Are Essential Oils Safe For Kids?

Are Essential Oils Safe For Kids?

Chances are you use essential oils, and chances are you have wondered if essential oils are okay to be used on children! If you haven’t wondered about that before, you probably are now! Essential oils provide aid for a wide range of ailments and discomforts, but it’s important to know what should and shouldn’t be used on kids!

Before the age of 6 months:

It is suggested that no essential oil should be used on or around babies before the age of 6 months, due to their thinner skin and immature immune systems.

Ages 6 months – age 2:

From ages 6 months – age 2, you may diffuse child-safe oils (which will be listed below) for a specific purpose and for short periods of time. In a specific scenario (like with a bee sting or bug bite) you may use essential oils topically, but this should be the exception and not the norm. Children are very sensitive to aroma and products applied topically.

After age 2:

When children are after the age of 2 you may start topical use with a very low dilution, but it’s important to keep in mind that a child's immune system takes years to fully develop, making them more prone to the adverse effects which may arise when concentrated products are used improperly on or around them. Herbs and hydrosols are often a better and safer choice for children.

Here’s a list of essential oils that are safe to use around children:

 Bergamot

 Black Pepper

 Blue Tansy

 Cedarwood

 Clary Sage

 Copaiba

 Coriander

 Cypress

 Frankincense

 German Chamomile

 Geranium

 Ginger

 Grapefruit

 Juniper Berry

 Helichrysum

 Lavender

 Lemon

 Mandarin

 Marjoram (Sweet)

 Neroli

 Palmarosa

 Patchouli

 Petitgrain

 Pines -except Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), or Huon Pine (Dacrydium franklinii)

 Roman Chamomile

 Sandalwood

 Siberian Fir Needle

 Spearmint

 Spruces

 Sweet Marjoram

 Sweet Orange

 Tangerine

 Tea Tree

 Vetiver

 

Here’s a list of essential oils that are NOT safe to use around children, with warnings on how to use them:

 Anise/Aniseed – avoid using (all routes) on children under 5

 Anise (Star) – avoid using (all routes) on children under 5

 Basil (lemon) – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Benzoin – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Birch (sweet) – avoid using (all routes) on children

 Black Seed – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Cajuput – avoid using on children under 6

 Cardamon – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Cassia – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Chaste Tree – avoid using (all routes) on prepubertal children

 Clove Bud, Clove Leaf, Clove Stem – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Cornmint – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Eucalyptus – avoid using (all routes) on children under 10

 Fennel (bitter), Fennel (sweet) – avoid using (all routes) on children under 5

 Galangal (lesser) – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Garlic – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Ginger Lily – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Ho Leaf/Ravintsara – avoid using on children under 6

 Hyssop – avoid using (all routes) on children under 2

 Laurel Leaf/Bay Laurel – avoid topical use on children under 2; avoid all routes for children under age 6

 Lemon Leaf/Lemon Petitgrain – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Lemongrass – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Marjoram (Spanish) – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Massoia – avoid using (all routes) on children under 2

 May Chang – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Melissa/Lemon Balm – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Myrtle (red) – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Myrtle (aniseed) – avoid using (all routes) on children under 5

 Myrtle (honey) – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Myrtle (lemon)/Sweet Verbena – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Niaouli (cineole chemotype) – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Oakmoss – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Opopanax – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Oregano – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Peppermint – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Peru Balsam – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Rambiazana – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Rosemary – avoid using (all routes) on children under 10

 Saffron – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Sage (Greek) – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Sage (White) – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Sage (Wild Mountain) – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Sanna – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Saro – avoid using (all routes) on children under 6

 Savory – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Styrax – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Tea Leaf/Black Tea – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Tea Tree (lemon-scented) – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Treemoss – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Tuberose – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Turpentine – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Verbena (Lemon) – avoid topical use on children under 2

 Wintergreen – avoid (all routes) on children due to methyl salicylate content under age 10

 Ylang-Ylang – avoid topical use on children under 2

Harmful effects on children:

There have been several documented cases of children (and a few adults) who have taken essential oils inappropriately and had a seizure because of it! They can also get rashes on the skin, and have a hard time breathing when used inappropriately. The safe way to go around it is to ensure that a child does not internally use an essential oil, and to stick to the lists above on what’s okay/not okay to use on kids. In addition, be sure to keep essential oils away from kids in order to prevent them from using them without your help!

It’s also important to use a carrier oil when applying an essential oil topically to a child in order to dilute it. Mix 1-2 drops of essential oil in 1-3 teaspoons of a carrier oil like olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, avocado oil, or another mild, gentle, and skin-friendly oil.

If you’re wondering HOW you’ll ever be able to use essential oils around kids, a personal inhaler is a great solution to being able to take advantage of essential oils without worrying about the effect it might have on the little ones you are around! If you choose to use a diffuser, be sure to do it in a room away from baby and allow time for the scent to go away before bringing baby back in the room.

So there you have it! Now you know the ins and outs of using essential oils on kids. Keep this list handy in case you ever wonder which oils you can/can’t use on children!

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