Motion sickness, though rarely dangerous, can be a big drag for a family on the go. Read the Doc's tips on prevention, medical and/or homeopathic remedies. Motion sickness, though rarely dangerous, can be a big drag for a family on the go. Read the Doc's tips on prevention, medical and/or homeopathic remedies.
Motion sickness, a troubling and disruptive illness to many families, is rarely dangerous. Car sickness, or this type of motion illness, most commonly occurs during automobile travel, but may also occur during any turbulent movement (i.e. flying, boating, amusement park rides). It may be aggravated by anxiety, upset, tiredness and stress.
Usual symptoms are dizziness, pallor, sweating (cold sweat), nausea and vomiting. It is a result of the brain, the body, and the motion itself being out of synch; the body effectively misperceives its orientation in space. Stopping the motion will often prevent the nausea from worsening, although a full recovery often lags behind.
How to Prevent Motion Sichness: Body Alignment & Meds
A few measures can prevent car sickness.
If an infant sits up well, and weighs more than 20 lbs., turn his car seat so that it is facing forward, the same direction as the car. Make sure he is well hydrated and has eaten a light meal. Placing dark shades over the side windows will insure that your child is not looking sideways. Adequate ventilation will often improve a child's nauseated state.
A few preventive medications (mostly antihistamine derivatives) are approved only for older children, when a clear motion sickness pattern has developed.
Dramamine may be used 30-60 minutes prior to travel in these doses: children 2-6: ¼ – ½ tablet; children 6-12: ½ – ¾ tablet; children 12+: 1 tablet. The antihistamine Benadryl (dephenhydramine) may also work. Common side effects include drowsiness, lethargy and dry mouth.
Be cautious when a child is taking other medications or has an underlying chronic medical condition.
Prevent Motion Sickness with Folk Remedies
Some unconventional preventions exist. Among these, the most effective include special wrist bands, worn on both wrists, that exert pressure at pulse points. These are available in boating supply stores and in some pharmacies, especially those that carry travel products.
Many folk healers swear by ginger root tablets, long prescribed by homeopathic doctors for their potent anti-nausea effect. We've even seen cruise ship buffets with a bowl of candied ginger on display, just for folks like these. Ginger Root tablets (which don't taste as good as the candied ginger) and ginger root tea bags can be purchased in health food stores and Chinese grocery stores.
How, and whether, these alternatives work is unclear to the traditional medical community.
Fortunately, in most cases, motion sickness seems to improve as a child gets older.
Let's hope the future brings more effective medications with fewer side effects.
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