Carsickness & Motion Sickness
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Carsickness & Motion Sickness
My 9 year old daughter gets motion sick driving around the Bay Area. Does anyone
know of any homeopathic methods for motion sickness? We are planning a road trip
this summer, but maybe not...
barf bag blues
Sitting in the front seat always helped me. I was terribly car-
sick as a kid on anything but short straight rides.
Try ginger capsules or tablets...
Also, you might be able to find something called Nux Vomica.
You describe me exactly as a child -- and now. Sitting with
good cool air flow on my face helps alot. As a child I always
drove with a large towel on my lap.
I think that accupuncture is better with this than homeopathy
since it is an inner ear/balance issue. You might also try
osteopathy if you don't want needles. I have recently had luck
with pressure points so reflexology might also be something you
can try on the go. I learned about the pressure points from my
accupunturist though. Good luck and even though I got sick
alot as a child, I still enjoyed going on trips with my
I also have dealt with motion sickness my entire life.
The most useful and effective thing is an acupressure point for nausea and motion
sickness, which is conveniently located below the wrist. You simply massage it
yourself when you start to feel queasy. Make sure you get the point right -- there
is a diagram at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/9688.htm
which shows the location of the acupressure point. If you get the point right, and
practice massaging both wrists at the same time, it helps immensely. There is a
product you can buy called ''sea bands'' which are essentially wristbands with a
bead that you position over the pressure point. I have those, and they're okay, but
never have them when I need them. Bonus: I used this pressure point for morning
sickness during pregnancy, and it works for that too!
Another thing I learned is to make sure I'm not travelling on an empty stomach.
Sounds counter-intuitive, you might think it is better to have an empty stomach so
as not to have anything to lose. I get sickest on an empty stomach. Granted, you
don't want an overly full stomach either.
Bring a bottle of water and take tiny sips.
Try a lollipop or some gum.
Breathe big deep breaths.
Roll the window down a little.
Stay cool - don't crank up the heat in the car, and do take off a jacket.
Look at the horizon or the most distant point you can find that is
straight ahead through the front windshield of the car. Try not to
look out the side windows if possible (hard to avoid peripheral
vision, but that's what gets you). Problem is, you also don't want to
close your eyes.
Avoid strong smells such as perfume, air freshener or cigarette smells
in the car.
Even if the car belongs to a nonsmoker, the presence of an article of
clothing belonging to a smoker can totally set off my motion sickness
in a car (I can tolerate it elsewhere, but not in a car).
A lot of things that help with morning sickness and other nausea also help for
motion sickness -- ginger, saltine crackers, 7Up, ginger ale, etc.
I hope this helps, and good luck!
I'm planning a long car trip in a few weeks with my two kids. My 4.5
year old often complains that ''her throat hurts'' when we're in the
car. I'm not sure, but I think she's trying to tell us she feels
carsick. (she threw up once after saying that for a while, although
that time could have just been a stomach bug.) Has anyone else
experienced this? We usually give her mints or gum, although sometimes
even that doesn't help or they don't last long enough. I'm
anticipating lots of stops and breaking the drive over two days, but I
was hoping that using a DVD player would help us make good time. Will
this make the carsickness worse? I will also try to get stories on
tape and of course favorite music, but any suggestions on managing the
nausea and surviving the long drive would be very helpful!
--queasy when I was a child too
I've had on and off carsickness all my life. The one thing that really
helps me is to keep
my head up and forward -- particularly if I'm looking as far to the
forward horizon as I
can. So DVDs, especially if they're on a portable player that's low
and/or to the side
(e.g. on the seat beside your child) may be problematic. If the player
is installed on
the ceiling of your car, it may be OK.
Rather than mints or gum, it might help if you can get your child to
crystallized ginger (big if, I know). There's quite a bit of evidence
that ginger is
effective for motion sickness.
Is it possible that your daughter is getting a little dehydrated
in the car? That would certainly explain the sore throat, as
well as the at least partial relief provided by mints and gum.
