Youtube

A lot of people struggle with motion sickness - adults and children alike, but it’s easier for an adult to cope with it, and a child may not know how to tell you what they’re experiencing, and they certainly won’t know what to do when they experience feelings of motion sickness. So if you’re going on a long car ride and you’re afraid that your children might have it, or they’ve had it in the past and you just want to be prepared, then here are some tips to keep in mind. First of all, it’s helpful to understand what causes motion sickness. Basically, our eyes, and our ears, and the nerves of our extremities and joints all send signals to the brain about our movement in space. And when you’re in the car, your ears may sense movement, and if you’re not looking outside, your eyes won’t sense that and your joints won’t, so the brain is getting conflicting messages and it actually makes you sick. It usually causes a headache, or an upset stomach, and even vomiting. The best thing you can do to stop motion sickness from happening is stop the car, and get out, and walk around. If this is possible, then do so, and take frequent stops. And it even helps if the person is far off the road in a safe place, and just lays down flat on their back, and closes their eyes, and lets their brain reset (as far as their stimulation goes and the messages that are being received from their eyes, and their ears, and their joints), and that usually helps to get them back to a good base line. But if you get back in the car, especially if you’re in a winding canyon or something, it’s likely to continue. So you want to encourage them, if they can, to look out the window, and with young children, this can be difficult, because (especially if their rear-facing still or their carseat is really low in the car) it will be hard for them to look outside, but encourage them to do so if they’re able to understand. Help to keep them distracted, and you can use things that will keep their eyes up, especially if they’re very small. Discourage them from looking down and reading books or coloring if they’re old enough to do so. Try talking to them, listening to the radio and singing together, anything that’s going to mentally distract them. And actually, it can be helpful if you start the road trip out by giving them a light snack, because if they’re hungry, then that will actually make the stomach queasiness they experience with motion sickness even worse. There are over-the-counter medications designed to help with motion sickness, but I suggest talking with your pediatrician before giving them to your children, especially if they’re very small, and they can tell you if they feel like it’s safe or not for your child. It’s also important to keep in mind that there may be undesired side effects associated with medication like dry nose and mouth, and extreme fatigue, and so once you get to where you’re going, they may be so tired that they’re not able to function if you give them those medications. If you find that your child is experiencing symptoms of motion sickness when you’re not in a car, or on a merry-go-round, or on a swing, if you notice that your child just spaces out for a moment, if they have a headache, or they have difficulty seeing, talking, or hearing, then talk with your pediatrician about your observations and concerns. These symptoms can be signs of other underlying problems that warrant further investigation and your pediatrician can give you tailored information and advice about it. If you have more questions in the future for me, feel free to ask them on our Intermountain Moms Facebook and Instagram pages, and recommend us to your friends and family too.