Motion sickness is not a disease. It’s just a normal response to an abnormal stimulus. It’s completely normal even for a healthy person. Some people are highly sensitive to motion sickness while some may experience it mild. Whatever the level of motion sickness you have it makes travelling unpleasant.
What is Motion Sickness?
Motion sickness occurs when the movement you see is different from what your inner ear senses. Imagine you read a book or work on a laptop while travelling in a car. Your ear senses the movement but your eyes and body don’t. This conflict situation makes your body feel really upset and results fatigue and vomiting. You can have motion sickness in a vehicle, boat, airplane, or amusement park ride. Motion sickness is very common among children who are in between 2-12 years of age. If you are a parent of a such a child travel planning would be a nightmare.
Motion sickness can be preventable if you get your child to practice below easy things. The best way to prevent motion sickness is avoid the situations that cause it. When it comes to children practicing this is so hard. But there are noticeable results if you can do it.
Monitor the symptoms of your child
If your child is big enough to express, her/himself they will let you know what they feel without any problem. But if your child is too young to express themselves you can monitor them and get to know whether they have motion sickness. They may have motion sickness if they,
- Are unnecessarily sweaty and pale
- Become bad tempered
- Get restless
- Frequently yawning
- Breathing rapidly
- Increased saliva in the mouth
- Prepare for vomiting. Make sure you have everything you need for this. (E.g., plastic zip lock bags, tissues, wipes, water, extra clothes for your kid and etc)
- Make sure not to smoke in the car or carry anything with strong smell in the car. (E.g., Some food, strong perfume, strong car freshener)
- Try natural remedies like ginger
- Make them sit in the front of the vehicle near a window
- Keep them distracted like talking, playing small games, and listening to music. Always entertain them and don’t let them feel bored at any time.
- Feed small amount of food before start travelling and while travelling
- Keep them hydrated by giving water. Give only sips of water when stomach settles down.
- If possible, ask them to lie down, sleep or close their eyes
- Make sure the approved car seat is high enough for them to see the horizon without looking at rapidly moving closer objects.
- Discourage them from reading books, watching movies, or playing video games.
- Get regular breaks while travelling. Stop the vehicle, let your child go out and walk few minutes outside.
- Ensure proper ventilation in the vehicle. If possible, keep the window bit opened to get fresh air inside.
- Offer some flavoured candies
- Face the direction you are going.
When to call doctor…
- Any motion sickness symptoms last more than 8 hours.
- Your child becomes extremely sick
- Anytime if you feel like your child needs to be seen by a doctor
All the symptoms of motion sickness go away like after 4-5 hours of stopping the motion. Most of the time kids vomit only once and then they become fine. But there can be instances some kids vomit multiple times throughout the journey, especially if it is a long one. Having regular breaks is the best option for long journeys. So, better to plan your journey ahead and allocate some time for breaks.
Motion sickness can be easily treated with medications. However, you need to talk with your child’s paediatrician before giving them.