I would definitely try letting her have something to drink in
the car. After all, breaks for using the restroom are much
shorter than breaks for getting over nausea. If your daughter
really is suffering from carsickness (and she might be, although
her symptoms don't sound anything like what I've experienced
myself as a long-time, frequent motion-sickness sufferer), I
would absolutely not let her watch DVDs (or look at books for
that matter). My experience has been that my brain seems to
need the motion I feel to match the motion I expect (based on
what I see). Watching a DVD, where there is lots of movement
that is completely unrelated to the movement of the car, is
intensely nauseating. When my family, which included three kids
who suffered from motion sickness, used to make car long trips
(easily 24 hours driving), we spent lots of time listening to
music, singing, playing the ABC game where you try to find the
letters of the alphabet in order (on signs, license plates,
etc), playing ''I See Something'', playing a game we called ''gook''
(''the first person who sees a (green truck), say gook''),
playing ''Animal, Vegetable, Mineral'', etc. Books on tape would
have been great, but we didn't have them. Basically, we kids
kept our eyes focused on the road, not something inside the
car. Good luck!
Why not just get some dramamine or bonine to help with the
nausea? It works for our 4 year old who got car sick a few
times. Hasn't happened since giving her the dramamine.
No nausea mom
Put her booster in the middle of the back seat, so she can see
out the front windshield, then make sure she looks forward out
the window as much as possible. Also, lots of snacks, ginger
candies if she will eat them. I think looking at a dvd player
would make her nauseous.
Yes ''my throat hurts'' means ''I'm likely to throw up soon!'' At
least it did for my daughter. Never tried DVD's, but I highly
recommend dramamime (you can get the non-drowsy one if you want,
but we usually used the regular one for long trips...).
Keep an extra set of clothes handy and some plastic bags!
Luckily she has outgrown it now :)
I wrote the original post about being afraid to fly...Thanks
for all of the responses!
[Editor Note: see this page]
Many folks have gotten relief from taking anti-anxiety drugs to
help them during a flight. I have taken ativan during several
flights before and it was somewhat helpful. However, the issue
for me is that I also get terrible motion sickness (which I
have had my whole life and have in cars, boats and other non-
anxiety producing situations.) I definitely need to take
something for the motion sickness and have been told not to
take it with an anti-anxiety drug because they both make you
sleepy. Anyone else have a drug combo they like to address both
fearful and nauseated flyer
One word: GINGER! I get MISERABLY motion sick. Tried every Rx
and non Rx med around until I was in England and going over to
France via ferry and forgot my meds. The only thing they had in
the ferry gift shop was ginger tabs. I took them and fifteen
years later can't imagine ever living without. I buy the
capsules and take two an hour before flying and then every three
hours while flying. They are 99% effective. I've never vomited,
but once on a super turbulent flight I did feel a tiny bit
queasy. So, GINGER!!
Very Queasy Traveler
Okay so I know exactly what you are going through. I have really bad
motion sickness, I can't sit in an ocean side restaurant and look at
the sea without getting sick. I am also very anxious about flying. I
stopped flying at one point for about 7 years. The combination that I
have come up with, which I am not saying is safe but I have taken
dozens of times is 2 dramamine (normal dose) and 2 sudafed (normal
dose) every 6 hours and then about 8 zanx that are the lowest dose .25
mg and I might take that again for a long flight. This combo has
worked really well for me but now i am going to be trying my first
flight free of medications with my new baby because I am breast
feeding exclusively. Good luck feel free to email me if you would
like. I have also taken the fear of flying course at SFO
A healthy alternative to medication for fear of flying - I had
hypnotherapy sessions with Dr. Francis Dreher in Kensington for my
fear of flying. Prior to hypnotherapy I took anti-anxiety medication
when flying but now instead I listen to his hypnotherapy tapes every
night for about a week before trips. I still have to work at
releasing the anxiety caused by flying and can at times have some
tense moments when in flight but I am able to fly and I feel totally
fine when I get off of the plane. With medication I found that I was
calm during the flight but once the flight was over I felt very drowsy
and ended up losing at least the rest of the day when flying because I
was so tired from the meds. It might be worth a try.
My 4 1/2 year old boy has just recently started getting car sick
when we're in the car, even for very short periods of time. I've
tried the usual, cracking a window, encouraging him to look ahead
out the front window rather than down at whatever toy he's
holding, etc. Nothing seems to work that great so far. I'm
looking for any other strategies/suggestions/remedies, maybe even
something I can give him to build a resistance to motion
sickness. I'm wondering too why he's just started having this
reaction now and whether it's something he's likely to grow out
of. Thanks for any input you might have!
Wanting to Avert Motion Sickness
sometimes it means something about the child's vision.
but also people just sometimes get it. our son has found
those motion sickness wrist bands to be really helpful. you
can get them from amazon i think. they are colorful and kid-sized.
