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Tips to prevent kids from getting car sick

It's always a good idea to try to schedule car trips during your child's nap (if he takes one) or regular sleep times, and if he's prone to motion sickness that strategy might be especially helpful. Here are some other ideas to keep in mind:

• Cut down on sensory input. Loading up your kids with movies and books during a road trip may not be the best thing for them, especially if they are easily car sick. Encourage them to focus on things outside the vehicle instead.

• Offer distractions. Talking, listening to music and singing songs with your child could serve as a good distraction during a car trip.

• Provide adequate air ventilation. Make sure the car is free of odors and there is a decent amount of ventilation.

• Be careful with snacks. Greasy and spicy foods are not going to be good for your child before a car trip. If the trip is going to be long, feed your child a small, bland snack before you leave.

• Try medication. If your child is age 2 or older, ask your child's health care provider about over-the-counter medications available for car sickness. Dimenhydrinate is available for children ages 2 and older, and diphenhydramine is available for children ages 6 and older. Drowsiness is a common side effect of these drugs.

Keep in mind that these medicines may cause dry mouth and nose, so keep those fluids handy. They often cause drowsiness, but sometimes they have the opposite effect and cause — heaven forbid — irritability and hyperactivity. If you want to give medication a try, ask your child's doctor about the correct dose for your child's age and weight.

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