travel sickness

feeling under the weather

Did you know that there is more chance of someone feeling sick on a long journey than there is of a car breaking down? With so much time spent on preparing our cars for long trips, isn't it time we gave ourselves a pre-journey check?

We all remember the kids who used to sit by the bus windows on school trips, paper bag in hand looking greener by the minute. Back then it may not have been so common but the latest research shows that at least one in three people suffer from motion sickness and in the average family of five you can easily have two members spoiling long journeys.

Why is it that people suffer from travel sickness? Leading motion sickness expert Dr Michael Gresty explains: 'We experience car sickness because a car's cornering forces stimulate the balance organs in our inner ears to signal that we are being tilted but visibly, the car and view outside remain upright. Our brain becomes confused by these two apparently contradictory perceptions, and sends a message to the stomach to be sick. Vomiting is a warning that something strange is happening so as well as being sick, the body diverts blood to the muscles, so that the sufferer can move to get out of the situation.'

There are things that you can do to help yourself and your family from feeling ill in the car. Stay as still as possible, moving around and fidgeting will only make you uptight. Recline your seat if possible and close your eyes. If you need to keep your eyes open to spy on the kids, then make sure that you focus on the horizon, as reading or focussing on objects inside the car will only enhance the sickness.

Make sure that you keep a fresh supply of air flowing by opening a window, it doesn't have to be all the way, just enough to feel a breeze. Fresh air can also help to reduce the pungent smells from food or air fresheners that create sickly aromas that are sure to make anyone feel travelsick. If you have to eat in the car make sure that the food is light and healthy.

The best method to cure travel sickness is to be prepared. If you plan your route in advance you can allow for plenty of breaks. It is important that you allow for rests, especially on long journeys. If you are planning to have a meal during your break make sure that you eat something small and nutritious. Many people become travel sick after eating a large fatty meal consisting of dairy products, a food group that is notoriously difficult to digest.

If you follow all the handy hints then you should be able to ward off the symptoms of motion sickness but the secret of good preparation is to be prepared and have travel sickness tablets and paper bags with you at all times.