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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Car sickness

    What can I do to help my 9 yr old son avoid getting sick in the car? It happens all the time and even on a short 5-10 minute drive. Could he have inner ear issues?
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  • Kathryn Penno

    Audiologist

    Hello and Welcome, I founded the Hearing Collective to give clients one location, a collective of hearing healthcare services that are convenient and accessible. Hearing … View Profile

    Hi, sorry to hear your son gets car sickness! I get some motion sickness when I am trying to read in a moving vehicle, but this can be over ridden once I stop and try to visually foscus on the horizon. 

    Does your son get other symptoms when travelling in a car?

    Does he report feeling motion sickness when on a boat, train or bus?

    Balance is made up of visual input, inner ear input and your muscles and joints all feeding back to the brain to input information. If your son visually looks to the horizon, some of this motion sickness may be alleviated. The visual input may help override some of the inner ear input. I would recommend he sit in the passenger seat and not read any books or text. 

    If he can have audio input that helps soothe his car sickness, this may also help distract his mind from the motion sickness.

    Staying hydrated is also important.

    If he isn't feeling better I would recommend you discuss your concerns with your GP, have a visual assessment (behavioural optometry) and hearing assessment, depending on the other symptoms reported/observed.

     

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