Essential oils date back thousands of years, with ancient societies using highly concentrated plant oils for their medicinal purposes and strong, pleasant aromas. Fast forward to the present day, and essential oils are gaining popularity once again.
Not only adults can benefit from essential oils. The benefits of essential oils for kids are vast, treating everything from diaper rash to symptoms of the common cold and flu. In this blog we will outline the major benefits of essential oils for kids in addition to providing you with 6 important rules for safely using essential oils for kids.
The 6 Rules of Using Essential Oils for Kids
When using essential oils for kids, it is imperative that you use them with caution and care. Your child has delicate, sensitive skin that could be harmed by the high potency of essential oils if used improperly.
We gathered the 6 most important rules for using essential oils for kids safely and properly. Before you use essential oils for kids or infants, read through these rules thoroughly.
Rule #1: Never use essential oils on babies under 3 months of age.
Essential oils are not suitable for infants under 3 months of age and should not be applied topically or diffused in a nursery setting. Once your child has reached 3 months of age, you can apply diluted essential oils topically and diffuse kid-safe essential oils in your home.
Rule #2: Always choose high quality essential oils.
The therapeutic properties of essential oils are largely dependent on the quality of the essential oil. A bottle of essential oil sourced from your local home goods store is less reliable than a bottle of essential oil sourced from an essential oil company with thorough ingredient sourcing and case studies.
Choose your essential oils carefully, especially when it comes to using them on your infants and small children.
Rule #3: Never use essential oils orally with your infant or small child unless instructed by a licensed doctor.
Ingestion of essential oils is unsafe for children. Essential oils should only be used topically or aromatically for safe use. You should never allow your child to ingest essential oils unless authorized by a licensed medical doctor.
Rule #4: Always dilute essential oils before topical application.
Essential oils should never be applied to your child’s skin without first diluting the essential oil in a kid-safe carrier oil. The skin of infants and small children is incredibly sensitive; if you apply a potent essential oil directly to their skin, it may cause redness, irritation, rashes, or burns.
Essential oils should only be applied to your child’s skin at a 0.25% dilution, which means 1 drop of essential oil per 4 teaspoons of carrier oil, until the age of 6. Kid-safe carrier oils include: coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, calendula oil, castor oil, and sesame oil.
Aside from keeping your sweet pea’s skin soft and irritation-free, mixing essential oils with a carrier oil has many benefits. Carrier oils allow for a more successful absorption of essential oils into the skin, which increases therapeutic efficacy. In addition, carrier oils allow you to spread essential oils or essential oil blends on a larger surface area of the skin for a more practical treatment.
Rule #5: Never apply essential oils to your child’s ears, eyes, nose, or mouth.
Your child’s ears, eyes, nose, and mouth are surrounded by ultra-delicate skin that is especially prone to redness, irritation, rash, and burns. Never apply essential oils on these areas.
It is best to cover up areas of the skin where you have applied diluted essential oils with clothing. This will prevent your child from rubbing the essential oil treated area with their hands, and then rubbing their eyes, touching their nose, or sticking their hands in their mouths.
Rule #6: Keep essential oils out of the reach of children.
Always keep your essential oils out of the reach of infants and children. Essential oils are potent and dangerous if used inappropriately. If you find that your child has been exposed to essential oils without your supervision, call poison control immediately: 1-800-222-1222.
Benefits of Using Essential Oils for Kids
One of the major benefits of using essential oils for kids is improved sleep. Lavender and chamomile essential oils are commonly used to calm babies and children and lull them into a restful slumber. Diffuse lavender and chamomile essential oils in your child’s nursery 15 minutes before bedtime or massage a diluted blend of lavender and chamomile on their arms, legs, and belly after their evening bath.
Reduce Symptoms of Cold & Flu
Camphor, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils are great decongestants and can significantly improve the symptoms of the common cold and flu. In fact, a blend of diluted eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon and melaleuca (Tea Tree) oils can be rubbed on the chest or diffused in your child’s room to reduce congestion. These essential oils should only be used on children over the age of 2.
Chamomile and tea tree essential oil are antiviral by nature and can be used to disinfect your home space and reduce the changes of a prolonged illness. Both chamomile and tea tree oil can be used with children over the age of 6 months.
Treat Cuts, Bites, Burns, Scrapes, and Blisters
Cuts, scrapes, and blisters are a rite of passage in childhood. You can treat all the cuts, bites, burns, scrapes, and blisters your little one acquires with either diluted lavender essential oil or tea tree essential oil.
Diluted lavender essential oil is a great essential oil for kids since it can reduce the itchiness and pain from a bug bite and soothe a burn or sunburn in no time. Tea tree oil, with its antiseptic and anti fungal properties, can prevent infection and improve the healing process on any cut, scrape, or scuffle.
Treat Diaper Rash
Diaper rashes are common with infants and toddlers before potty training. If your child is suffering from a diaper rash, applying tea tree essential oil to the infected area will clear the rash rapidly. Mix tea tree oil with an unscented carrier oil and apply directly to the diaper rash.
Treat Ear Aches
If your infant or child seems to exhibit signs of an ear ache or an ear infection, tea tree or grapefruit essential oils can help to reduce the pain. Tea tree essential oil is an antibacterial, antifungal oil that can help to draw out the infection and improve ear health. Apply diluted tea tree essential oil or grapefruit essential oil around the ear (not in the ear canal) 3 to 4 times per day.
Help with Teething
If your child is teething, lavender essential oil can help to ease discomfort and promote feelings of calm relaxation. Apply diluted lavender essential oil to your child’s jawline to reduce the symptoms of teething.