The tendency to have motion sickness is usually inherited, and it's important to recognize that children can't control motion sickness with willpower.
The good news is motion sickness isn't linked to any physical disease and symptoms usually pass within four hours of stopping the motion. If your child does get sick during travel, have him lie down and keep a vomiting pan or bag handy. Give only sips of clear fluids until the stomach settles.
Prevent Motion Sickness
Motion sickness symptoms can usually be prevented or at least reduced with a few simple steps.
• In cars/vans, children who are younger than 13 years old should sit in the middle back seat. Encourage your child to look out the front window rather than a side window.
• In a plane, choose a seat near the wings or center of the aircraft, where there's less turbulence.
• Avoid reading books, watching movies or playing hand-held video games during car travel. Entertain your child with audiotapes you've recorded or games that require looking out the window.
• Keep a window cracked to provide fresh air.
• Carry a zippered plastic bag in case of vomiting.
• Have your child eat a light meal before trips (Crackers and water may be all he can handle.); avoid heavy, greasy meals.
• Avoid spinning rides at amusement parks.
• Talk to your pediatrician about whether your child might need antinausea medication.
If you have any questions about motion sickness, talk to your pediatrician or contact the Family Resource Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital.
For over 130 years, Children's Hospital and its Washington University School of Medicine physician partners have remained a resource for pediatric health and wellness for the St. Louis region and beyond.
They provide care in every pediatric specialty — from fetal care through adolescence. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Louis Children's Hospital in all 10 specialties, the only children's hospital in Missouri to earn this distinction. Their Level One Pediatric Trauma Center is nationally verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the highest national recognition possible.
Call 314-454-KIDS (5437) to find a pediatrician or pediatric specialist, or to register for a class or event. Learn more at StLouisChildrens.org, member BJC Healthcare.
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