Using essential oils can be simple and life-changing. There are a few precautions that should be taken:
- Use only 100% Therapeutic Grade essential oils.
- Follow all label warnings and instructions.
- Keep oils out of the reach of children.
- Essential oils should not be used in the eyes, in the ear canal or on open wounds.
- Keep essential oils away from the eyes. After applying oils, keep hands away from eyes.
- Do not use on a child’s hands as they may transfer oils to the eyes.
- Some oils are “hot” such as cassia, cinnamon and oregano. Always use caution and dilute.
- Many essential oils are just as effective when diluted down to 5%.
- Dilute oils when using on infants, young children and those with sensitive skin.
- If redness or irritation occurs when using topically, apply vegetable oil (olive, coconut or almond oil, etc) to the affected area.
- Do NOT consume an essential oil internally unless the product is FDA approved as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe).
- Internal use of essential oils should be limited.
- Avoid the sun after using citrus oils which cause sun sensitivity.
- Consult with your physician before using essential oils, particularly if you are pregnant or under a doctor’s care.
- If pregnant, avoid most essential oils without doing further research
I have seen the strength of essential oils. I respect their potency and so should you. Essential oils are an extremely concentrated combination of multiple chemical constituents and therefore require caution when using them. This is especially true with little ones. Essential oils should be much more diluted for use with babies as compared to use with adults.
Babies and Children should never ingest essential oils
Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and babies. Certain essential oils could be toxic if ingested. No essential oils should be given orally to children. According to Robert Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety;
The majority of cases of essential oil poisoning involve accidents with young children, often between 1 and 3 years of age. Approximately 75% of cases in the USA are in children up to 6 years old.
Dilution is very important for ALL essential oils
There is no exception in this category. ALL essential oils should be diluted for use with babies and children.
There are many applications for essential oils with babies and children, but they should be kept away from a child’s face. Do not use oils in or around the nose in children. I prefer to massage the feet of young babies rather than the chest and back, or use diffuse for the safest application of essential oils.
Diluting essential oils is done by adding a drop (or more) of the essential oil into a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil.
Introduce one essential oil at a time
When introducing essential oils to babies, remember that you haven’t yet discovered the things they are allergic to. It’s important to introduce essential oils one at a time and sparingly. If your child is going to have a reaction to an essential oil they will likely show signs of a reaction in the first 15-30 minutes after inhalation or dermal application.
What age is safe to use what oils?
A very common and important question. There is a lot of conflicting information out there and still very little known about the use of many essential oils on babies and children. It is best to use your judgment when choosing essential oils for your child.
Here are two quick references:
If you have doubts about using an essential oil on a child, just pause and ask. I’m happy to answer any questions you have or do the leg work to get you an answer quickly.