Every parent wants to know their baby is safe. We wait and prepare for our precious bundle of joy for 9 months and for many parents a lot longer than that. The last thing any parent would want is to harm their child. Yet, without the proper knowledge, that is a very real possibility. Below you’ll find in-depth information about essential oils for babies and children.
Are Essential Oils Safe for Children?
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When used correctly, essential oils are safe to use on children. However, you must keep in mind that they will have a different effect on a child than they do an adult. Aromatherapy for children offers many benefits, but kids are more sensitive to aromas than adults so you must be careful to use the right amount of oil. Since a child’s immune system is not fully developed, their bodies can’t fight off any adverse reaction caused by inhaling too much of these oils like an adult can.
It’s also important to realize that children have thinner skin than adults. This makes them more sensitive to oils used topically. If not diluted properly it can cause adverse reactions in children, especially for those ages 2 and under. How much the oils need to be diluted or if they can be used at all will depend on the child’s age and the type of oils used.
For example, children under the age of 10 should not be exposed to Eucalyptus, Peppermint or Wintergreen oils because of the high concentrations of menthol found in them which can slow respiration. You should not use certain types of Rosemary oil for children under the age of 6 because of the high menthol concentrations found in them. There are however, many types of essential oils that are safe for children.
Essential Oils That are Safe to Use on Children
Using caution is always recommended, but there are many essential oils for children that are safe. You just need to do your research to learn which ones are safe and how to dilute them properly. Fortunately, there are many excellent essential oil recipes available. These will help guide you through mixing and preparing different ingredients to treat whatever symptoms are causing problems. There are also many recipes for freshening your home and making cleaning supplies that will also enhance the health and well-being of your family.
In her book Aromatherapy for Babies and Children, Shirley Price mentions some of the best essential oils for children that are safe to use:
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- Chamomile, Roman
- Lemon *
- Mandarin *
- Melaleuca-Tea Tree
- Orange *
- Rose Otto
*These oils are photosensitive and should never be used when there’s a chance your child will be exposed to direct sunlight.
Even though these essential oils are safe to use on kids, they must still be diluted properly based on the child’s age and size. You wouldn’t use the same amount of oil on a baby that you would a child over the age of 10. When choosing your oils, take everything into consideration before make your decisions.
While these oils are safe to use on or around children, there are some that you should avoid altogether.
Essential Oils That are Unsafe to Use on Children
Knowing which essential oils children should stay away from is just as important as knowing which ones you can use. This way, you will be less likely to accidentally expose your child to something that could have an adverse effect on his health.
There is a long list of oils to avoid when using on or around children. However, the age of the child will play a factor in where a particular type of essential oil is dangerous or not. You must take everything into consideration before using oils for health benefits.
Here is a list of some of the most common unsafe oils to avoid using on or around children:
- Black Seed
Visit Learning about EOs for more information on which oils should not be used on kids of different ages.
Now that you have an idea of what oils to use and which ones to avoid, it’s time to learn more about the benefits associated with using essentials oils for children.
Benefits Associated with Using Aromatherapy for Children
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Essential oils provide users with many benefits that will help you treat many different illnesses and medical conditions naturally: they can purify the air, clear stuffy heads and so much more. Seasonal allergies can be a big problem for kids and adults alike. Sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and infected sinuses can make you miserable and it’s even more difficult to watch your kids go through it. The good news is that there are a number of different essential oils for allergies children can use safely.
Some of these include:
- Lavender oil for children and lemon oil has anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic properties
- Chamomile oil will help reduce the minor aches and pains associated with allergies
- Pine, Cypress and White Fir will help clear up nasal congestion caused by allergies, a cold or the flu
- If you want to use Peppermint oil for children (helps alleviate congestion), only do it in kids age 10 and over. Spearmint oil is gentler and could be used to replace peppermint oil in some cases.
In addition to alleviating allergy symptoms, there are many calming essential oils for children that will help you create a calm and stress-free environment where they can relax and rest peacefully at night.
Essential oils for calming children include:
- Sweet Orange
Some essential oils for sleep children can use safely include Lavender and Roman chamomile. Using these in a diffuser to create a light aroma will help your child feel more at ease so he can drift off to sleep faster and rest better.
Whether you’re using essential oils for calming children or to combat an illness, always put safety first.
Do Your Research
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Essential oils are highly concentrated. In fact, a single drop of oil is 50 to 70 times more potent than the herb it came from. For this reason, not using them correctly could do more harm than good, especially when used on children. Before using any essential oil on a child or yourself, research it to learn all you can about it.
Learn to distinguish the different oils by their Latin species name. This is very important because certain species are safe for children while others are not even when you are using an oil with the same plant name. For example, Eucalyptus essential oil with the Latin species name E. smitthi is safe for kids while the Eucalyptus E. globulus is not safe to use. There is no way to know which oils are safe to use and when without proper research.
When it comes to using essential oils to calm children or to simply create a healthier environment, knowledge is the key to success. The more you know about these oils and how to use them properly, the easier it will be to use them safely and effectively.
This is not the time to listen to how your best friend uses them or to take advice from someone who may not know any more than you do. If you’re going to use essential oils on or around children, then you must do so responsibly and that means making good, informed decisions. The only way to do that is by taking the time to do your research to learn all you can about these oils.
Every child is different so it’s always a good idea to start out slow and introduce one type of oil at a time in low amounts. That way, you can see what kind of effect it has on your child. If there is a problem, you will catch it before exposing him to large amounts that could have an adverse effect on his health.
Essential Oils for Babies & Children: Quick Safety Tips
The safety of your children is your number one concern. Essential oils can help keep your family healthier and help relieve the symptoms of a wide variety of medical conditions. However, they can also be dangerous in the wrong hands. Take time to study and research the different types of oils to ensure you’re making the right decisions. In the meantime, below are a few tips to help you get started.
Essential oil for children quick tips:
- Never use essential oils on the skin undiluted
- Don’t apply peppermint oil directly on the chest or nasal area of children: it can cause a series of problems that include bronchial spasms, laryngeal, apnea and acute respiratory distress.
- Introduce one essential oil to children at a time and in small quantities to learn exactly how that particular oil will affect your child
- Ingesting essential oils without qualified supervision can be dangerous and even fatal
- Inhaling large quantities of menthol can cause confusion, dizziness, nausea and muscle weakness
- Keep all types of essential oils away from the eyes, nose and mouth
- Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms that indicate your child is having an adverse reaction from the essential oils you’re using
These are just a few quick tips to help you get started. You should continue to do more research and stay tuned here on the site for more posts about essential oils and how to use them safely. As you continue to practice with essential oils, you will learn more and more about how to get the most from them.
Safe Essential Oils For Babies