Remedies for motion sickness for children: how to help if a child is sick in transport23.07.2022
Why does it sway?
All vertebrates, as well as humans, are equipped with an extremely important organ – the so-called vestibular apparatus, which is often also called the “organ of balance”. Strictly speaking, it is this organ, in close conjunction with the organs of vision, that is responsible for ensuring that we control the position of our body and can change the speed of our movement.
The most important and sensitive part of the vestibular apparatus is the inner part of the ear; it is a so-called labyrinth, “equipped” with sensitive villi – special nerve endings that react very subtly to the slightest fluctuations in space and inform our brain about a change in body position.
Our vision also sends signals to the brain regarding our position. Most often, the signals entering the brain from the vestibular apparatus and from the organs of vision coincide in their informational essence. In these situations, we feel good. But when the information is fundamentally different from each other, our brain cannot for some time form an adequate reaction of the body (most organs and systems) to conflicting signals.
Most often, people, and children in particular, get motion sickness precisely in transport – because visually we perceive ourselves in motion (objects flash by, the visual picture outside the window changes, etc.), but at the same time, the vestibular apparatus “declares” to the brain, that the body is at rest – after all, we do not move relative to the vehicle. Thus, the brain simultaneously receives radically opposite information from two sources – this is where the “failure” occurs in the system.
On board an airplane or in a ship’s cabin, for example, the opposite situation occurs – the body feels movement (during takeoff and landing of an airplane, or while the ship is rolling), while the eyes see a completely static picture, as if you are sitting in a home chair. But the result is the same in the end – the brain cannot combine the heteropolar information coming from the organs of vision and from the vestibular apparatus, and plunges the body into a state of kinetosis (the medical term is a scientific synonym for motion sickness). Moreover, as a rule, the symptoms of motion sickness appear suddenly, and do not “grow” gradually.