Motion Sickness Help For Kids, Including Help For Car Sickness, Air Sickness And General Travel Tips For Kids.
Motion sickness, also known as car sickness and air sickness, occurs when the brain receives conflicting signals from the eyes, inner ears, and joints. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it is not known exactly why motion sickness happens more often in some small children than in others, but usually improves over time. In addition, the AAP also reports that children with a history of motion sickness develop migraine headaches as they grow up, so be aware that this pattern may occur in your youngster.
Signs and symptoms of motion sickness
To help your child deal with this yucky feeling, you’ll need to know what to look for before he tosses his cookies. If you are on the move, here are a few signs that his lunch may be on the way back up:
- Complains of an upset stomach
- Breaks out in a cold sweat
- Shows signs of fatigue
However, babies can suffer from motion sickness, too. So, even when the smallest passenger is unable to express what he feels, look for the following signals to know when to grab a bag and pull over if you can:
- Loss in interest in favorite food
What you can do
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to stop motion sickness in its tracks, or at least minimize the effects. At the first signs of motion sickness, you can:
- Pull over – Get your child out of the car and get grounded; if you’re on a plane or boat, get up and walk around when you can
- Distract – Have her sing along to her favorite tune or tell a story to distract her from the flip flops her tummy is doing
- Snacks – Keep the munchies coming; an empty stomach can sometimes magnify motion sickness
- Horizon – Have toddlers and young children sit still and look at something far in the distance to help synch up the signals that the brain is receiving
- Lay down – Still seat belted in, have your child lay down for a few minutes; if you have one handy, lay a cool cloth on her forehead
- Bracelets – Check your local pharmacy for bracelets that rely on pressure points to help reduce the symptoms of motion sickness; this non-invasive option may work for some tots but not for others
- Medication – Consult with your pediatrician before using, but many over the counter options are available to help curb motion sickness; be aware that most medications will leave your offspring drowsy when you reach your destination
If your child heaves despites your best efforts, settle her tummy with a carbonated beverage and some soda crackers. A little nap will also help the queasy feeling pass, hopefully allowing her to sleep until you reach your destination!
Moms share their motion sickness tips
Here are some tried and true methods that have worked for a few parents:
“My daughter used to throw up every time we’d go somewhere,” says Stephanie Szilagyi of Crestline, California. “I figured out that I cannot give her dairy if we’re getting in the car; I still live by that rule to this day.”
"I use the Ginger spray for my son; he has gotten sick since he was a baby,” shares Misty Pinkerton, Huntington Beach, California. “And, now he chews the Ginger gum but I always keep the spray in the car.”
Poor Matthew hates to ride in the car - at least shortly after he's had a bottle. I feel so bad for him. Yesterday, he screamed and cried so much, he threw up. I wonder if he has motion sickness or if it's just the position he's in in the car seat. He's a big boy and has almost outgrown his Graco Snugride. We're going to try him in a Britax Roundabout later today. I hope he'll do better. The pediatricians said to try an ounce of chamomile tea with a little sugar or some Mylicon.
-Cleo68 from the SheKnows message boards
More travel tips for babies and kids:
- Travel with kids: Be prepared for accidents
- Air travel with young children
- Travel with kids: Kiddie carry on
- Top 10 baby travel tips