Motion sickness in children – what to do?

The same thing every year during the holiday season: the child not only comments on the long drive with a constant “Are we there soon?”, but also complains of  nausea after a while in the car . It’s reassuring when there’s an exit nearby; Many parents always have a set of plastic bags with them to be on the safe side. But there are tools to prevent this from happening in the first place.

Motion sickness symptoms

Many people are familiar with the queasy feeling in the stomach area, which can significantly disturb well-being on long car journeys or on the ship. The brain is confused by the various signals sent by the eyes (“immobile space”) and the vestibular system (“it rocks”) – and reacts with  nausea, in the worst case vomiting.

In children, the balance organ is fully developed from around the age of two. From then on, they can get motion sickness just like adults. Swinging and carousel rides are no problem, but the strong acceleration and braking in a room where nothing is moving inside often leads to dizziness, nausea and nausea, even in children. This effect is reinforced by activities that are actually intended to distract, such as reading or playing games.

Prevent motion sickness in children

It is most pleasant for everyone involved when such attacks do not occur in the first place. Here are a few general tips on how to prevent:

  • Can you maybe  drive at night ? Then the vestibular system often takes a break and reacts less sensitively to external stimuli. In the best-case scenario, your child will sleep through the critical situation.
  • An  empty stomach  is more prone to rice sickness. So start with a small, light meal. Fruit,  rusks  and  bread are well suited .
  • Have your child look out the window – preferably in the direction of travel – and focus on a distant point. Maybe it likes to count mountains or clouds? To distract themselves, they can listen to a radio play or music (with headphones) at the same time. Read? Better not!
  • In another means of transport (bus, plane, ship) it is best to choose a  seat in the middle  – there the movement is the least.
  • Plan  enough breaks  (at least every 2 hours): to relax, let off steam, get oxygen and  air . Nothing speaks against a little something to eat – but no large meals, please.
  • Clothing  should be comfortable  and not constricting.
  • If you are a smoker: Please  do not smoke in the vehicle!
  • Sleep: Go  on a long journey all rested.  If you are tired before you start your journey, you can get travel sick more easily. And is rather irritated!
  • Chew gum  or suck on candy while driving  .  Preparations with peppermint or  ginger are particularly recommended . Its anti-nausea properties have been known for a long time.

Tip: Make a  tea out of it beforehand  – most children probably like peppermint better than ginger. You can also sip it while driving.

Counteract motion sickness with medication

If your child is prone to travel sickness, preventive medication can also be given. The  active ingredient dimenhydrinate  (e.g. in Vomex®, Vomacur®) often works well, is well tolerated, but makes you a little tired. For smaller children it is in the form of suppositories, older ones get tablets or drops. The preparations are given half an hour before departure. As chewing gum (e.g. Superpep®), dimenhydrinate works particularly quickly and can therefore only be chewed at the first symptoms.

You can also try  homeopathic medicines  . Cocculus is a classic remedy for motion sickness. Two days before the trip, start with five globules three times a day in the 6X potency. If you still experience symptoms while driving, give these globules every half hour. If nausea is accompanied by dizziness and  circulatory problems , give Tabacum in the same dosage instead.

Motion sickness acute

Sick with rice despite the remedies mentioned? Here are a few  tips for emergencies:

  1. Find a parking space as soon as possible. Now, at the latest, a long break in the fresh air is called for.
  2. Let your child breathe in and out deeply: through the mouth. Tell him something to distract him.
  3. Give him water and something salty (pretty sticks, crackers) to nibble on.
  4. If he has severe circulatory problems (pale, cold  sweat ) put a cool cloth on his forehead and neck and let him lie down (at least when you have left the car). Veratrum album (D6, three times five globules within a few minutes) is suitable as an acute remedy for circulatory problems.
  5. Nevertheless, keep some plastic bags ready – in case the next rest area is a long time coming.

We wish you a good trip!

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