Both my children get motion sickness in the car.
I use Dramamine and it really helps. They have
chewable for children and all they need is 1/2 tablet
about 30 minutes before you know when the road is
going to get curvy. It worked really well and they
never had any drowsiness. My older child now prefers
the regular tablets (those you can swallow). I also
have to take it so we all feel so much better that there
is something that will help us instead of the vomiting
been there remedy for that
I don't have any solutions that you haven't already thought of, but my daugther's car
sickness set in around the same age, and I think that's typical.
Curvy roads are, of course, worse, so I think about that when considering what
route to take. And I've also decided to skip some outings that would involve too
many winding roads.
I can definitely sympathize. My 5 year old started this when he
was about 3 1/2. He can only handle about 25 minutes in the car
before vomiting. I have found that he is more prone to feeling
sick if his stomach is empty. I know it sounds counter-
intuitive, but I find if he munches on dry, bland snacks in the
car, he feels fine for over an hour. We don't leave the house
without dry cereal, crackers, apples, pretzels and cold water
to drink. We have moved his car seat to the middle of the back
seat and play games such as I Spy to keep him focused further
down the road. Also, I do not allow him to read, play with
toys, or watch DVDs in the car as it keeps his focus inside the
car and he is sick in about 10 minutes. If we have a long car
trip, I give him dramamine. There is a chewable one for kids.
Your doctor could give you the correct dosage.
I hope this helps a little.
In the same boat...er... car
Wow! I could've written the EXACT same post! Funny - my 6
year old has never had this issue before, but beginning 3
months ago, has been getting sick often even in very short
trips in the car. Wondering what's goin' on... Sistersue
We use ginger tea (in a water bottle) and candied ginger and it
helps settle our stomachs.
Our 4 year old son has suffered from pretty severe motion
sickness since he was 2. He is only able to tolerate about 25
minutes in a car, bus, train, or plane before vomiting. He also
complains of headaches and dizziness before he is sick.
Obviously, this limits our outings. For long trips and plane
rides, we have used Dramamine which works well. The problem is
that it puts him to sleep for about 6 hours. I am wondering if
anyone out there has used the motion sickness wristbands with
any success. Is there something else out there that works
besides the wristbands or dramamine? Also wondering, will he
Staying close to home
Yes, they work. Maybe it's just placebo, but my very motion
sickness prone kid pukes a lot less frequently since we got
them. We use them for any long car ride and I think he's only
thrown up once with them on.
For extreme situations -- boat trips for instance -- we use the
non-drowsy formula of dramamine
Studies have shown that the pressure wristbands have zero effect, but that the
electrical impulse wristbands work for some folks. I get airsick (and seasick, and
carsick when I can't see the horizon) without Dramamine, so when I was pregnant I
tried the electrical bands instead. They didn't help me. The shock actually hurts
little bit; I can't imagine a child tolerating them. I bought mine for $100 from
Sharper Image and returned them with no problems
I have used the wrist bands and they did not help me one bit.
The only other recommendation I have comes from a friend's
experience with her son. He got sick in the car almost from the
time he was born (she always had a bucket in the car). When he
started school they discovered he had very poor vision. They
got him glasses and the motion sickness vanished.
I have suffered from jet lag everytime I return from a long trip
by air. Last week I used the ''Sea Bands'' available at Longs
during the flight (I don't get the nausea until after I get off
the plane). For the first time I did not get sick like I have
after every other trip. I would give them a try for your son.
Unfortunately, I can't speak as to whether your son will
outgrow this. But ever since I was pregnant, (my daughter is
now 15 months), I get pretty bad motion sickness. I have found
the wristbands to work surprisingly well. I virtually have no
motion sickness when using them. Good luck!
Sympathetic to your son
Advice for Mother of Motion Sick 4 Year Old
I have had severe motion sickness my entire life (childhood into
adulthood) - cars, planes, boats, even trains do it. I spent my
childhood trying various remedies (including Dramamine ,which
also made me tired, the wrist bands, and even an electical
pulsing wristband) before I happened on the my wonder drug -
ginger capsules. Everyone says ''take ginger for nausea'' but it's
really true! However, you really need a high dosage to protect
against motion sickness. I take two capsules every 3 1/2 hours
and it does the trick 99% of the time (occasionally on a really
rough plane landing, I'll get a little queasy). One capsule for
a 4yr old would probably do the trick. You can buy them at Whole
Foods, vitamin shops, and even many drug stores. I recently
forced a few on a non-believing friend of mine who is now a
convert. Try it! It really works!
