Sunday, 24 July 2016

Sick of travelling this summer?

There's nothing worse than hearing the words 'I feel sick' from the back of the car as you head off on your holidays, and since motion sickness is more common in children aged three to 12, it's something parents often face during summer travels. 

travel, healthy, motion sickness
Don't 'drive' yourself crazy over motion sickness...
In fact travel - or motion sickness - can strike when travelling by car, ship, plane or train, which makes any sort of long journey pretty difficult. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea and - of course - vomiting. It's thought it is caused by the mismatch of what the eyes are seeing (the things outside your car window moving for example) and what your inner ears, which help with balance, sense (the fact you are actually sitting still). 

Either way it's awful to experience it - and it's awful to try and comfort a poorly child, clean up after a poorly child - and still continue to your destination. It can make trips to relatives tiresome, exciting holiday plans seem a whole lot less fun and put the kibosh on certain types of trips altogether (a Disney cruise say).

But there are several ways to ease symptoms and make your trip far happier. Here's my Top Ten of Travel Sickness tips...

1. Try Sea-Bands acupressure wrist bands

Acupressure bands are stretchy bands worn around the wrists. They apply pressure to a the Nei Kuan acupressure point and are a great drug-free way to treat nausea (including motion sickness and morning sickness - they come in child and adult sizes). You're guaranteed no side-effects, and they are under a tenner from Boots (£8.59 to be precise) - which is cheaper than a car valet to get rid of the nasty pong on your upholstery! One word of advice though, make sure kiddo returns the bands to you at the end of the journey - otherwise you'll be hunting high and low for them when you take your next trip!

healthy, travel, motion sickness
Hands up who wants to try Sea-Bands!

2. Go ginger nuts

Another great natural way to try to prevent symptoms is by using ginger - in anything from biscuits and tea to aromatherapy. This is another one that works for all types of 'grown up' sickness like that experienced in pregnancy - and when you may have played 'Chardonnay Go!' that bit too hard.

3. Get them to focus!

Yes, I realise that's not a word often associated with kids, but you should try and ask your child to focus on an object in the distance. Instead of letting them stare out at the window at passing traffic or landscapes, point out a mountain, cloud, or building in the distance. Staring at a stable object like the horizon also works - trust me I grew up near the sea when ferry day trips were all the rage, and I'm not a natural sea farer! Unfortunately you'll need to outlaw reading, which can make your symptoms worse. 

4. Keep them still

Yes, another one that can be difficult depending on the age and personality of your offspring. But as well as preventing them from jumping, walking or running down the aisles of a train, airplane or boat, keeping still also applies to the cabin and seat you should choose to minimise movement - ideally one in the  middle. Try a neck pillow or headrest to keep your little one's head still too. 

5. Keep it fresh

Fresh air will help relieve sickness, so  open windows or go out on deck if safe. If you can't access fresh air, try using air vents to keep cool. 
healthy, travel, motion sickness
Follow our tips & it'll be plain sailing...

    6. Keep calm and carry on

    Although if your child is regularly sick on journeys, they will probably already be nervous to travel again, it helps if your child can relax. Try distracting them with music or teach them ways to stay calm - such as focussing on breathing or counting back from 100. 

    7. Offer a drink

    It's important to stay hydrated when travelling - even if that inevitably brings extra comfort breaks. Drinking water will help with the symptoms, but sip little and often rather than gulp large amounts.

    8. Feed them right

    Avoid spicy or greasy foods or large meals immediately before trips. Ideally don't eat at all before a short journey or choose small, bland snacks — like dry crackers. Avoid acidic foods too - which includes fruit juice - as this can irritate the tummy.

    9. Talk to your pharmacist

    Depending on age, there may be some over-the-counter motion sickness medication you could use - such as tablets. These often need to be taken in advance, so plan ahead - and take them away with you so you can use them on the return journey.

    10. Wait

    Yep, while this is no help in the here and now, you'll be pleased to learn that most teenagers grow out of travel sickness. In the meantime, maybe pack some wipes...

    Bon voyage!