Car sickness: what works?


Everysummer, my husband and I travel abroad by road. Our daughter is nowsix, and we'd like to take her with us this year, to France. But I'mconcerned that she might suffer travel sickness. What are the best waysto protect her from this, in a "chemical free" way if possible?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

Children aged four to 10 are the most susceptible to motionsickness, which is caused by a mismatch between the movements thebody's balancing system senses and the visual images the eye detects.This is why reading or watching videos in a car make it worse. Sittingin the front seat is supposed to help, but may not be safe for asix-year-old. Try to break up the trip into short stretches of no morethan an hour. Don't talk about travel sickness. Encourage your daughterto look out the window. There are anti-sickness wrist bands, but theevidence of their effectiveness is mixed. Ginger is also meant to help.If all else fails, you may need "chemicals". There is a skin plastercontaining hyoscine, but it's not recommended under the age of 10. Theantihistamine cyclizine is effective and can be used over the age ofsix. The dose is 25mg three times a day, and no pre-scription isneeded. Good luck; your daughter may be one of the lucky ones whodoesn't feel sick at all.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to health@independent.co.uk. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.

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