Kids are more sensitive to essential oils than adults, which can make them seem scary. However, essential oils are a great tool to support kid’s happiness and health, naturally. So how do we know what oils are safe and how should we use them? To start, it’s helpful to think of kids in age groups.
We don’t recommend using essential oils directly with children under two. Their lungs are sensitive, their bodies small, and essential oils are too strong. Carrier oils and hydrosols (coming soon to Simply Earth!) are often enough to give young children the natural nudge they need towards health.
You can start diffusing and using certain essential oils topically at this stage, but you will want to use them with intention. Using the same oils everyday over an extended period of time with a child can create sensitization. A good rule of thumb for using essential oils at this age is to make sure you are using them for a specific purpose.
Healing a scratch, calming a child down, helping them focus, or giving their immune system a boost are all good examples of specific purposes to use essential oils with a child this age. With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure you are using the following safety measures.
At this age, children’s bodies have matured more and are less likely to become sensitized to essential oils than younger children. However, they are still not adults and the following precautions should be made.
You can find this information in a few different places.
There’s a lot of debate on at what age essential oils high in menthol, like Peppermint and Eucalyptus, are safe. Robert Tisserand, one of the leaders on essential oil safety gives the advice that it may be used topically on children 10 and older at a 1% dilution and may be diffused at age 5 and up with only 1-2 drops in an open room.
If you are looking for similar benefits as Eucalyptus and Peppermint Essential oils on children, we recommend using Cedarwood Essential Oil.
Birch and Wintergreen Essential Oils should never be used on or around children in any amount due to the risk of developing Reye’s Syndrome and its known connection with salicylates
How to Use Essential Oils with Kids
Remember that when using essential oils with kids, they should be used for a specific reason. The same oils shouldn’t be used everyday, and they should be diluted as described above. This helps prevent overusing them and creating sensitization in the child. Here are some reasons to use essential oils with kids
Sensory activities paired with essential oils can be very powerful in calming a child and helping build focus. Check out these kid friendly sensory activities you can try with your child:
Add 3 drops of essential oils into a Tablespoon of carrier oil, full-fat milk, or honey, to dilute it into a bath. Add a cup of Epsom salt to boost circulation, soothe fatigue, and alleviate pain and stiffness.
You can also get great benefits from using a bath bomb, which your child will be sure to love. Try this bath bomb recipe!
Lavender Bath Bomb Recipe
Aromatic baths are a great addition to a bedtime routine or help a child recover after a busy day or tough practice.
My favorite is our Sweet Dreams Bath recipe
Diffusion is a great way to clean the air, reduce stress and anxiety, help focus, and more!
• Try this Summer Fresh Diffuser Blend
• Diffuse Sweet Dreams in your child’s room 15 minutes before bedtime (turn it off once your child goes to bed) to help calm your child.
• Does your child struggle through homework? Try this recipe help boost focust and creativity.
We can’t always have our children with us. The following methods of using Essential Oils are a great way to empower your child to care for themselves and for you to support them when they are on the move or at school.
Every child is different, so even if an essential oil is considered kid-safe, your child may have an unexpected reaction to essential oils. If your child starts breathing differently while essential oils are being used, take them outside and away from the aroma until their breathing normalizes. For rashes or other reactions on the skin, clean the oil off with dish soap and apply carrier oil to the area. For medical emergencies, always call 9-11.
Store essential oils out of reach of children as they can be poisonous if swallowed and cause negative reactions to the skin if applied undiluted.
Please note: This post is a compilation of suggestions made by those that have extensively used essential oils and has not been verified scientifically with clinical tests nor reviewed by medical experts. It is anecdotal information and should be treated as such. For serious medical concerns, please consult your doctor
How do you use essential oils with your children? Tell us in the comments below!