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Food & Health

Motion Sickness In Children: What To Do?

Ah, that queasy feeling is always not comfortable. Is your child prone to motion sickness? Our tips can save your trips.

Motion sickness can kick in at any age and may affect up to half of all kids at some point. Whether it happens in a car or a boat, on a plane or a Ferris wheel, the basic cause is the same. A child’s eyes and inner ears sense how he’s moving and transmit that information to the brain. Problems arise when there’s an inconsistency between these incoming messages (what experts call a “sensory mismatch”). 

For example, if your kid is watching TV on a plane during takeoff, his ears sense the motion but his eyes perceive that he’s sitting still. When these conflicting signals collide, he may experience sweating, dizziness, a headache, and, in some cases, a wave of nausea that can lead to vomiting. Some kids are bothered by almost any movement, while lucky ones have a high resistance and never feel ill.

Anxiety Can Play A Part
Anxiety can also play a role: A kid is more likely to get sick if she had a bad experience on a past trip. Of course, certain types of motion are more likely to affect kids than others. The slow rocking of a large boat isn’t something many of us are used to, and it’s a type of movement the inner ear doesn’t sense well. Spinning rides at an amusement park can certainly spur symptoms. A turbulence-free plane ride, by contrast, usually isn’t problematic because the constant speed cuts out inner-ear signals. Whether your child gets carsick depends on a number of factors, including your route, the length of the drive, and where in the car he’s sitting (which affects his visual perception). Classic triggers: trips that involve frequent lane changes, twisty roads, or stop-and-go traffic.

5 Tips For Smoother Rides
Advice from parents who’ve conquered their kid’s motion sickness.

  1. Take Breathers
    “On long drives, we’ll visit a rest stop or take a short walk. If my boys feel ill, I dab some ointment behind their ears. It contains natural oils, and the scent takes their mind off worrying about getting sick.” – Nurul Leia, mother of two
  2. Keep Their Mouth Moving
    “Chewing gum helps distract my child from carsickness -or maybe he’s less apt to vomit because he doesn’t want to waste it. Either way, I always keep a big pack in the car.” – Elaine Tan, mother of three
  3. Be Prepared
    “I store disposable scented diaper sacks in the seat pocket. In case my son doesn’t open one in time, i also keep wet wipes with me all the time. My son first felt sick on the plane and ever since then, I’ve always been prepared.” – Judy Loh, mother of one
  4. Try This Sweet Solution
    “We give our girls sweets and they work! Sometimes you just need to give them candy!” – Eric Chia, father of two
  5. Avoid Screen Time
    “As soon as I knew that my daughter is prone to motion sickness, screen time on the road is a big no-no. She also complains of headaches that come together with the nausea when she watches the iPad in the car.” – Raudah Hafiz, mother of one

If your child says he’s starting to feel sick, have him look out the window. Be sure to never let your child travel on an empty tummy as that too can trigger motion sickness. How do you deal with your child’s motion sickness? Leave us a comment down below. 

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