As we strive to include more essential oils in our lifestyle, I’ve been using essential oils on my children for a variety of reasons: fever, cough, sleep aid.
However, I must mention some safety tips for using essential oils with kids, because it’s not quite the same as using oils on an adult.
Remember, I am NOT a medical professional, and so the suggestions here are just that – suggestions based on my reading, and you should always check with your medical professional before administering anything to you or your children.
Tip #1 – Dilute essential oils used on children. Children’s smaller bodies typically respond better or faster to any treatment (EO or not!) than an adult’s body does, so you need a smaller dose. Also, remember my first post about EO where I shared with you that EO are “hot” oils, meaning they can cause irritation because of their concentrated strength. Dilution will help you avoid overdosage and irritation on your child’s skin.
Tip #2 – Recommended to NOT use these oils on children: Peppermint, Rosemary, Eucalyptus (under 5), and Wintergreen or Birch (under 12). Why? Although the percentage of cases was small (2%), Methol and eucalyptol based oils can cause respiratory distress in young children; also Eucalyptal/camphor can over-stimulate the CNS (Central Nervous System) in children, which could cause convulsions/seizures. Even though the percentage of negative affects was small, with so many great alternatives, I’m planning to just avoid these for the kids until they are older.
Tip #3 – Know some safer substitutes:
- Lemon instead of Peppermint (diluted and applied on the spine for help in fever reduction)
- Ginger or Lemon instead of Peppermint (diluted and applied topically to support proper digestion)
- Cedarwood, Pine, or Myrtle instead of Peppermint (diffused or warm (dry) compress on chest back to support the respiratory system)
- Lemon Frankincense, Cinnamon, Clove, Melalueca A, Thyme, Oregano instead of Rosemary or Eucalyptus (diluted and applied to bottoms of feet for immune support)
- Frankincense or Copaiba instead of Peppermint (diluted and rubbed across gums for teething)
- Frankincense, Balsam Fir, Copaiba instead of Peppermint (diluted for aches/discomfort)
Tip #4 – NEVER give essential oils to children internally
Tip #5 – When using essential oils in the bath, first add to Epsom Salts so the oils disperse in the water instead of just float around on top. (Hubby is working on a hypothesis for why this is better!).
Tip #6 – Avoid sun exposure after using citrus oils (for at least 12-48 hours, as these oils are photosensitive).
Many of these tips I learned from Scott Johnson, ND at Young Living, but also some is some common sense about diluting the potency of these “hot” oils. I also love using the Life Science Essential Oils Desk Reference – it contains much more information, and more details on safety for using essential oils with kids – like dilution ratios, etc. (affiliate)
New! Essential Oils Blends Just for Kids!
If you’re concerned about using essential oils with kids, you’ll be happy to hear about a new kit from Young Living: KidScents® Oil Collection, which comes in a backpack! These oils address common concerns of childhood and includes six mild essential oil blends, formulated just for children:
- Bite Buster™
The kit includes 4-5ml essential oil blends and 2-10 ml roll-on blends all diluted with coconut oil – designed specifically for use by kids. Two roller-ball fixtures are included. Here’s a few more details about this kit!
Learn more about Young Living Essential Oils!
Check out my Young Living Essential Oils page to see my list of posts and sign up info.