The Use of Peppermint Oil in Children

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Peppermint oil, derived from the peppermint plant, has many uses. Some of these uses are safe for your child depending on his age, but other uses can be extremely dangerous. So you don't put your child in danger, learn the safe uses for peppermint oil and only give it to your child under a doctor's supervision.

Potential Uses

The University of Maryland Medical Center states that peppermint oil has been used in medicines for flatulence, indigestion and nausea. Peppermint oil provides surface warmth when it is applied to the skin, so it may also be used to relieve your child from pain associated with headaches, skin irritation, muscle pain and rashes. The oil may also be used as a flavoring in foods or a fragrance in soaps.

Safety

Ingestion of 100 percent peppermint oil can be toxic, so it is not safe to give it to your child directly. Medline Plus states that pills containing peppermint oil and a coating that prevents the oil from coming in contact with your child's stomach is likely safe if she is 8 years of age or older. Do not apply peppermint oil to your child's face in infancy. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, this can cause breathing problems that can be fatal. It may be safe to apply it to the skin when she is older, but be sure to ask your child's doctor first.

Warnings

If your child accidentally ingests peppermint oil, watch for signs of an overdose. Symptoms include vomiting, unusual breathing patterns, dizziness, convulsions and flushed skin. If your child consumes peppermint oil orally in a method not recommended by his doctor, seek immediate medical care.

Recommendations

Your child can use soap scented with peppermint oil, but if you think your child could benefit from using peppermint oil for other purposes, talk to her doctor. If peppermint oil is a treatment option for your child, follow the doctor's instructions for dosage information.

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