Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care vomiting in adults vomiting in children warning signs Prevention Outlook Underlying Cause Anatomy

Air Sickness Home Care

Home care for motion sickness includes:

  • Avoid motion that triggers motion sickness.
  • While traveling:
    • Avoid watching moving objects: look at the horizon or close your eyes.
    • Avoid rapid movements of your head.
    • Avoid reading.
    • Avoid alcohol.
    • Avoid caffeine.
    • Do not smoke.
  • When you feel dizzy:
    • Lie on your back.
    • Rest in a cool environment.
  • Take a nonprescription medication for motion sickness:
    • Take the medication before activities that cause motion sickness.
  • Nonprescription medications for vomiting:
  • When traveling on an airplane, sit near the wing.
  • When traveling on a ship, select a cabin in the middle of the vessel.

Air Sickness Vomiting in Adults

Home care for vomiting in adults with motion sickness includes:

  • Drink clear liquids only, such as water, sports drinks, fruit juice and dilute tea. Sports drinks are best.
  • Drink small quantities of fluids frequently. In general, two tablespoons of fluid every 5 minutes is an effective strategy.
  • Avoid milk and dairy products for 3 days.
  • Avoid liquids that irritate the stomach, such as citrus juice, alcohol and coffee.
  • If nausea or vomiting continues despite the above, consider one of the nonprescription medicines listed below.
  • Once vomiting and nausea resolves, start bland foods first. If you tolerate bland food, then you can resume a normal diet.

Nonprescription medications for vomiting include:

Air Sickness Vomiting in Children

Home treatment of vomiting in children with motion sickness includes hydration and dietary therapy. Those who are able to drink liquids can restore lost water and salt with oral rehydration therapy (ORT).

ORT fluids used in infants include:

  • Infalyte
  • Lytren
  • Naturalyte
  • Pedialyte
  • Rehydralyte

ORT fluids used in older children include:
  • Sports drinks (Gatorade)
  • Broth
  • Dilute fruit juices
  • Flat soda
  • Weak tea with sugar

Strategies for breast-fed infants younger than 6 months:
  • If the infant tolerates breast milk, continue breast-feeding in small amounts very frequently.
  • Provide additional ORT fluids to supplement breast milk.
  • Feed very small amounts every 30-60 minutes, or try giving small amounts more frequently, such as:
    • Children up to 5 kg (11 lb): give 5 ml (1 teaspoon) every 5 minutes
    • Children 5-10 kg (11-22 lb): give 10 ml (2 teaspoons) every 5 minutes
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Strategies for formula-fed infants younger than 6 months:
  • If the infant tolerates formula, continue to provide small amounts very frequently.
  • Provide additional ORT fluids to formula.
  • Try giving small amounts more frequently, such as:
    • Children up to 5 kg (11 lb): give 5 ml (1 teaspoon) every 5 minutes
    • Children 5-10 kg (11-22 lb): give 10 ml (2 teaspoons) every 5 minutes
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Strategies for children over 6 months:
  • Provide as much ORT fluids as your child desires.
  • If vomiting occurs, provide small amounts of ORT fluids more frequently:
    • Children 10-20 kg (22-44 lb): 15 ml (1 tablespoon) every 5 minutes
    • Children 20-40 kg (44-88 lb): 22 ml (1 and 1/2 tablespoons) every 5 minutes
    • Children 40 kg (88 lb) and over: 30 ml (2 tablespoons) every 5 minutes
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Dietary Therapy
Most children with vomiting improve in a few hours and symptoms usually resolve in one day. Once vomiting and nausea resolves, provide bland foods first. If bland foods are tolerated, then you resume a normal diet.

Foods that are easiest to tolerate include:
  • Crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Jell-O
  • Soft foods
  • Yogurt

Foods to avoid include:
  • Concentrated fruit juices
  • Junk foods
  • Milk products
  • Recently introduced foods
  • Spicy foods

Nonprescription medicines for vomiting should only be used under the direction of your doctor.

Air Sickness Warning Signs

Continue to Air Sickness Prevention

Last Updated: Mar 14, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Air Sickness References
  1. Buckey JC, Alvarenga D, Cole B, Rigas JR. Chlorpheniramine for motion sickness. J Vestib Res. 2004;14(1):53-61. [15156097]
  2. Golding JF, Gresty MA. Motion sickness. Curr Opin Neurol. 2005 Feb;18(1):29-34. [15655399]
  3. Miller KE, Muth ER. Efficacy of acupressure and acustimulation bands for the prevention of motion sickness. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2004 Mar;75(3):227-34. [15018290]
  4. Spinks AB, Wasiak J, Villanueva EV, Bernath V. Scopolamine for preventing and treating motion sickness. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(3):CD002851. [15266468]
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