Motion Sickness

Teen Version

What is motion sickness?

Motion sickness is when you feel dizzy or nauseated while riding in the car, a boat, an airplane, a train, or on amusement park rides. Motion sickness is common. The problem is due to an inherited sensitivity of the equilibrium center located in the semicircular canals (inner ear). It is not related to emotional problems.

How is it treated?

  • Treatment for the nausea

    Lie down and keep a vomiting pan handy. Take only sips of water (not soda pop) until your stomach settles down. If you can go to sleep it will usually help. You probably won't vomit more than once, and all symptoms disappear in about 4 hours.

  • Prevention of motion sickness with antinausea medicine

    The best treatment for motion sickness is prevention. Buy some nonprescription Dramamine at your drugstore. Dramamine comes in 50-mg tablets. The dosage for teenagers is 2 tablets taken 1 hour before traveling or going to an amusement park. The tablets give 6 hours of protection and are very helpful.

    Also, consider buying an acupressure wristband. This may help during car, plane, or boat trips.

  • Prevention and types of travel
    • Car trips: It will help if you sit in the front seat. Look through the front window, not at objects passing on the side. Do not read books during car travel.
    • Sea travel: Avoid it when practical. Otherwise, stay on deck and look at the horizon.
    • Air travel: Select a seat near the wings.
    • Amusement parks: Avoid rides that spin.
    • Meals: Eat light meals before or during trips.
Written by B.D. Schmitt, M.D., author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2006-10-12
Last reviewed: 2006-03-02
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.