December is here, and children’s exams are over. This is the perfect time for a family outing. However, children often face various problems during the trip, which can lead to the postponement of travel plans.
All set off on an exciting joy ride, not long before the child says, ‘Mommy, I’m sick!’ Many children can’t stand the journey, vomiting as soon as they get into the car. Some people feel sick in their stomachs, and some people feel dizzy.
This type of problem is called ‘motion sickness’. Motion sickness can ruin the joy of a trip, especially for children.
Who has more?
Motion sickness can cause dizziness, nausea, or sometimes vomiting within a short time in any vehicle—bus, car, train, steamer, or launch. This problem can occur at any age. However, this problem does not occur in children under two years of age. Again, 3–12-year olds face this problem the most.
Why is that?
Normally, when the vehicle starts to move, the fluid in the inner ear called endolymph starts to move. From there, the movement signal goes to the brain. However, as the child’s gaze remains fixed inside the moving car, the eyes continue to signal a stationary position. The result is a confusing asymmetry between brain, eye, and cochlear signals, which causes nausea in the baby. If the car is cramped or stuffy, it exacerbates this problem.
What are the symptoms?
‘Motion sickness’ starts with a rolling feeling in the stomach, sometimes with sweating, and the child becomes weak and lethargic and vomits. Sometimes children can’t even properly describe what it feels like. May become restless and cry and then vomit.
What to do
Worry is no reason to cancel travel plans. Stopping driving usually stops nausea. The following steps can be taken to get rid of this problem:
- If the journey is longer, there will be occasional stops on the road.
- At the beginning of the journey, it is advisable to give the child a light meal. Traveling with a full stomach full of heavy food, or traveling on an empty stomach or with hunger—both can increase nausea.
- To divert the child’s attention from the uncomfortable feeling of motion sickness, stories can be played with him, and music can be played.
- The outside nature can be seen through the window, which will make the child happy and reduce motion sickness.
- In many cases, reading books, magazines, etc. is more likely to cause nausea or vomiting, in which case it is better to avoid this habit during the journey.
- Adequate ventilation inside the car helps reduce motion sickness. So if you feel nauseous, it will be good to open the window.
- If none of these work, then lying down with the head on the shoulder or lap can be done with the eyes closed for a while. Drowsiness may be of some benefit.
- Several medicines are quite effective in treating this problem. If the child has motion sickness, keep the doctor’s advice at the beginning of the travel plan. Even if the medicines are over-the-counter drugs, it is better to take them as per the doctor’s advice.
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