness has been a real challenge. While the motion sickness drug, Dramamine, is safe for kids, we try to avoid using it because it causes heavy drowsiness as a side effect. Who wants a half limp child when you’re sightseeing? Given how often our son would get car sick, we’ve searched high and low for alternatives with fewer side-effects.
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How to Stop Motion Sickness

The most effective solution we’ve found to deal with motion sickness is the use of acupressure bands that reduce nausea by targeting the “Nei-kuan” pressure point. The effectiveness of this method has been supported by scientific studies. In fact, it’s reduced messy incidents in our car by about 75%. We initially tried Seabands, a product that can found at most pharmacies, but most recently, we’ve discovered the much more effective and durable Psi Bands.

Each set of Psi bands comes as a pair and both have to be worn and accurately attached to the “Nei-kuan” accupressure point on the inside of the wrist. Essentially, the bands look like a watch strap with various holes for different sized wrists and a large button that when tightened enough, applies just enough pressure on the “Nei-kuan” pressure point to provide nausea relief. Seabands, in contrast, are made of rubberized fabric and look like a narrow version of sports wristbands. It’s not possible to fine tune the pressure applied by a Seaband.

Unlike the Seabands which stretch and loosen after being washed, Psi Bands remain effective no matter how many times they are washed. The vinyl straps on the Psi bands remain sturdy and the multiple holes on their straps allow Psi bands to fit many different wrist sizes from young child to adult. We use our Psi Band at least once a week, so we’ve washed, wiped, and cleaned them often over the course of the past year and they still work as well as they did the first day. We also love all the different designs the trendy Psi Bands come in, from conservative black with understated patterns to fashionable cute patterns that your child would be happy to wear.

When it comes to motion sickness, the key is prevention rather than cure! Once the nausea sets in, it’s hard to knock it off its feet. Both the motion sickness drugs and acupressure bands work best when used at the beginning of the trip before any signs of motion sickness begin to surface.

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Photo by Benedict Francis

In Addition, Minimize Motion Sickness By:

  • Keeping the car cool and windows slightly cracked for fresh air.
  • Keeping your eyes looking out of the window at a distant point on the horizon. Discourage staring at a screen, book, or even playing with toys.
  • Take frequent breaks and walk around outside to clear the head.
  • Eat non-oily foods on the journey like crackers and dried fruit (no potato chips or fries). Drink lots of water. Avoid acidic fruits and juices like oranges or orange juice. Avoid milk. Grape juice, apple juice, or water should be fine.
  • Always bring a generous supply of gallon ziplock bags, wet wipes, water (for rinsing the mouth) and leak-proof trash bags on hand.

Happy Travels.

*Disclosure:  I received a sample of Psi Bands for review, but my opinions are entirely my own.

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Featured photo by: Shutterstock

Li-Er Hanson