Can drug therapy help alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness? The following HealthHearty write-up provides information on motion sickness medication for kids.
Motion sickness occurs when there is a mismatch between the signals which are sent to the brain by the eyes and the proprioceptors (special nerve endings in the muscles and tendons and other organs that respond to stimuli regarding the position and movement of the body), and the signals sent by the vestibular system (organs mediating the labyrinthine sense; concerned with equilibrium).
Motion sickness is clinically known as kinetosis (the state of being dizzy or nauseated because of the motion that occurs while traveling in or on a moving vehicle). It is also referred to as travel sickness. Depending upon the various causes, it may also be termed as seasickness, carsickness, airsickness, etc. The symptoms of kinetosis include nausea, headache, increased salivation, cold sweats, paleness of the skin, vomiting, and fatigue. Affected individuals might find relief on taking antiemetics. However, one must be reminded about the negative effects of self-medication. Children are more vulnerable to severe side effects of medication, which is why it would be best to consult a pediatrician regarding the medication and the dosage.
Medications for Motion Sickness
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children who are in the age group of 2 – 12 years can be given dimenhydrinate (1 – 1.5 mg/kg per dose) for providing relief from the symptoms of kinetosis. Benadryl or diphenhydramine (0.5 – 1 mg/kg per dose up to 25 mg) can be given an hour before the journey and after every 6 hours whilst traveling.
Bonine is also a recommended medicine for the same. It must be taken 1 hour prior to travel. However, it is not recommended for kids below the age of 12 years.
In some cases, it has been noticed that, these drugs might inflict paradoxical agitation, which is why it is better to give a dose at home, before starting the journey.
Medicines such as prochlorperazine and metoclopramide should be administered with extreme precaution and only in doses prescribed by a physician.
Some suggest that antihistamines should be the only drugs to be used for children. However, the use of antihistamines is not approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of motion sickness in children. So, to be on a safer side, seek advice from a physician or pharmacist before using any of the aforementioned drugs.
To conclude, advise your kids to sit facing forward, and avoid sitting on a rear-facing seat. Encourage them to look outside the moving car and view objects as far as possible. The horizon is a good view in order to prevent kinetosis while traveling in a boat or a ship and while on a flight. Acquiring a place in the vehicle which has the least amount of movement might help. Following these simple preventive steps may help manage this condition without the need of any medication.
Disclaimer – the information provided in this article is solely meant for informative purpose, and does not, in any way, intends to substitute or replace a professional medical advice.