If you’re anything like us, you have a passion for essential oils and the practice of aromatherapy. Perhaps you have an arsenal of essential oils for each and every occasion in your medicine cabinet. When it comes to aromatherapy and yourself, you probably wouldn’t give a second thought to using an essential oil. However, when it comes to your children, well, perhaps that gives you pause.
There’s quite a bit of information (and misinformation) when it comes to aromatherapy and children. We’re here to help you sift through all of it and set the record straight when it comes to essential oil safety.
The good news: When used safely, aromatherapy can be used as a complement to traditional medicine. However, we do recommend discussing essential oil usage with your child’s primary care physician to ensure that they do not interact with your child’s medications and treatments.
Here’s everything you need to know about essential oil safety and your kids.
Essential Oils 101
Essential oils are concentrated extracts from the flowers, leaves, seeds, bark, roots, or peels of the plant. They’re obtained through distillation or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, a kind of holistic medicine that uses smell to improve your health. They may also be applied topically to the skin once appropriately diluted.
There are numerous websites and shops touting their essential oils, so it’s important that you do your research. Unfortunately, there are many companies that
use fillers or
fragrances rather than essential oils. Look for ingredients, packaging, and information so you know exactly what you’re getting. You can read all about essential oils
by downloading our free essential oils e-book.
Children are more likely to have adverse reactions to essential oils than adults, so it is important to know how to use them safely. A child’s body is smaller in mass, the skin is thinner and therefore more sensitive, and the absorption of essential oils has a much quicker and stronger effect on them than it would for adults.
-Don’t use undiluted essential oils on the skin. Before applying topically, ensure you are mixing your essential oils with a carrier oil, body lotion, or cream.
-Do not ingest. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can become toxic if swallowed.
-Don’t use essential oils near the eyes, and use caution near the nose and mouth.
-Do store your essential oils in a cool, dry place and out of sunlight. This will ensure that they remain safe and effective.
-Do perform a patch test if your child is sensitive. Before using an oil on your child’s skin, apply it on a small area of skin and wait 24 hours to see if there is an adverse reaction before using it again.
-Do use a diffuser that is made specifically for essential oils. Avoid any device that heats up the oil or is not made out of a high enough grade of plastic. When diffusing oils make sure there is enough airflow. Try diffusing in a large open room, or keep doors open in bedrooms or other smaller rooms. We love the Kids SpaMist Essential Oil Diffuser
- it even has a built-in nightlight!
Essential Oils for Children
We do not recommend the use of essential oils with children under the age of 6 months unless under the proper guidance of an aromatherapist.
For an Anxious Mind: Lavender, Chamomile, Frankincense, and Orange
For an Upset Tummy: Peppermint
Trouble Sleeping: Lavender or Chamomile
For Bug Bites: Tea Tree
For Stuffiness: Lemon