I don't know about for kids, but the wristbands really work
well for me. They might be so large on a kid that the correct
amount of pressure wouldn't be exerted on the pressure points.
I get carsick and seasick VERY easily, and if I'm wearing these
bands, I'm fine. (Of course, I take other precautions, too,
like sitting forward and as close to the front as possible and
having maximum fresh air. Looking off into the distance is
better than looking at things whizzing by.)
I haven't used the wrist bands but yes, they should definately
work since they are based on a very potent acupressure point.
It's an excellent point, actually, for all those with morning
sickness as well. The wrist band will be more accessible to a 4
year old but for those of you who want to find the point on
yourselves, see below.
1. Start at your wrist with your palm facing you.
2. Measure three fingers' widths away from your wrist (where
your wrist and hand meet).
3. In the center of where that third finger lies is the pressure
point used for motion/morning sickness.
Note: Make sure you use your own fingers to measure the width
My 16-month-old is vomiting almost every 2-3 days, mostly in
the car, and mostly in the mornings. I've taken her to the
pediatrician, who thinks it is either GERD, sinusitis, or
carsickness. If it's carsickness or GERD, those require
medications to be given regularly. I hate the idea of giving
my child medication every day. Has anyone else been in this
position? What have you done to minimize nausea?
I'm desperate for ideas...!
Thanks for your help.
I was a carsick kid. What made me sick was the smell of vinyl,
especially in newer cars, so we rolled the windows down, which
helped. I also did better in cars with cloth seating. The
smell of tar also made me ill. If your child suffers because of
the motion, they may want you to give her medication, but you
might try pepermint tea with a little sugar first to settle her
stomach before putting her in the car (fresh pepermint boiled,
strained, then served with a little sugar and ice cubes).
Peppermint helps with stomach ailments, but it sounds like you
may be forced to use the medication.
My five year old complains of carsickness and seems genuinely ill when
we go just about anywhere in the car (though he's only thrown up once or
twice). We try to avoid taking him on car errands as much as possible
but really want to get out of town (or even up to Tilden!) now and then.
Does anybody who's been through this have thoughts or suggestions?
I always found that car sickness seemed to diminish after a big meal.
My son who is now 8 used to cry when we went anywhere when he was a
baby; in retrospect he was probably suffering from carsickness. He has
continued to get sick when we drive even a relatively short distance on the
freeway (45 minutes max). Five minutes on a curvy road like Hwy 1 makes him
sick. Last weekend we couldn't go from Stinson Beach to Bolinas without
stopping. We purchased acupressure bracelets from a place (Wholistic Health
Institute or something like that) on Shattuck near the post office & across
from Andronicos that seemed to work for awhile. We've tried giving him
gingerale (which he hates). Last summer the bracelets didn't work when they
had formerly on a trip to Big Sur via Hwy 1. He was miserable; and we had
a very long trip home. On a camping trip around the Great Lakes later in
the summer we brought along dramamine that his pediatrician recommended.
Apparently it is available in liquid form but we couldn't find it so
we bought the tablets, crushed them and mixed them in pudding cups (after
the acupressure bracelets failed miserably on a freeway stretch). He
considers it a treat and it worked like a charm. Need to take the medicine
one hour before getting on the road. That's the solution; never thought I
would be giving my young son dramamine but the alternative didn't work and he
was miserable; now he's happy (and he doesn't seem sedated by it either).
Would emphasize checking with your pediatrition.
Our family doesn't go on many car trips because both of my sons get carsick
and it takes the fun out of the adventure. But last year my youngest had a
problem with carsickness just going to and from school that turned out to
be a sinus infection. So in the future I will rule out sinus or inner ear
trouble if it gets really bad again. Otherwise I've heard saltine crackers
are good to carry with you (or we use original flavor goldfish) and sitting
in the front seat with a little air on is best (we have found that having
the heater on exasperates it).
Both my son and myself are notorious sufferers.
Advice: Try to avoid windy roads (I go out of my way
to get to Tilden), go slowly but steadily, keep the
air conditioning on, eat something half an hour before
you go, have some air sickness bags along, don't give
anything to drink in car if he's sick. My ped suggests
Benadryl for airplanes-it's the sleepiness that helps.
