Are you worried about taking your child to a hill station? Does your child often end up feeling sick and queasy while traveling to a place that is higher in altitude? Well, if you can relate to the above situation chances are your child suffers from altitude sickness.
A trip to the hills is a good idea to beat the summer heat! Are you longing to explore your dream hill resort? Delay no more! Find out some handy tips in this article that can help you travel smart with your kid and make your trip to the hills memorable! Want to know more? Read on!
What Is Altitude Sickness?
Altitude sickness is another name for acute mountain sickness or AMS. Altitude bends, altitude illness, soroche or hypobaropathy are other terms for it. Altitude sickness usually occurs at places that are above a height of 8,000 feet or 2,400 meters. In severe cases, it can lead to fatal conditions like high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE). 
[ Read: Motion Sickness In Children ]
What Causes Altitude Sickness In Children?
As your child moves towards the higher altitudes, he may get a lower amount of oxygen. It means that your child’s body has to work harder to get adequate oxygen and function properly. If your child reaches the hills and immediately participates in a strenuous activity, it can worsen his condition.
What Are The Symptoms Of Altitude Sickness In Children?
If your child is suffering from altitude sickness, you can watch out for the following symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite and indigestion
- Mood swings
[ Read: Nausea In Children ]
Tips To Prevent Altitude Sickness In Kids:
Here are a few ways that can help prevent altitude sickness in your child: 
1. Keep A Look Out For The Symptoms:
In most cases, your child will start showing symptoms of altitude sickness even before he reaches a hill station. The symptoms can very well start showing from altitudes between 6,300 feet (1920 meters) and 9,700 feet (2,960 meters).
2. Ask Your Child To Take Small Sips Of Water:
If your child has enough water, the symptoms may show a little later.
[ Read: Travelling With Kid ]
3. Take A Break(s) In Between:
It is always a good idea to let your child’s body get acclimatized to the change in altitude. It will ensure your child can adjust better and will feel well. A good way to do this is by making a stop mid-way. Halt for the night and let your child rest so that he can ascend comfortably the next day.
4. Go Slow On Curves And Bends:
In most cases, the symptoms of altitude sickness will grow worse if you are driving at a high speed on the hilly roads. To avoid this, drive slow while you are navigating the bends.
5. Reach And Rest:
Once you reach your destination, you should stop your child from immediately participating in some activity. Ask him to rest for some time, or for an entire day. It will help him acclimatize and enjoy the trip better.
Altitude sickness can happen to anyone. It can be a little more difficult for your child as he may not be able to express his discomfort. Plan your trip keeping the altitude change in mind. Carry extra pairs of clothes in case he throws up. Ensure your child does not eat too much on the way. Also, it is a good idea to have a word with your child’s doctor so that you can carry any emergency medicine.
Did your child experience altitude sickness symptoms? Do you have any special tips to travel safely with your child to higher altitudes? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below to help other moms.
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