You know essential oils are good for you, but the question is, are essential oils ok to use with your kids?
You love essential oils and know that they offer a whole variety of benefits from keeping you healthy, energized, helping you get a goof nights sleep, and even keep the mosquitoes away. As a parent, your number one concern is your child.
That’s a great question. The answer yes and no.
Whether or not essential oils are safe to use on kids has a lot to do with the quality of oils you are using and how you’re diluting them.
Let’s talk about it more.
Are essential oils too strong for children?
Essential oils are concentrated, and each of the top essential oil brands and oil have their own mixture and strength. This can be concerning when using it for children. Just like most other things, kids skin and immune system might be more sensitive than ours. So you have to be a little more careful.
Just as you wouldn’t make the same sized meal for your son or daughter as you would yourself, it is important to remember to tone down the concentration of the oils in most cases. Follow these steps below for safe usage.
How to make essential oils safe for kids
Essential oils are potent, that’s part of what makes them wonderful. You can use a very small amount of quality grade essential oils, and it can do wonders, as well as last a long time.
However, it is important to keep in mind, not that you would forget, that children are not adults and a very small amount of the oil might be more than enough for to have the desired effect. Some of the big essential oils brands make a good effort to provide information if their oils are safe for kids, along with dilution ratios for their specific products.
Again, these are general. Please still remember to use high-quality oils, and if the particular oil brand has their own information for dilution, it might be wise to follow those. Your little one has much more sensitive skin compared to you, take a look at the recommended amount of essential oil to use. Remember a little bit will go a long way.
- Children 2 and under– The recommendation dilution ratio is .25%. This means 1 drop of oil per 4 teaspoons of carrier oil
- Children ages 2 to 6 years– The recommendations dilution ratio is 1%. This means 1 drop of oil per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil
- Children ages 6 to 10 years – The recommendation dilution ratio is 1.5%. This means 1 drop of oil per 1 teaspoons of carrier oil will do. A generous drop should do the trick.
I will follow up with a separate article on the best essential oils for kids, so stay tuned for that. You probably already have some of them in your kit.
Use a diffuser
We’re fans of diffusers here, as you probably already know. But that’s really just because they’re great. From your own personal portable diffusers, to an on the go diffuser you can use while traveling or in the car, they make enjoying aromatherapy easy.
This is especially true with kids. With an essential oil diffusers, the oils will be spread throughout a room, house, or bedroom, with the touch of a button. You don’t have to worry if the oils are too harsh for their skin or if your child doesn’t like a particular sent, you can simply turn the diffuser off or walk out of the room. This is not possible when using the oils directly on the skin. Think of cologne or perfume; the fragrance can last for hours, even if you do your best to wash it off.
Moreover, diffused oils help create a healthier environment indoors for your home, and children are much more sensitive and receptive to aromas as all their senses and systems continue to develop.
Start with one oil at a time
Just like food, you don’t know what your child likes and dislikes because they probably can’t just tell you yet.
Start off gently using one oil a day and note the effect it has. Is it working for them? Do they like it? This also gives them time for their bodies to get used to the oils, new smells, and take in everything that’s going on around them.
While it is not common that a child, or an adult has an allergic reaction to the ingredients in most essential oils, it is still advisable to look out for any reactions application or usage. If there’s going to be a reaction, it will occur within 15-30 minutes of inhaling or applying essential oils on the skin.
For extra pro tips, don’t apply the oils around your child’s eyes or nose, in case they rub it into their mouth of eyes. And it’s better massaging their feet with the oils instead of rubbing the chest and back. You’re never too old, or young in the case, for a little foot rub right? Just remember to start with a small amount and watch our for any skin irritation.
There is no ‘safe’ age to wait for
There is no fixed ‘safe age’ for using essential oils on kids. Each child is unique, and it is best to use your sense of judgment when to introduce the oils into their lives. It’s the same with breastfeeding or introducing solid foods. Only you, as the parent, will know what’s best for your child.
However, it is not advisable to use essential oils on kids less than 3 months old. This is because isn’t mature yet and is more sensitive and permeable to essential oils. With so much going on, you the oils might be your last thought anyway! When you do decide to use the oils, keep in mind as stated above, inhalation is the most recommended way for using essential oils with children under 6.
Avoid sunlight right after applying
Avoid exposing your child to sunlight after applying essential oil as some oils can cause a phototoxic reaction to lead to adverse reactions. Some common reactions are sunburn, edema, blistering or skin color changes. These changes don’t always occur immediately, but usually within 48 hours of exposure to the sun.
This guideline generally applies to babies and very young children, who would have their skin protected from the rays already, so it should not be a huge concern. Try to remember that in the summer time, when there is extreme heat, the oils might be better used at night instead of under thin, lightweight clothing.
Whatever done, always keep the oils out of reach of children and babies as most oils are toxic if ingested. Essential oils generally should never be orally ingested. In case your child accidently ingests some, don’t induce vomiting. Instead, call your general practitioner and take your child with the bottle to the nearest emergency room.