Preventing Motion Sickness

With school winter vacation weeks here, I find many parents planning family trips traveling to my office with lots of questions about motion sickness in hopes that this problem can be prevented before it is too late. Well, I dont want any parent or child getting sick to their stomach waiting for answers to these questions, so let me provide some information on this sometimes nauseating topic. Motion sickness is usually the result of a conflict between the eyes and the ears the inner ears will detect that a car is moving and the eyes, fixed on a stationary object in the car do not. As a result the brain gets confused and is unable to get these two signals together, surrendering with dizziness, nausea, and eventually the vomiting we call motion sickness. The good news is that the best defense against this problem ever happening is a good offenseso here are some suggestions to prevent motion sickness from occurring: * First make sure your child sits forward and is positioned properly in their car or booster seat to see outside and focuses on distant rather than close scenery. Playing games like I spy with my eye and focusing on things in the distance will help your child do this. * Do not have your child try to read or play video games in the car, but instead use books on tape or music so that your child can sing or listen rather than use his or her eyes. * Keep a window slightly open and avoid strong smelling foods or snacks in the car, not to mention avoiding tobacco smoke exposure when in a vehicle. * Try to keep something in your childs stomach but not too muchover or underfeeding can lead to motion sickness. Therefore it is a great idea to make frequent stops for your child to exercise, eat a snack, and move around so that any sensation of motion sickness can be reduced before they get worse. If these suggestions dont help, there are medications that may work, but these must be given prior to embarking on a trip, and may make your child sleepier than they or you would like them to be. Dont use the skin patches that adults use to prevent motion sickness. These patches contain strong amounts of medication that will have serious side effects on your child that are worse than experiencing motion sickness itself. Of course, if your child says, Stop the car, Im going to be sick, I would do just that rather than see what comes up next and dont get angry at your child if they do experience motion sickness, since they have no control over this and cannot help what is happening. Hopefully tips like this will stay down with you and your child when it comes to preventing them from experiencing motion sickness.

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