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How To Prevent Motion Sickness In Kids & Adults

Written by Katherine Oakes

Photography by Photo Via Pixabay

We’re smack-dab in the middle of the holiday season, which means travel for so many of us. If you suffer from motion sickness and are traveling to see your loved ones, you may be dreading the journey. Who knew that going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, could be so, um, nauseating?

Motion Sickness is an unpleasant disorder that many people experience while traveling in cars, planes, trains, and boats. The symptoms (nausea, dizziness, cold sweats, and fatigue) can hit you fast and hard, sticking around for hours and effectively ruining your day. And if you’ve got little ones on board suffering the same illness, well…let’s just say there’s hope—and a few remedies.

So, what causes motion sickness anyway? The Mayo Clinic explains it as a miscommunication between your brain and your inner ear, “Your brain senses movement by getting signals from your inner ears, eyes, muscles, and joints. When it gets signals that do not match, you can get motion sickness.” The best way to prevent and even stop motion sickness is to keep still, especially your head. However, when that’s not an option, there are certain ways you can quell these troublesome symptoms depending on your mode of transportation.

If you are traveling by the following forms of transportation, The Mayo Clinic suggests the following tips:
-By ship, request a cabin in the front or middle of the ship near the water level.
-By plane, ask for a seat over the front edge of a wing. Once aboard, direct the air vent flow to your face.
-By train, take a seat near the front and next to a window. Face forward.
-By automobile, drive or sit in the front passenger’s seat.

Another helpful tip is to reduce sensory input, e.g. don’t read or rifle through your things, instead be still and focus on a stationary point on the horizon. This helps to relax you and hopefully soothe your and your kid’s tummies.

For a holistic remedy, eating or drinking ginger and peppermint flavored things can ease nausea by taking the edge off. The National Institute of Health (NIH) considers ginger to be relatively effective in aiding nausea. Purchase flavored lozenges or ginger chews ahead of time to take with you in case you start feeling sick.

If you or your children get severe motion sickness take an over-the-counter drug, like Dramamine or Benadryl, that contains antihistamines and is a safe alternative recommended by the National Library of Medicine for both adults and kids. If you are concerned how it might affect your child, talk to your pediatrician to be safe.

And what about those fancy-looking acupressure bands that claim to help motion sickness? Sadly, there is little evidence to show that they are helpful in preventing or reducing motion sickness, but since there are no side effects, it’s worth a shot!

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