We are going on a cruise. What can I give my child to treat motion sickness?
By: Kathleen Berchelmann, MD, FAAP
Nothing can spoil a vacation like motion sickness! There are many approaches for treating
motion sickness in children (and parents), whether it be on a boat or in a
- Teach your child to recognize the signs of motion sickness and encourage her to tell you as soon as they start.
- Avoid reading or using digital devices.
- Eat light, healthy, non-greasy
meals while traveling.
- As soon as your child starts to feel sick, have him close his eyes, or find a spot far in the distance tofocus on, rather than looking at things that close by.
- Deep breathing can bring fast relief to motion sickness. Singing is a great way to get your child to breathe deeply! Try signing a song with her! The humor may help take her mind off the nausea.
- If the motion sickness persists, have your child lay down and try putting a cool cloth over his head.
The approaches listed above effectively treat motion sickness in most children. Occasionally, however, a child may need medication if they are very sensitive to motion sickness, or if travel is particularly turbulent. Medications for motion sickness include:
- Dramamine, also known as Dimenhydrinate, is available
over-the-counter in a pediatric dose for children over age 2.
- Zofran is a prescription medication for severe nausea. Talk to your pediatrician about whether Zofran might be right for your child.
About Dr. Berchelmann:
Kathleen Berchelmann, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician at St. Louis Children's Hospital, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine, and an official spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Kathleen is the co-founder and director of ChildrensMD.org, a blog written by five dynamic mom-pediatricians who share their true confessions of trying to apply science and medicine to motherhood. Kathleen and her husband are raising five children.