Friday, June 8, 2012

Keep Motion-Sickness at Bay!

image courtesy of CNaene/
Motion sickness can quickly take the wind out of the sails of even the best planned family adventure.  If your child is susceptible to motion sickness, there are a multitude of tricks and products for quelling their queasiness; but it helps to understand a bit more about motion sickness first.

The condition is typically the result of conflicting messages being transmitted to the brain by the body’s natural motion detecting detectors (eyes, inner ear, joints, etc.); and it is relatively common. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, approximately 1 in 3 Americans experience motion sickness while travelling by car, plane, train, or boat, though some sources say it may be as common as 1 in 2.  Motion sickness is generally characterized by: feelings of sickness or dizziness, headaches, loss of appetite, or pale or sweaty appearance.

Tactics for Combating Motion Sickness:

1. Place car seats as centrally as possible in the vehicle
  • children feel motion more in the rear-most seats of SUVs and vans
2. Open windows and allow fresh air to circulate

3. Pay attention for early signs and symptoms
  • pay attention if children report feeling ill - quick intervention can prevent full blown sickness.
4. Encourage children to focus on a distant object or horizon outside
     of the vehicle

5. Grab a light snack, like saltine crackers and ginger ale, before
     setting out or when symptoms appear
  • as counter-intuitive as it may seem, an empty stomach can actually aggravate motion sickness.
  • avoid heavy, greasy, or rich foods.
6. Drive as smoothly as possible
  • sudden or hard braking and sharp, fast turns will only agitate motion sickness
7. Make frequent stops and allow everyone to leave the car and
     stretch their legs
image courtesy of Chuckies
8. Be prepared
  • Chuckie's self-sealing motion-sickness bags can be a real lifesaver if motion sickness should strike in transit.  It's also wise to bring along wet wipes and antibacterial surface wipes... just in case!

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