When I first got into essential oils I didn’t know anything about safety. I just bought oils and blends that I thought would be beneficial in one way or another. Then, after diving deeper into the research, I found a lot of the oils I bought were not safe to diffuse around kids, especially little kids.
The internet is all over the place when it comes to safety with essential oils and kids so I tend to defer to books to guide me. Though they still vary at times, to me a printed source will be more vetted than anyone’s ability to publish online.
That said, there is a valuable Facebook group regarding safety with essential oils that is also a good source for questions: Using Essential Oils Safely.
For the list that follows I looked in the book The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Everyday Wellness by Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele. This book was very detailed and erred on the side of caution, something I appreciated.
Below is a list of essential oils that are considered safe to diffuse around children. If you choose to apply EOs to the skin, they need to always be diluted with a carrier oil (or in some cases milk, see below) and always check first to make sure you’re using the proper dosage for that age group. The book referenced above does a great job of breaking this down. I personally have yet to apply EOs topically to my kiddos, though I plan to make lotions and oil blends once we get settled.
Children 3 Months to 5 Years
Lavender (not spike lavender, that’s medicinal and too strong)
Thyme ct. linalool
Children 6 Years and Up
Almost all essential oils are safe but in smaller quantities.
Do not use eucalyptus smithii or rosemary on or near face of children under the age of 10. Also, make sure you always check the specific scientific name of the essential oil you’re planning on using. Some varieties are not safe.
Diffusing: always start with 1 (2 drops at most) when diffusing around children and limit diffusing to 30 minutes at a time.
I’ve found this rule slightly frustrating because I want to diffuse other than kid-safe oils for longer than 30 minutes. However, I know that safety is very important. EOs are SO potent. And so for now, I’ll either diffuse adult blends in adult-only areas of the house or after the kids are in bed.
- Place 1 tsp of milk in a small bowl
- Add 1-2 drops of a child-safe EO
- Stir gently to combine
- Add to an already drawn bath, gently swirling the water to disburse the EO
My favorite EO to use for a child’s bath is lavender. It’s so soothing and calming. However, it important to NEVER digest EOs, so if your child has a habit of drinking the bath water, I’d stay away from a bath. But, if not, it’s a very nice way to create a quiet moment to calm your otherwise active kiddo. You could even massage the oil drops into their skin while they sit in the bath for extra benefit and moisture.
My journey with essential oils is just beginning but so far they have really enhanced our lives.
I’m curious: do you use essential oils with your family? If so, how?
Until next time,