What are the Best Essential oils for Children?
With all the ‘hype’ about the healing wonders of essential oils, many people are asking these questions:
Are essential oils safe for children?
And if so, what are the best essential oils to use for children?
For the first question the answer is: Yes. And no. Doesn’t clear it up much, does it?
Let me explain…
There are many essential oils that are safe to use on babies and children, in a diluted form. Since children have smaller, more sensitive, less toxic bodies, the dose they need of these powerful oils will be significantly less than an adult.
Diluting EO’s in a good carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil) will help protect small bodies from too much of a good thing all at once. It also helps protect their skin from full-strength essential oils.
(We sometimes forget how powerful these oils are because they come in such a small package and leave such a small drop. But remembering that one drop of peppermint oil is the same as 24 cups of peppermint tea helps remind me these oils might be small, but they carry a big punch.)
Guidelines for diluting essential oils for use on children:
For newborns and infants, dilute 1-2 drops of oil in 2 tablespoons carrier oil.
For older children, dilute 1-2 drops of oil in 1/2- 1 tablespoon carrier oil.
(The above is also good for pregnant women, elderly folks, and people with lots of sensitivities.)
As with most good things, moderation and safety is the key.
And the NO?
When using essential oils on children, the quality of oil is very important. Make sure you’re using pure grade oils. Not all oils are created equal and some are not good to use, for children or adults. If you question the purity, don’t use it.
Some oils, generally citrus oils, are photosensitive. This means if you rub them on your skin and go outside in the sunshine, you will experience a reaction (most likely a rash) on the exposed skin. Although lemon and orange oils are safe to use with children, be mindful of this aspect when using oils on their skin before going outside.
Some oils are just too strong (and hot) to use safely on children. If in doubt, do your research first. It’s better to err on the side of caution every time.
Using therapeutic grade essential oils that are properly diluted is a good start for safety. Be careful when using them topically (diluted) to apply on areas where the child can’t accidently rub the oil into their eyes (bottoms of feet, at the base of neck, etc. but not on hands, for instance). If EO’s do get into eyes, use a carrier oil (not water) to dilute the oils (water will just spread it, oil will mix with it and dissipate the stinging).
You can also use the oils aromatically (in a diffuser) for increased safety. Some of EO’s actually work better diffused than any other way and it will clean germs and the air in the whole area, not just on the child.
With these safety measures in mind, what are the best essential oils for children? Here are 12 great oils to get you started:
(This is just a start. And, the oils listed above are good for many, many issues and conditions, not just the ones I mentioned.)
Anything, even awesome good for you things, can become bad if misused. In the end, if you follow proper dilution recommendations and make sure you’re using therapeutic grade essential oils, the best essential oils for children depend on what is needed for your specific situation and your family in that moment. The more you learn about and use essential oils, the more you will see the benefit of them for the whole family. Even for the littlest members.