Otis gets travel sickness and I'm talking about all the time. He is fine on long road trips - if the road is straight-ish. It's the shortish inner Brisbane trips, congested (stop/start), winding, hilly roads (thank you Jubilee Terrace). There is not always a place to pull over and often he isn't only feeling nauseous but he is actually sick. It's time to stop thinking he will get used to it or will grow out of it.
My pharmacist recommended Phenergan even after I mentioned that I am looking for something my son can use everyday including before school. She did however convince me to try the Travacalm Travel Bands (shown on Otis far below). The advantages of the bands is that Otis loves them, he isn't ingesting anything and he hasn't been sick since wearing them. Hopefully his enthusiasm for them doesn't wear off. At the pharmacy I also picked up travel sickness bags, I hadn't seen them before and they are genius.
While looking for alternative methods I came across many recommendations for ginger so we tried crystallised ginger. I cut the crystallised ginger into small pieces, approximately into quarters so Otis (and sometimes Caspar feels queasy) would only have a very small piece if they felt nauseous. I now keep a sealed bag of these in the car.
I also knew the boys would go for a travel sickness lollipops or lollies. I found the lollipops too large, I wish I made them smaller and the 'drops' were actually much easier to make and for the kids to use. I made these using only ingredients found in our pantry so it felt like they were free!
I basically followed this recipe. I used rice syrup instead of corn syrup (because it's what I had but I'm not sure corn syrup is available here). I also used ground ginger assuming this is the same as ginger powder. This is also a good article which explains the candy making process.
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup rice syrup
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
food colouring (optional)
- Combine sugar, rice syrup, water and cream of tartar in a pan. Mix on medium heat.
- Stop stirring when the fully combined mixture starts to boil.
- Allow to boil (adjust heat if necessary - you don't want it to boil over) until it reaches 300 degrees F (the hard crack or hardball stage). I don't have a candy thermometer so I used a small spoon and poured some mixture into a glass of cold water. When the mixture formed a thread in the water which 'snapped' I knew the mixture had reached the right stage. I tried this around eight times before I knew the mixture was ready.
- Take the mixture off the heat and quickly stir in ginger and optional food colouring.
- Pour over lollipop sticks or as 'drops' onto baking paper and allow to set. We packaged some in small bags however the boys found them too sticky in the car. So we further dusted the lollipops and drops with fine confectionary sugar. This made them really easy to handle and package.
We packaged ours into small bags. One bag goes in the car and the rest are stored in a cool space - in our pantry.
For the lollipop sticks I used wooden skewers which I cut with sharp scissors. This recipe can be tricky if you haven't made candy before as you are boiling sugar - this can be extremely hot and it's not a good idea to have kids in the kitchen. This recipe contains a lot of sugar - I would like to make the drops smaller and each child only has one to suck on when they are feeling sick. However they don't taste too sweet and the ginger isn't overpowering - I think this recipe has the balance right.
I'm still keeping my eyes and ears open for alternative therapies. My friend Meg who has experience with these matters recommends Trip Ease which is a homeopathic preventive measure. I haven't found it locally yet but when I do I will give it a try.
I'm really hoping the sickness stage is over however I am keeping many ideas in mind just in case.