Only time we ever had substantial problems (I got
thrown up on 4x) was when we didn't.
Recently I discovered ginger pills (capsules with powdered ginger in
them) for seasickness - perhaps they would work for carsickness, too.
They worked great, and didn't make me sleepy. I was really surprised,
since I've tried about everything, and the only thing that really ever
worked well was scopalamine (I think that's the way to spell it). The
ginger pills did wear off after a couple of hours, however. Next
time I'll be sure to have a supply along with me. I'm not sure if it's
the kind of thing that would be a different dosage for a child.
A homeopathic remedy called "Tabacum" works great for me.
It's specifically for motion sickness, but I use it when I'm
just a little queezy, too. You can get it at Whole Foods.
Boiron makes it.
I missed the original post but as someone who has suffered motion
all my life, I'd like to offer some insights for parents who haven't
experienced it themselves.
* Dramamine usually works great, just make sure it is OK for the age
child you are giving it to. Remember you have to take it bofore the
think 30 minutes. Also note that motion sickness doesn't just affect
cars. It can also be on boats, planes, trains, and amusement park
me, Star Tours is the toughest ride at Disneyland. Space Mountain I
once or twice. I've been meaning to try some of the rides on Dramamine
Even if the person doesn't vomit, they may still be feeling queasy
driving or other movement. So if your child says they aren't hungry
push it. Let them go without eating, talking about food or being
for as long as they need. (My mother only made the mistake of trying
me into eating after a long car ride once!)
If the child gets car sick, the better they can see out and anticipate
motion the better. I know there are safety considerations, but keep in
that sitting backwards (remember this on BART trains too), looking
being in a seat where they can't see out make it worse. (Definitely
lay on your back in the back of a station wagon and look up at the
trees going by through the back window!)Being next to the window is
than being in the middle. Being in the front is better than being in
back. Being old enough to be the drive is best! Having a game or book
look down at in the car is a lousy idea.
Stops often give ones stomach a chance to calm down a bit. Let them
isn't an inconvenience to stop if they need to; the alternative is
Also, motion sickness never has been a problem when I was sleeping, so
putting them in the car when they are tired might help.
One more idea for the family of the carsick child: I was a terribly
carsick child, and the only thing that really, reliably worked for me
was to sit by a window (front seat better than back), unroll it just
enough to put two or three fingers outside, and concentrate on how cold my
fingers were getting in the wind. It sounds strange, I imagine, but it
really worked for me. I was previously a child who couldn't be driven
around the block without having to stop and...well, you get the idea.
has anyone tried wearing sea bands to combat motion sickness?
do they work? are there better treatments??
As someone who has suffered from seasickness, car sickness, air
sickness, even ferris wheel sickness, I feel for you. If
by ''sea bands'' you mean the elastic bracelet with a plastic
button on it, they don't work for me. What DOES work is
the ''Relief Band'', which you also wear on the wrist. It looks
sort of like a watch and sends an electric impulse that
interferes with the nausea response to motion. Good luck!
I can now take a boat ride and have stopped taking dramamine-
type drugs on airplanes. The only negative is the cost. When I
bought mine online at, I think, drugstore.com, it was around
$85. Well worth it for me. To learn more, see:
Sea bands don't really work, in my experience. I believe studies have
shown they're not terribly effective for most people.
Dramamine works OK, but the regular kind makes me feel like a zombie. The non-drowsy variety is MUCH better. The scopalomine patch
(available by prescription) supposedy works very well, but has possible
side effects (drowsiness etc.), and I've never used it. ALL of these must
be used BEFORE you get sick -- ideally, before you get on the boat or
My wife is prone to motion/travel sickness, and she likes to use
something called a Relief Band. It is shaped, and used, like a
wristwatch, inverted, so it faces the inside of your wrist. You
spread a thin film of conductive jelly on your wrist, and the
band sends tiny electric impulses. Her only complaint-- she has
hypersensitive skin, so she frequently gets a skin rash from the
metal contacts on the watch (she also can't wear many earrings,
metal jewelry, etc.). The relief from motion sickness is worth
the rash, though. I found the band through an online med place--
retails for ~$85, but you can find it for more like $50-60. Good luck!
You could try Bonine (or generic equivalent), an over the counter
pill that is like Dramamine but shouldn't make you drowsy. It
seemed to help me.
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