Why Don’t Kids Get “Bussick”?

A kid throwing up out the back window of a car
Georgie told me that when he was a little kid, he often got completely barfy in the car, especially on long trips and especially on curvy road and especially if he was reading.

I have always wondered why kids can get carsick in a car, but almost no one ever gets “bussick” on a bus. If you have a theory, please comment below.

Kids on a schoolbus

Book 3

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Comments from my Readers & Friends

    1. Thanks, Aquia. I admire your name. I have never met anyone named Aquia. I am guessing it is pronounced ah-KEE-ah. Am I right?

  1. Car sickness is caused by your eyes and ears arguing about whether you are moving or not. That argument will cause you to feel nauseous.I think if you are in a bus, it is much harder to get “bussick” because the bus is not shaking enough to cause that argument.

    1. I completely agree about bus vs. car movement.
      But you know I like words. Is it “nauseous” or “nauseated”? Here’s what Grammarly says:
      Even though nauseous and nauseated are often used to mean feeling unwell, many purists insist that nauseous means “causing nausea” while nauseated means “feeling sick.” Casually, it is probably OK to use both words to mean feeling ill. However, in more formal situations, use each word correctly.

  2. I have been bussick before. A bunch of times. It happens when I read on the bus. I feel like I’m going to throw up. I have never, though!

  3. Maybe because A bus is bigger so it does,nt rock around too much and bus drivers drive slower then car drivers.

    1. I asked my science teacher, and he said your comment makes a lot of sense because of the “physics of larger vehicles.”

  4. There’s more air in a bus so it’s easier to breathe, which makes it harder to get “bussick”. Also, in my experience, cars have a weird smell that give you a higher chance to get carsick. Busses don’t.

    1. I like your theory about more air. But some buses do smell bad…especially if the sweaty football team has used it to come home from a game the night before you ride it to school!

  5. Some of my friends do get bussick and have to sit in the front. ONe of them, he only gets bussick in traffic.

  6. I think kids don’t get bussick because it’s not as hot and crowded as it is in a car. And it’s to loud to tink about getting sick. I’m homeschooled so I haven’t been on a school bus since I was in kindergarden, but that’s my theory!

  7. Maybe because a bus is larger you don’t feel the bumps. Anyway, on a bus, you’re having too much fun to notice you’re feeling sick.

  8. If you tried, in fact, you would get “bussick”. The reason you get carsick is that the sensors of motion in your ear become confused, because of the eyes telling you that you are not moving because the book is not moving, and the sensors telling the brain that you ARE moving. It’s like when you spin around really fast and get dizzy.

    The same would happen on a bus, except that the bus normally moves slower than a car, so it takes longer.

    Try closing your eyes in a car or bus. You know that you’re moving, and when you’ve stopped, those are the sensors in your ear. Cool, right?

  9. When I go on school trips half of the girls in my class are like “I get bus sick I need to sit in the front” but that doesn’t make sense because the front doesn’t help. I think they just want an excuse to sit in the front.

  10. it probably is that buses often do not take long and who reads on a bus? or the lighting or bounciness

  11. Sometimes I get bussick on field trips but I always sit in the back. I don’t really have an idea what it is like to be carsick either because I have never experienced it.

  12. I know ALOT of kids that get bus sick in my grade and I get car sick but not bus sick so I think it is because you move a little more on a bus without a seat belt than in a car with a seat belt on (hopefully) so that’s why you get bus sick. Oops I don’t think I ansewerd your question. Never mind….

  13. maybe because there are more kids on a bus than a car so you don’t barf because you’ll get embarrassed.


  14. That is sooooooo not true! Every time we go on a field trip, someone ALWAYS barfs!

    1. Really!? Weird. No one ever barfs on our buses. You must have curvier roads or wobblier drivers.

  15. It’s because cars are much smoother on the road, so your eyes perceive yourself as not moving, while your ears say you are moving these different signals “fight” until they create a neurotoxin. To get rid of the neurotoxin, vomiting is the body’s best choice. But in busses, your eyes see the bus moving as it always shakes. So your two senses agree that the bus is moving, and no neurotoxin is created. P.S. I am a fourth grader so this may not be correct. Please check me.

    1. Your answer is so scientific, I had to do a whole bunch of research online to find out if you are correct. What I discovered says you are almost correct. There aren’t any real neurotoxins, but the confusion between eyes and inner ear makes your brain think there are…and vomiting is the body’s way of trying to get rid of the imaginary neurotoxins. (I did not know this. Thanks, NerdDude, for your info!)

    2. you should watch vsauce on youtube. it is a humorous show of the most indescribable topics of science and physics to levels of detail you’ve never seen before.

  16. I sometimes do get bussick and when that happens I force myself not to puke because people I don’t know are around.
    Cheesie, I just moved from Hong Kong(A place in China) to Illinois!!! It never snows in Hong Kong so this is my first time seeing snow!

    1. My Granpa has been to Hong Kong. He said he went to the top of a mountain there and looked down on the island. (I didn’t know Hong Kong was an island.)

  17. Hi Cheesie,
    There actually is such thing as bus sick but not bussick so I guess people just like saying bussick in two separate words.

  18. My theory for carsickness but not bus sickness-My family travels a lot. We live in Mickigan (ugg) but my parents are from Ohio, so my grandparents live in Ohio, so that means every time we go to my grandparents, it’s a 4-5 hour car ride. When I was younger I got carsick all the time and I was told why. One time when we drove down to my grandparents, I felt like I was going to puke, when my big sister said “Well then stop playing on your Ipod.” Then I asked why, and she said ” If you look downward, you have a better chance of getting motion sickness.” I have no idea how she knows that. but to this day, I use what she said to help me on long drives.

    And for being “Bussick”, my theory for that is that if your on a school field trip, your mind just realizes “I cannot puke in front of all my friends, because they will think I am so, so weird.” which I think is logical. And for just regular buses, I have no clue because, i have never been on a regular bus for very long.

  19. Actually Cheesie, I know a kid that was in my class for like 1st and 3rd that gets bus sick. We had to stop halfway to a place for a field trip because they felt sick.

  20. i get motion sick very easy but if u get motion sick a lot u will probley need a bag or bowl so if u do get sick u can throw up in it. oh p.s i am a researcher for if u need something u just respond any time and i will tell u right away p.s i will say hi

  21. I get bussick.
    Here’s some info I found on the internet…
    …Nope nothing. But there IS some guy named Dr.Bussick. He studies child behavior or something like that…

    1. Dr. Bussick is a orthodontist who is known for his use of Invisalign. He has a 5% discount on new treatments.

  22. Maybe because on buses, kids are talking to each other and not looking away from the road for long periods of time.

  23. I actually sometimes get “bussick” on the bus ride home after school. It usually happens when I read, though. Maybe there is such thing as “bussick.”

  24. some people get bussick,it depends if you have motion sickness or not. the only type of motion sickness is on the first floor of boats. all other floors and cars and buses are ok for me.

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