Smooth family travel this holiday
Many people will travel out of town during the holidays, but even with perfect planning, some things may otherwise mar your carefully planned trip. One of these is what is called car or motion sickness. Car sickness is a type of motion sickness and medical opinion says that it happens when the brain cannot understand the messages that the inner ears, the eyes and the nerves are sending to it.
According to Medical Doctor, Jay Hoecker, car sickness may occur when a child sits low at the back seat without being able to look out of the window. An older child who reads as you travel may become nauseated because although his inner knows that there is movement, but his eyes and joint although were involved, do not know that they are in motion. The result may be an upset stomach, cold sweat, fatigue, and loss of appetite or vomiting.
While some children are affected by motion, some with more severity than others, but many children do travel comfortably without any problem. Children between the ages of two and 12 are known to be particularly prone to car-sickness.
As you plan to travel out of town this holidays think of prevention; if you have not been travelling long distances since Ogechi was born three years ago, it is possible you are not aware of how queasy her stomach could be in motion or that he hugs car travel as well as she swims like a duck. So adopt the adage that “prevention is better than cure.”
As you plan to leave city life behind…
Think of a Smooth Ride
If you car is in a good order, there may be less shock as you negotiate those pot-holes on the ‘expressway’. Then encourage the child to look at things outside the car through the front windscreen of the side to avoid vomiting. Encourage them to look at things instead of reading, playing games or watching movies. Plan to have an exciting travel; before you leave home tell them that you will all play a game of searching for rare objects. Choose a big car like a Hummer or Jaguar; they would be certain to be scarce on Ibadan Expressway; but choose what is not so scarce so that boredom sets in. Tell them that the person who spots the highest; it should not be a child seeing the car, but he should draw all attention to it so that it is recorded and you are all counting and noting the alertness.
You may encourage sleeping at some point, as sleep is known to help to alleviate it.
Plan what you will eat as you eat on the journey before you leave home. Don’t include spicy foods, greasy foods are not allowed just before you leave home. Don’t give a child a big meal before you leave home or during the journey.
Once, I sat close to a woman and her son who was about five years old. We were all travelling to Port Harcourt by road. We started that journey at 7 O’clock in the morning and the boy’s eating commenced almost immediately. The mother offered practically anything that sellers pushed through the window- bananas, boiled eggs and, during the usual stop for passengers to eat at roadside restaurants, I watched, lost for words as the mother plied the small thing with a bowl of pounded yam.
When the journey commenced again, it was not too long when they grabbed a cola drink through the window and opened it. But a man who had been watching my mouth opening and closing without being able to say a single word, came to the rescue and pushed the bottle away; “What do you think you are doing? Abi no be your pikin be this? And were we not the recipient when the boy got sick?
I also remembered a girl I made friends with on that same route. She had loaded up on pounded yam with the wise words that, “you couldn’t say when the next proper meal would come”
She became sick not long after and threw up inside the vehicle, making it a miserable trip indeed.
To make it enjoyable, you may not make the child eat at all if you are not travelling very far, but if it is a long journey and you think that he must eat, give him a small meal and light snack like cracker biscuit. He can do with a small drink before you leave home.
Give Enough Ventilation
Recently when a woman approached me to give up a well-chosen position by the window of a BRT bus, I felt insulted and deprived until she explained that the child with her had motion sickness. That was en-route Ajah some years now when the number of vehicles that used that road was put at 88,000 or so but the number must since have gone up adding to the pollution caused by dust, emissions from bad fuel which make car rides a nightmare for some people.
Distract the Child
If she is prone to motion sickness, give distraction by talking to her, listening to music or singing her favourite songs.
Children who are up to two years can be treated with medications. If the tips do not help and travelling is still feared by the family, see the doctor to give other advices.
Boredom in children can mar a family’s fun travel. To reduce boredom when you have to take long trips, plan where you can stop and rest. Take their toys and games and have some refreshments with you. Take note of interesting places on the route you plan to take, point them out and stop to look at them where it is possible. Make children change places when you resume the journey again.
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