Aromatherapy is one of many tools we have to keep our kids healthy. However, when it comes to kids and essential oils, it’s easy to get confused. Be aware of the child’s age, skin sensitivity, and overall health in order to choose the best product. Read on to learn important facts when using essential oils for kids.

What To Use

While caution must be used when utilizing essential oils with children, oils can still be helpful in many situations. For example, to clear congestion, add a drop of Cypress, Spruce, Fir or Pine oil to a wet cotton ball. Have your child hold it just under their nose and breath in deeply.  To help them sleep better, spray their bedsheets with Lavender or diffuse the room 15 minutes before bedtime. Mandarin or Sweet Orange, along with Geranium, Neroli, or Bergamot can be diffused around the room to help calm children down.

Below is a list of essential oils that are SAFE to use topically, inhaled, or diffused with children ages 2 or older. If younger than 2, it is best to just lightly diffuse the room and not inhaled or applied to the skin:

  • Tea Tree
  • Sandalwood
  • Blue Tansy
  • Cedarwood
  • Neroli
  • Mandarin
  • Copaiba
  • Cypress
  • Lavender
  • Helichrysum
  • Geranium
  • German Chamomile

How Much to Dilute

Because they are more concentrated than tinctures and herbal extracts, essential oils should ALWAYS be diluted before using, especially when applied topically. For children, a minimum of .25% dilution is recommended, which means using just one drop of essential oil for every 4 teaspoons of carrier oil. Carrier oils can be jojoba, almond, or coconut oil, although there are others. Mixing the two oils together has several benefits. It allows you to spread it over a larger area; it can prevent sensitivity, irritation, and phototoxicity; and is a good medium for the oils to be absorbed into the skin. Diluted essential oils can be used to treat rashes and other skin issues, minor cuts and scrapes, bruises, itching from bug bites, and more.

Oils to Avoid

Kids are much more receptive to essential oils and more sensitive to aromas. Their immune systems are not completely developed. Because infants and children under age two have skin that is thinner and more sensitive, essential oils should only be used with great caution, and rarely, if ever, on newborns. Always check with a doctor before using.

Below is a list of essential oils that should not be used on children, either topically or diffused:

  • Clove Bud, Leaf, Stem
  • Eucalyptus, Wintergreen, and Peppermint
  • Anise/Aniseed
  • Niaouli and Cassia
  • Fennel (bitter or sweet), Rosemary, and Ylang Ylang
  • Verbena (lemon) and Lemongrass

Plant Guru, an online essential oils shop, has a wonderful selection of products to help you keep yourself and your children healthy and well. Quality products and reasonable prices make shopping easy. Check us out today!