When traveling with kids, it’s better to be prepared than to be caught off guard- especially when it comes to vomit. Air pressure changes, excitement, junk food, sudden illness, and nerves can cause havoc with little tummies.
There may be little warning before a “barf bag” is needed. When children vomit, it can happen fast and explosively. It also is quite traumatic for kids who don’t understand what is happening and don’t feel well.
I write this from recent personal experience. My son has thrown up only a couple times in his 7 years of life. He has never been motion sick or air sick and each time he was stomach sick was a result of illness and it was predictable. So I never really thought about stomach issues when flying with him.
UNTIL a recent flight out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia…
He was fine the entire flight eating his meal, looking out the window, and enjoying the flight. However, once the airplane initiated decent, everything quickly changed.
With very little warning, my happy, healthy child was soon gray, grabbing his stomach and moaning. He said in a panic, “I think my stomach is going to explode!”
As an unprepared parent, I felt my eyes bug out, my pulse quicken, and adrenaline and dread rush through my body. I frantically searched the seat pockets and just in time found the airline provided air sickness bags.
HOWEVER, unlike many sick bags that can be quickly opened, the top of this particular bag was closed!
Before the bag could be used, I had to tear off the tab to open the bag.
Lightning fast my fingers worked and just in time the bag was opened for my son to regurgitate everything he had eaten into the bag. I was so relieved when not one drop splashed outside the bag and all was sealed up and ready for the trash. In fact, nobody else on the airplane ever knew he was sick! But a few seconds difference without an open sick bag could have been a very different situation.
This was an important lesson for me- I was a veteran traveling parent who was unprepared for the possibility of air sickness simply because it hadn’t happened before to us.
Air travel may cause upset tummies due to expanding gas bubbles, nausea from inner ear changes, junk food, new and unfamiliar food, nerves, travel bugs, exhaustion, and much more.
Sweet snacks may bring a smile at first, but keep in mind what air pressure and excitement can do to little tummies later!
Sleep and diet are often changed on travel days.
Now every time we fly, I locate the sick bag soon after boarding and place it where it’s easy to grab if needed. I also try to carry along a plastic bag in my travel bag just in case air sick bags are not stocked in the airplane seat pocket.
Some airlines are more creative than others with the air sick bags as I found in Germany on TUI Airline…
Air travel is not the only time parents may need to grab the sick bag…
After this flight in SE Asia, I noticed my son experience more episodes of motion sickness while we were in hot climates on our 8 month journey around the world. Taxis on winding roads, bumpy ocean water boat rides, erratic driving by taxi or bus drivers, travel exhaustion, and heat combined to increase nausea and motion sickness.
NannyClassifieds.com sent an impeccably timed email alerting me of a relevant article posted on their site. As I was writing about my son’s vomiting experience in the sky, NannyClassifieds.com was posting an article entitled, “10 signs your child is about to throw up”.
Parenting and nannying on the road or in the sky requires extra preparation and consideration for the “what if” scenarios. Thank you to NannyClassifieds.com for the informative article!
Preparation beats damage control. Travelers wearing Psi Bands may be able to prevent nausea and vomiting. If the vomit does occur, coffee grounds work wonders eliminating odors.
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