Mendelian Carsickness

Poor wee boy. SBJ has vomited in the car several times in the last month. We all had a nasty tummy bug at one point, but now it seems that was a red herring and he actually just gets carsick. Not only on long trips, either, and not only on windy roads.

My husband and I and most of our siblings get motion sickness to varying degrees, so I guess he didn’t have much of a chance. Presumably there’s some genetic component to this susceptibility. Anyone know anything about that?

More importantly, how on earth do we deal with this, friends? I need your help!

SBJ’s carseat (a Diono Radian XT, pictured below, if you’re interested) faces backwards, and given the safety advice around the world, we’re keen for him to stay facing backwards as long as possible – up to 20 kgs in this seat.

In Sweden kids stay rear facing until at least four years old, and an article in the British Medical Journal advises this approach in order to protect the spine of a child in a crash – a young child’s head being proportionally much larger and heavier than that of of an adult.

I don’t know for sure that SBJ would be less sick if he were facing forward, but I know that I get sicker when I am facing backwards in a train. That’s not enough reason, in our book, to switch him around, but it means that I need some other ideas of how to help him out – and how to make the clean-up easier!

I think we’ll need to dig out the old spill cloths from when he was a baby, and drape them over him in the car. We had to completely strip and wash the carseat this last time – too much berry smoothie at the motorway services! I need to be more careful about having lots of water on hand, too, for cleaning. I guess one bonus of the baby years is we’re always amply supplied with flannels.

What else can we do? He’s too young to be able to tell us when he’s going to be sick or to hold a bowl to be sick into, as my sisters and I used to do on every long car trip as kids. We do have a mirror attached to the back seat so we can see him from the front, but that hasn’t given us much warning. So I guess I’m keen for tips to prevent him feeling sick and/or prevent him vomiting, and for cleaning up if they don’t work!


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0 comments on “Mendelian Carsickness”

  1. Caroline Reply

    Poor SBJ – hope he grows out of it.

    Not much wisdom to add really as you’ve probably already thought of these things, but maybe try driving as much as possible when you expect him to sleep.

    Also, despite the fact I don’t really believe they could possibly work, those travel bands with pressure points on the wrists worked really well for my morning sickness and also help with travel sickness. They do child-sized ones, but I’ve no idea if SBJ would keep them on.

  2. Frank Reply

    Oh no! Car sickness is terrible. I get it too, although not as badly as when I was a child (or pregnant). What works for me that SBJ is old enough for is not drinking too much before a trip and eating dry crackers either just before or during the trip.cold helps too – air con on in the car or a cool flannel on the back if the neck. Some smells help too, I put lemon oil on a cotton ball in the car which I found helped with morning sickness.

    • not a wild hera Reply

      Very good thoughts, thanks, Frank. I’m finding the timing of eating and drinking difficult because here we are driving quite a lot, most days, and sometimes he is sick on short trips. But I think you’re right about not – in his case – eating masses of strawberries before/while driving 🙂

      Great thoughts about temperature and smells.

  3. Esmee Reply

    A half lemon to sniff – though I know he will try eating it; dry crackers; the pressure point wrist bands; stay home??? Good luck xxx

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