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Car Sickness for the Little Ones can Be Prevented

le, says Andrew Racine, director of general pediatrics at Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York.

Carsickness is not a major illness. But it can cause a lot of distraction to the driver. It can also cause a lot of unhappiness to fellow passengers.

Pediatricians say that there are ways to prevent car sickness. When you sit in the back seat you should attempt to look out the front windscreen if you can and you will find the motion sickness is reduced dramatically. Front seat passengers rarely get car sick because they look out the windscreen where there is little difference between what the eyes see and the ears interpret as there is little movement of the objects apart from coming towards you. Here the eyes and the inner ears to say the same thing so the brain has no need to make you feel sick.

Make frequent stops. Many children need to get out and walk around, both to burn energy and to prevent motion sickness. So stop and see a sight or two or at least take bathroom breaks. If a child already has vomited, you'll need to take a longer break to give her time to recover.

Offer light snacks and drinks. Empty stomachs or those full of greasy fast food can cause trouble. So pack some water, crackers, fruit and other healthy fare and let kids nibble.

Urge sensitive kids to keep their eyes on the horizon. Thanks to booster seats and higher-profile vehicles, many can get a good view something that can minimize queasiness. Avoid rear-facing seats (except for infant car seats) and give the most sensitive children middle-row rather than way-back seats in minivans, station wagons and SUVs.

Ban books, DVD players and handheld video games. While such distractions may be welcome on long trips, the act of focusing on something inside the car can intensify the nauseating sense of disconnection from the movement outside. Better bets: listening to music or books on tape or engaging in old-fash
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