Treatment for Motion Sickness

The most effective treatment measures for motion sickness are are to stop the activity and help the person to relax. When traveling with a person who gets motion sick, it is important to make frequent stops whenever possible.

If the child is car sick, stop the car as soon as safely possible. Allow the child to get out and move around if it is safe to do so, or instruct the child to lie down and place a cool cloth on his or her forehead.

If the child gets motion sick while riding on playground equipment, such as a swing or merry-go-round, stop the equipment and allow the child to get off.

Before traveling by boat, ship, or airplane with a child who experiences motion sickness, ask a qualified health care provider about using over-the-counter medications (e.g., Dramamine, Bonine) to help treat the condition. Although these medicines are available without a prescription, they should only be used as directed by a physician in young children.

Side effects of motion sickness medications include the following:

  • Agitation
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth

Severe side effects, such as changes in blood pressure, rash, nausea, and vomiting, also may occur. Skin patches to treat motion sickness are not approved for use in children and should not be used.

Acupressure wristbands may help reduce symptoms of motion sickness in children. These elastic bands have a raised surface that applies pressure to a specific point on the inside of the wrist. Pressure on this area, which is called the P6 acupuncture point, may help relieve nausea and vomiting.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 27 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 25 Sep 2015