Young children can benefit greatly from using essential oils though the amount used is much smaller than for adults.
The amount used increases with age. Please see Guide for Safe Dilution of Essential Oils below.
Also, a word of caution please be especially cautious and use essential oils sparingly around infants and very young children.
Use Self Selection when using essential oils with children. Listen and watch to find out how your child responds to a small diluted amount of essential oil to start.
Also, I recommend using single oils alone to begin, especially with young children before introducing essential oil blends.
Talk openly with your child about essential oils. Give them the same precautions you would when talking about any medicines.
Be sure to list essential oil on the list of medications and supplements your child is taking and report to your pediatrician/doctor if a health concern should arise.
Essential oils should never be given orally to infants or children. The majority of cases of essential oil poisoning involves accidents or incorrect dosing with young children, often between 1 and 3 years of age.
Essential oils should never be ingested or used topically while breastfeeding infants.
Store your essential oils locked and out of reach and sight of children. Follow the standard safety protocols recommended at safekids.org.
Essential Oils Safe for Children
Click on an essential oil to find out more. Cautions are listed below.
- German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomila) - soothing, calming
- Cypress (Cupressus sempevirens) - cleansing and purifying
- Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) - immortelle) - soothes bumps, bruises, cuts and scrapes
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) - relaxing, all purpose universal healer
- Red Mandarin (Citrus deliciosa) - relaxing, soothing, calming
- Rose Otto (Rosa damascena) - frees the emotions, good for shyness
- Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) - relaxing, comforting, rejuvenating
- Sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) - brightens mood, good cleaner
- Tangerine (Citrus reticulata) - promotes peace and playfulness
- Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) - cleansing and purifying
Essential Oils to Avoid Using with Children
Generally avoid using essential oils containing phenols and oxides. Avoid using menthol containing EOs with children under 10 years of age, then use cautiously following the recommended safe use dilution guide according to age.
- Carrot Seed (Daucas carota) - Avoid during pregnancy and breast feeding
- Cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) - Strong irritant
- Clove bud (Eugenia Caryophyllata) - Strong irritant
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus and radiata) - Do not apply at or near mouth of infants or children under 10 years of age
- Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) - Avoid during pregnancy and lactation
- Oregano (Origanum vulgare) - Strong irritant
- Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) - Avoid applying at or near the face of infants or children
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - Strong irritant
- Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) - Avoid use with children under two years of age
CHILDREN’S GUIDE SAFE DILUTION OF ESSENTIAL OILS
- Age 18 - 10 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
- Age 10-18 - 6-9 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
- Age 5-10 - 5 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
- Age 4 - 4 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
- Age 3 - 3 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
- Age 2 - 2 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
- Newborn- age 2 - 1 drop in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
- German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomila) - Prone to oxidation recommend refrigeration. Drug interaction (all routes). Those taking drugs metabolized by CYP2D6 should avoid use.
- Cypress (Cupressus sempevirens) - Skin sensitization if oxidized, recommend refrigeration.
- Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) - Skin irritation (moderate risk). Maximum dermal use level 0.5%.
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) - Skin sensitization (moderate risk). Maximum dermal use level 0.1%.
- Red Mandarin (Citrus deliciosa) - Though Mandarin is helpful for treating dry skin conditions care should be taken when using it in skin applications as it is mildly phototoxic, please avoid exposure to direct sunlight or sunlamps for up to 12 hours after use as pigmentation of the skin may result.
- Rose Otto (Rosa damascena) - Maximum dermal use level 0.6%.
- Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) - none known.
- Sweet Orange (Citrus seninsis) - Skin sensitization if oxidized, recommend refrigeration.
- Tangerine (Citrus reticulata) - Skin sensitization if oxidized, recommend refrigeration.
- Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) - Skin sensitization if oxidized (recommend refrigeration). Maximum dermal use level 15% dilution in carrier oil for safe skin application.
Find out more about using essential oils safely and effectively, along with recipes to try in my newest award-winning book available on Amazon, The Essential Oils Complete Reference Guide: Over 250 Recipes for Natural Wholesome Aromatherapy.
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