How to Deal with Travel Sickness in Children

Travel or motion sickness is quite common in children and those aged between three and twelve are thought to be par­ticularly susceptible. It can happen if the child is travelling by any means of transport – car, plane or boat, or even a roller-coaster. It is caused when the minute balance mechanism in the inner ear is upset by repetitive movement. The eyes become accustomed to motion, but the ears do not and it is the resulting confusion of messages to the brain that can trig­ger symptoms.

Symptoms may be mild, such as a feeling of queasiness and discomfort to severe distress, vomiting, feeling faint and sweating.

What you can do

The best way to help your child is to try and prevent the sick­ness, rather than treating it. Try the following tips.

Travel Sickness Children

  • Avoid giving them a full meal before travelling.
  • Keep the car windows slightly open so the air doesn’t become stuffy.
  • Keep any food out of sight, as this may trigger queasiness.
  • A child who has been sick once is more likely to be sick again, so keep reassuring an anxious child before a journey. Let them know it’s all right to be sick and they should try and give warning so you can stop the car.
  • Don’t give them books or comics to read while travelling, so they aren’t continually looking down and then up, as this can also be a trigger. Play games where they have to focus on something on the horizon.
  • Wrist bands which work on the Chinese principle of acupressure by pressing on the point of the wrist which controls nausea are available from chemists and are drug-free. There are also brands that contain drugs which may cause drowsiness.
  • Give the child a ginger biscuit or a piece of root ginger to nibble on as this reduces nausea.



Press three fingers’ width in from the inside wrist crease, massaging in a circular motion for a few minutes, putting the pressure towards the centre of the wrist. Studies have shown the effectiveness of acupressure in reducing symptoms.


If the practitioner knows your child suffers from motion sickness, they can prescribe remedies for you to take on any trips. If your child feels worse when they smell food, begin to salivate and wants to lie down, Cocculus may be recommended. If they feel nauseous, dizzy and want to eat a little something, Petroleum may be better. If air travel is a particular problem, especially on landing, Borax may work well.


A couple of drops of oil on a tissue which can be inhaled during a journey can be helpful. Ginger is well known for helping quell nauseous symptoms. Other oils which may help are Bergamot, which can aid the digestive system, and Orange, known for its calming properties. Other therapies that may be beneficial: reflexology, naturopa­thy, Bach Flower Remedies.

Filed Under: Family & Relationships


About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.