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Motion Sickness in Teens: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Motion sickness is nausea caused by riding in a car, airplane, train, or boat. It can also cause vomiting, sweating, and headache.

Motion sickness is sometimes called carsickness, airsickness, or seasickness. You can also get motion sickness from playing video games, looking through a microscope, or other activities.

Problems caused by motion sickness usually go away soon after the motion stops. Sometimes it can take a few days for symptoms to go away.

Motion sickness can be treated with either over-the-counter or prescription medicine. The medicines come as pills, a patch, or a shot. Some people try ginger or ginger ale to help nausea. Some people also think wristbands that put pressure on a certain spot can reduce motion sickness.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Sit in the front seat of a car or near the wings when you fly in an airplane.
  • Try not to move your head. Keep your head still by pressing it into a headrest.
  • On a boat, get a cabin near the middle of the ship. Go outside often to get fresh air.
  • When in a car, boat, or airplane, look at one place on the horizon.
  • Do not read or watch TV in a moving vehicle.
  • Do not eat a big meal before travelling.
  • Eat small meals during long trips.
  • Try a few soda crackers and a carbonated drink if you feel ill.
  • Try ginger, ginger tea, or ginger ale before you travel.
  • Try an over-the-counter medicine, such as dimenhydrinate (Gravol) or diphenhydramine (Benadryl), about an hour before you travel. These medicines can make you feel sleepy. Do not drive while using them.
  • If you get prescription medicine from your doctor, take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have nausea and vomiting that does not go away after treatment.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • Your symptoms do not go away within 3 days after a trip.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.