Monday, February 06, 2006

The Prize for the Cleanest Car Seats

The prize for the cleanest car seats goes to...StuntBec! It has to be me! I'm a pro! I can't tell you how many times I've taken them apart, and washed them! As I write now, one is spinning around my washing machine.

We got back from Quebec Winter Carnival last night, and I've spent the morning tearing apart my minivan, getting it clean again. Do I do this after every major - and minor - trip? Why, yes, I do. Am I obsessive compulsive about a clean car? No, not at all. Cheerios and raisins on the floor don't bother me. Turns out, two out of three of my children suffer from car sickness. And they say infants don't usually get car sick, so who knows about #3! The puking one is usually my 4 year old. We keep a healthy supply of plastic bags by her seat, for the times when she's getting "the feeling." She's gotten pretty good. For the most part, she doesn't spill a drop, doesn't cry a tear; she throws up, and we keep going on our merry way. We've banned her from drinking milk before getting in the car, and from looking at books while travelling, to avoid excess car sickness. These tricks help, but not 100%.

But this time, on the way home from Canada, my 2 year old son took me by surprise, by getting car sick. Of course, I keep a towel under my daughter's car seat - she gets sick all the time. But do I have anything under my son's seat? Of course not. Unfortunately for me, he has no concept for containment. What a mess. So, time to look for ways to really avoid this chronic problem. This throwing up is a drag for the kids, and for the clean-up crew. So, I found this cool website that has some great ideas on how to avoid car sickness. I should have researched this years ago!Much of this information I already knew, and practiced, but I'm adding #4 and #6 to my repertoire.

Here are their 8 tips:
1. A Far Horizon
2. Avoid Rear Seats
3. Fresh Air
4. Settle the Stomach
5. Smoother Driving
6. Make Frequent Stops
7. Look for early signs of motion sickness
8. Motion Sickness Drugs

#8 sees downright wrong to me - our society is too ready to give a drug, rather than look for alternative ways to cure the problem.

#6 has flaws...if you go the website, they recommend, for frequent stops, to "stop at free playgrounds at fast food restaurants." Yet under #4, to settle the stomach, they recommend avoiding greasy foods. Doesn't fast food equal grease? I was very disappointed to read this, on so many levels. We try, with amazing success, to avoid fast food restaurants, and especially ones that have playspaces. Fast food is NOT good for kids, and the playgrounds, along with the fun clowns and toys in happy meals, are just a ploy to get kids hooked on bad for you food. Sorry, enough of the soapbox lecture. Have a picnic at a rest area!

But all in all, I liked the ideas of ways to avoid sick kids and a stinky vehicle! For our trip to the Midwest this March, we'll be playing a lot of "I Spy" and be making a lot of run-around stops. I'll be sure to pack a lot of crackers, and, just in case, bring along a bunch of cleaning supplies!

Sorry, no pictures for this story.


Jayne Martin Dressing said...

My two year old son also has car sickness. It came on pretty suddenly last summer on a 4 hour car trip to our family's lake house. Sadly, it's happened several times since, usually on trips with more than two hours driving time. I have found a few things to be helpful with him. Definitely make frequent stops. We get out and run around at rest stops. Under no circumstances should they eat fast food. That's got upchuck written all over it. Better to let them have crackers and water than anything substantial. No Juicy-Juice (I don't even want to describe a fruit punch clean up). Unfortunately toddlers often confuse an upset stomach for hunger. If you have a puker, hold off on the food. Lastly, this is unconventional and possibly illegal, but I have disengaged my front airbag and moved my toddler with his carseat to the passenger seat. My husband, who also suffers from car sickness, says he spent every family vacation riding in the front seat between his parents with a bowl in his lap(to this day he can barely stand to be a passenger and always prefers to drive). This is a last resort for us, but it does work. I think whoever wrote this list must not have children-# 7? There is very little warning with toddlers; "I don't feel good" is followed about two seconds later by all out vomiting. I say you better pack the big bowl for that trip to the midwest.
By the way, I'm terribly saddened about the gnomes. I do hope you get them back!

StuntMom said...

Thanks for skipping the photos this round.

Hey, we stop at McDonald's on road trips, and so far, we have never fed them food from McD's. They love the playspace, it's warm in the winter, but yes, it does linger with gross smells of fries and ketchup. I imagine once the kids are interested in what everyone is eating, then we will skip the playground too.