Planning a cruise with your kids?
You’re not alone.
Cruises have become a popular family vacation.
Helping Kids Avoid Sea Sickness on a Cruise
Are you going to call your pediatrician about a prescription for some Scopolamine patches?
I’ll save you some time.
Scopolamine patches are not approved for young children or teens. They can be prescribed for adults.
Fortunately, most kids don’t have problems with sea sickness on large cruise ships.
And there are other options if they do, including:
- Dramamine for Kids – chewable tablets (dimenhydrinate) that kids between the ages of 2 and 12 years can take every 6 to 8 hours
- Dramamine – tablets (dimenhydrinate) for kids over age 12 that they can take every 4 to 6 hours
- Dramamine All Day Less Drowsy – tablets (meclizine) for kids over age 12 that they can take once a day
It is also nice that Dramamine is over-the-counter, so you don’t even need a prescription. Just grab some before your trip, along with sunscreen, insect repellent, and whatever else you think you need.
Keep in mind that there are also motion sickness treatments to avoid, mostly because they don’t work. This includes the Sea Band acupressure wrist bands that you see everywhere.
What about ginger?
While most alternative treatments don’t live up to their hype, there are studies to suggest that taking ginger can help relieve and prevent sea sickness and other types of motion sickness.
You can even get Dramamine Non-Drowsy Naturals with ginger root for your kids.
“Remarkably fewer symptoms of nausea and vertigo were reported after ginger root ingestion, but the difference was not statistically significant.”
Grøntved et al on Ginger root against seasickness. A controlled trial on the open sea
Will it work? Most of the studies about ginger and motion sickness have been small and can probably be explained by the placebo effect.
Also keep in mind that newer, non-sedating antihistamines that work for allergies, like Zytrec, Claritin, and Allegra, don’t work for motion sickness. Neither does Zofran.
Helping Kids Avoid Motion Sickness in a Car
An even more common problem than sea sickness seems to be motion sickness in the car. As with sea sickness, Dramamine can be an option for long car rides.
For some young children, even short car rides, like to the store or across town, can be a trigger for car sickness.
What can you do then?
You may have to try different things, but it may help to:
- avoid letting your child read, watch movies, or play video games in the car
- have her listen to music or audio books, etc.
- avoid big meals right before traveling, but also don’t travel on an empty stomach
- encourage her to look at things outside the car, in the distance, preferably toward the front of the car
- wear sunglasses
If motion sickness continues to be a routine problem for your child, an evaluation by a Pediatric Neurologist might be helpful.
What to Know About Avoiding Sea Sickness
Sea sickness isn’t often a problem for kids on big cruise ships, but you do have some options to treat and prevent motion sickness, whether it is in a boat, plane, or car.
More on Avoiding Sea Sickness
- CDC – Staying Healthy on a Cruise
- On Motion Sickness
- Traveling with Your Child’s Motion Sickness
- Using Skin Patch Medicines Safely
- Prevention and treatment of motion sickness.
- Study – Ginger root against seasickness. A controlled trial on the open sea.
- The use of Ginger in the prevention of motion sickness
- Motion Sickness
Last Updated on May 23, 2018 by Vincent Iannelli, MD