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[ INTRO ].

Squeaks and I are going on a road trip! We’re off to see the Grand Canyon, a set of huge cliffs in Arizona, in the United States. [Squeaks is excited].

Squeaks is so excited! But, there’s one problem: he doesn’t feel so good when he’s riding in a car. He gets carsick!

Getting carsick is a type of motion sickness — when being in something moving, like a car, makes you not feel well. People can also get motion sickness on a boat, or a plane, or even on a roller coaster. If you get motion sickness, you might feel nauseous, like you’re about to throw up.

You might also feel dizzy, sweaty, headache-y, tired, and generally pretty crummy. One weird thing about motion sickness is that some people get it and some people don’t. Kids tend to get motion sickness more than adults, so if you have it now, you might not have it when you’re older, or at least it might not be as bad.

But in the meantime, there are some ways to help yourself feel a little better. It all has to do with what causes motion sickness in the first place. Think about what’s happening when you’re riding in a car:.

You’re sitting still, because you’re inside a car, but the car is moving … so you’re also moving! And that can get your brain kind of mixed up. Your eyes tell your brain that you’re sitting still inside the car, you’re buckled in, and you’re definitely not running or even walking.

So based on what your eyes are seeing, your brain thinks you’re sitting still. But in the meantime, your ears are telling your brain something totally different. And I don’t mean because of what you’re hearing, because your ears do more than just hear.

Your inner ear, a tiny but very important part of your body deep inside your ear, keeps track of how your body moves around. And it can tell that you’re moving. Way inside your ear there are three little tubes, and inside each tube is a little bit of liquid and tiny little hairs.

And when you move, so do the liquid and hairs! You can imagine the liquid in your ear like this glass of water. When I tilt the glass to the side, the water tilts, too.

If you tilt your head, the same thing happens to the liquid inside your ear, which is how your brain knows that you moved your head. Now check out what happens when I quickly slide the glass across the table. See how the water sloshes to one side of the glass?

Well, when you’re in a car that zooms forward, the same thing happens to the liquid in your ear. So that’s how your ears know you’re moving even though you’re sitting still inside the car! If you get motion sickness, that’s because your brain does not like getting these different messages.

And that’s why you might feel nauseous and dizzy and overall really yucky. We still aren’t totally sure why getting those different signals causes nausea. But some scientists think it’s because your brain thinks all the weird mixed signals are being caused by something that made you sick, like poison.

So, your brain tells your body to throw up to get the poison out … even though there isn’t really any poison! Anyway, back to Squeaks here. He’s a little worried about our road trip since he gets motion sickness, but if you get carsick, there are some things you can do to feel better!

First, you can eat a light meal before going on a trip — not too much, and not too little. Basically, you want to keep your stomach happy so you aren’t encouraging any nausea. Then, once you’re in the car, looking out the window can help a lot.

Scientists say to look at the horizon, which is the line where the sky meets the land or the road. That way your eyes can tell exactly how you’re moving compared to the world around you. If both your eyes and your inner ear agree that you’re moving, there are no more confusing messages … which means that hopefully you’ll feel better.

For the same reason, it’s better not to read a book or play games on a tablet or phone while you’re in the car. If you’re staring at something right in front of you inside the car, that makes it look like you’re staying still, which can make you feel worse! Looking out the window can be way more interesting, anyway.

You can look at the trees, the sky, the road signs, and the other cars zooming by! It can also be really relaxing, which is awesome because staying calm and relaxed can help you avoid motion sickness, too! So, Squeaks and I are going to eat a light lunch, since some food in your stomach really helps prevent motion sickness.

And after that, we’re off on our super-exciting road trip to the Grand Canyon! But we’ll be back at the Fort soon! Thanks for joining us!

If you want to keep learning and having fun with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button, and we’ll see you next time here at the Fort! [ OUTRO ].