Simple Measures Prevent Travel Sickness In Children

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1st June 2009, 12:13pm - Views: 871

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1 June 2009

Simple measures prevent travel sickness in children

Motion sickness affects about 30% of people, with 5% suffering heavily, and is particularly

common in children around 10-12 years of age. Children under the age of two do not tend to get

motion sickness.

While there are many marketed remedies for travel sickness in children, few have undergone

controlled trials, particularly in children. The best approach is to use simple preventative

measures, writes Linda Graudins, Quality Use of Medicines Pharmacist at the Sydney

Children’s Hospital/University of NSW Paediatric Therapeutics Program, in the latest edition of

Australian Prescriber.

The article outlines a few simple ways to help reduce travel sickness, such as:

Avoid unnecessary head movements by using pillows or a headrest

If travelling by car, seat child near the front of the vehicle (e.g. middle rather than back

row in a larger vehicle)

Focus child's attention elsewhere, e.g. out of the front of the car 

Do not encourage reading or focusing on games while travelling

If flying, sit over the aeroplane wing – the ride tends to be less bumpy

Feed the child a light snack before travelling – avoid heavy, greasy meals

Do not let the child get too hot – open the window if necessary.

Medicines such as antihistamines are available for travel sickness, however Ms Graudins says

given their lack of efficacy and potential to cause side effects they should not be used to treat

motion sickness in children under two and should be used with caution in older children.

For a full copy of the article visit

Media enquiries to Katie Butt, Media Adviser, 0419 618 365 or

Australian Prescriber is an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on therapeutic topics for health

professionals, particularly doctors in general practice. It is published by the National Prescribing Service Limited (NPS), an

independent, non-profit organisation for Quality Use of Medicines funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and

Ageing. Australian Prescriber is distributed every two months in hard copy to health professionals, free of charge, and online in full

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