Essential oils are a wonderful addition to your medicine cabinet, and can be used for anything from massage oils to room fragrance. Having children, you want to help them as much as you can, however not all essential oils are safe for children. As with any medication, essential should be used with caution until you know how the child will react to it. You should not only look at each individual child, you will also need to consider their age. What may be okay for a six year old may not be a good choice for a two year old.
Typically essential oils are not advised for anyone under the age of six months due to their immature immune system and thinness of skin. If you decide to use essential oils on a child that young make sure the essential oil is well diluted into a carrier oil (almond, grape seed, etc.), and try it first on a small spot. If any adverse reaction wash it off with mild soap and water and observe the child for any other reactions.
If diffusing, diffuse in a large room. If the child appears to having problems (labored breathing, swelling, etc.), open windows and take the child to another room. If you are unsure, call your physician/nurse practitioner. This would also apply to older children.
Though there are other essential oils that can be used on children, the most popular are Chamomile, Lavender, Tea Tree, and Eucalyptus.
There are two types of Chamomile: German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile. Both essential oils are great for children who are having trouble sleeping. It has also been used successfully in alleviating anxiety and depression, and can help a cranky baby suffering from colic. Chamomile is also an anti-inflammatory and is good for ear infections.
Lavender oil is great to have on hand. It has both antiviral and antibacterial properties, and is a slight anesthetic. Lavender is also used as a sleep aid, and is known to calm an upset baby. In a carrier oil, place a few drops in each ear to soothe ear aches or massage into the skin to promote sleep and relaxation. Other uses are for sunburn and to boost immunity. Be advised, there are several different species of Lavender. The best essential oil is from the species Lavandula Angustifolia.
Tea Tree oil is a natural hand sanitizer, which come in handy with dealing with an ill child. When using on a child it is best to either do a patch test and/or use it in a carrier oil. This oil is very potent, and can cause irritation if used without diluting. Tea Tree’s main use is as an antiseptic for minor cuts and scrapes, however it can also be used in a carrier oil to help with diaper rash.
There are two types of Eucalyptus; radiata and globulus. When treating children always use Eucalyptus radiata unless the child is over the age of two. Eucalyptus is a natural expectorant, and is a favorite during the cold winter months as it helps with congestion. If using Eucalyptus in a carrier oil, a !% dilution should be sufficient (1 drop essential oil to 1 tbl. carrier oil). You can also put a few drops (no more than two or three) into a tub full of water. In bathing a young child in a baby bath tub, only use a drop.
Learning about essentials is an adventure, but do it safely. Along with the ones above, there are numerous other oils that are safe for children. If in doubt, do your research and you will be fine.
Bio: Diana started her career as a Certified Hemodialysis Technologist in 1979. She retired in 2002 and was then successful in starting two businesses, as well as working as a Marketing Director for various online companies. She started working with Tranquil Rivers Doula Services in 2019 as the Marketing Director and Aromatherapist/Herbalist. Her goal is to incorporate clean living and health awareness with every product created.