Can you use essential oils on young children? The short answer is yes. Used properly, on children aged two and older, these oils are safe. They offer a drug-free alternative to minor childhood ailments. Aromatics can also be used for calming a cranky child, or for potentially preventing infection in a closed wound.
Essential Oil Safety for Children
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There are specific aromatherapy oils for children. I make sure to stress that a child should be at least aged two before being introduced to essential oils. Because I’m the cautious type, I listen to those experts who say don’t use highly potent distilled aromatics on babies.
That’s because essential oils are very strong. How strong? I’ve heard varying calculations. One source said one drop equals 15 to 40 cups of herbal tea. That’s an awful lot, and no one in his or her right mind would consume that much, at least in one sitting. So just bear that in mind when mixing up a dilution.
If you have any questions, please consult your own pediatrician or a naturopathic doctor. When my children were little, we brought them to various holistic healers, with very good results. I highly recommend working with a practitioner well-versed in alternative medicine, or with a professional aromatherapist.
Essential Oils for Young Children
One of my favorite essential oil companies is Plant Therapy. I write about them often on this site, and I own a number of their products. They have developed a special line of products called KidSafe Synergies, which are blended by aromatherapy expert Robert Tisserand. He is arguably the world’s leading authorities on essential oils. Plant Therapy sells an entire Kidsafe line of oils, including its popular A+ Attention blend designed for focus and attention.
There are nearly two dozen KidSafe blends designed for children between the ages of 2 and 10. They are for all types of issues, ranging from attention and anxiety to bug bites and the common cold.
I first found Plant Therapy after looking for a good alternative to MLM products. It’s one of my favorite companies, because I know I’m getting a pure, high-quality oil.
The KidSafe Germ Destroyer, shown here, is made from a blend of five oils, known for their germ-fighting ability. The recommended adult dilution (by the company) is between 1 to 2 percent. This is lower for children, depending upon the need. Most experts would say that the younger the child, the weaker the dilution.
The blend below is designed for children. It contains full-strength oils deemed safe for us in young people. Even though this formula is made for a specific age group, there’s no reason why it can’t be used by preteens, teens and adults.
There’s a lot of misinformation about essential oils, which have been used safely for centuries. Many beginners make the mistake of using them too liberally, because they don’t know better or they’ve been misled by bad advice.
Unfortunately, these oils haven’t been studied much by mainstream scientists. Part of this, undoubtedly, has to do with the fact that most research is focused on drugs, and driven by the pharmaceutical firms.
So, whatever information we have comes to us from aromatherapists, who use these healing oils to address a wide range of conditions. We also have literature supplied by various essential oil producers and distributors. People who use them on a regular basis are also happy to share tips on how to use them.
Best Essential Oils for Children
Even though essential oils have a long track record, they were largely forgotten until around the year 2,000. This is when more people began learning about this ancient healing art, and began trying these aromatics themselves. (Usually, once you acquire your first bottle, you’re hooked.)
Not surprisingly, the demand for aromatherapy products is at an all-time high, and a number of players have jumped into the market. There are two very large MLM operations. I have no doubt the oils they sell are excellent.
But some people prefer shopping for non-MLM products. I’m one of them. Since I use essential oils often, and like to have a variety on hand, I started researching the issue and searching for alternatives. I’ve found several very good sources, including Plant Therapy.
Are Essential Oils Safe for Children?
There’s little consensus on how to best use essential oils. That’s why it’s always good to do your own research, so you can learn more about how to use them, especially if you’re interested in a more drug-free approach to your family’s health.
Most experts agree that if you use these oils properly, they’re exceptionally safe. This means not applying them directly to the skin, and taking care to make sure they’re properly diluted, with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil. This neutral oil prevents skin irritation and burns. It also helps to “carry” the beneficial aromatic into the cells.
One online holistic pediatrics group that advocates using oils, especially in lieu of artificial house fragrances, which contain toxic chemicals, does throw in a few words of caution. These include:
- Don’t ingest essential oils. This can be extremely dangerous, and if it’s ever recommended, it must be under the direction of a physician, this group warns.
- Don’t use aromatics if your child has asthma. This warning includes massaging, sniffing and running a diffuser.
- Make sure these oils are diluted.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils, unless under the direction of a health care professional.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.