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  • Select from over 100 symptoms to read more about managing your child's illness.

    Is Your Child Sick? TM


    Motion Sickness

    Is this your child's symptom?

    • Dizziness or nausea from spinning or rolling motions

    Symptoms of Motion Sickness

    • Dizziness and unsteady walking
    • Nausea and vomiting are also common
    • Before age 6, the main symptom is dizziness and the need to lie down.
    • After age 12, the main symptom is nausea (feeling sick to the stomach).

    Causes of Motion Sickness

    • Symptoms are mainly triggered by motion. Sea sickness or amusement park sickness are the most common types. Fun-park rides that spin or whirl are some of the main causes. The Tilt-a-whirl is a good example of a ride to avoid. Also seen during travel by train, aircraft and even car.
    • The cause is a sensitive center in the inner ear. This center helps to maintain balance.
    • As a car passenger driving on winding roads, 25% of people will have symptoms. Under extreme conditions (e.g., high seas) over 90% of people have symptoms.
    • Strongly genetic: If one parent has it, 50% of the children will have it.
    • It is not related to emotional problems. The child cannot control it with will power.
    • Motion sickness symptoms are often worse in children.

    When to Call for Motion Sickness

    When to Call for Motion Sickness

    Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

    • Your child looks or acts very sick
    • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

    Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

    • Motion sickness symptoms last more than 8 hours
    • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

    Call Doctor During Office Hours

    • You have other questions or concerns

    Self Care at Home

    • Motion sickness symptoms

    Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

    • Your child looks or acts very sick
    • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

    Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

    • Motion sickness symptoms last more than 8 hours
    • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

    Call Doctor During Office Hours

    • You have other questions or concerns

    Self Care at Home

    • Motion sickness symptoms

    Care Advice for Motion Sickness

    1. What You Should Know About Motion Sickness:
      • Motion sickness is a common normal reaction that occurs in 25% of people.
      • Caused by increased sensitivity of the inner ear.
      • It is not related to emotional problems or any physical disease.
      • In the future, take a special medicine ahead of time to prevent it.
      • Here is some care advice that should help.
    2. Rest - Lie Down:
      • Have your child lie down and rest. If your child goes to sleep, all the better.
    3. Fluids - Offer Sips:
      • Give only sips of clear fluids. Water is best. Do this until the stomach settles down.
    4. Vomiting:
      • Prepare for vomiting. Keep a vomiting pan handy.
      • Usually, children don't vomit more than once with motion sickness.
    5. What to Expect:
      • All symptoms of motion sickness usually go away in 4 hours after stopping the motion.
      • As for the future, people usually don't outgrow motion sickness. Sometimes, it becomes less severe in adults.
    6. Motion Sickness Medicine - Prevention:
      • Buy some dimenhydrinate tablets (such as Dramamine) at your drug store. No prescription is needed. In the future, give it to prevent motion sickness.
      • They come in 50 mg chewable tablets or 15 mg-per-teaspoon liquid.
      • Dosage:
      • Age 2 to 6 years old: 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
      • Age 6 to 12 years old: 1 tablet
      • Age 12 years and older: 2 tablets
      • Give the medicine 1 hour before traveling or going to a fun-park.
      • The tablets give 6 hours of protection and are very helpful.
      • Benadryl can also be used to prevent motion sickness. Use this if you do not have any Dramamine.
    7. Prevention Tips for Car Trips:
      • If your child is over 12 years old, sit him in the front seat.
      • Before age 12, have your child sit in the middle back seat. This should help him look out the front window.
      • Have your child look out the front window, not the side one.
      • Discourage looking at books or movies during car travel.
      • Keep a window cracked to provide fresh air.
      • Avoid exhaust fumes from other vehicles.
      • Meals: Have your child eat light meals before trips. Some children can just tolerate crackers and water.
      • Plastic Bags: Always carry a ziplock plastic bag for vomiting emergencies.
    8. Wrist Bands - Prevention:
      • Acupressure bands (such as Sea-Bands) are helpful for some adults.
      • There is no reason they shouldn't work for some children.
      • Put them on before car trips or other causes of motion sickness.
      • The pressure button goes over the center of the wrist. Place ½ inch (1 cm) above the wrist crease.
    9. Call Your Doctor If:
      • Any symptoms last over 8 hours
      • You think your child needs to be seen
      • Your child becomes worse

    And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

    Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

    Copyright 2000-2018. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.