By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute
Most children have to a lesser or greater degree experienced seasickness. The cause of seasickness is that the child is exposed to movements the brain is not used to. The brain has not learned to set the movements of the body against what the child sees. The balance centre in the brain must first get to know the new movements. Until it does, the brain sends out signals which lead to seasickness. When the brain has gotten to know the movements, the seasickness will wear off. This is why the discomforts from seasickness diminish, as the child grows older. And for this reason most children can be “cured” from seasickness.
There is a big difference of experiences between individual people. Some people easily get seasick while others never experience it. No one knows why it is so.
The typical symptom of seasickness is vomiting. The smallest children do not know what nausea is and instead complains about ‘stomach pains’. With bigger children and adults, seasickness begins with sleepiness and headaches. The face becomes pale and then begin the nausea and vomiting. After vomiting you get a little better but only for a short while until the vomiting starts again. The symptoms of seasickness can last for several hours after you have reached harbour.
Seasickness with prolonged vomiting leads to dehydration. The first signs of dehydration are headache, drowsiness and dizziness. Later, difficulties with swallowing, blurry vision, muscle cramps, mumbling speech, grogginess and in the end unconsciousness.