Using essential oils for kids can be wonderful. And as parents, we want the best for our kids. Anything we can do to help them, we will.
Natural remedies have fewer side effects, and who wouldn’t want that! Essential oils have become very popular in the last few years. And for a good reason, they really do work when used correctly.
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Keeping Kids Safe When Using Essential Oils
One thing to keep in mind is that since a certain oil or blend works great for us, that doesn’t mean it will work the same for our children. You need to be cautious when using essential oil with kids.
Essential oils are highly concentrated forms of the plant. Our children’s systems haven’t fully developed yet and can’t handle the same oils we can. This means they are more likely to have a reaction to an oil than we are.
That doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do for them then that will work. Other essential oils work just as well and are safe for kids!
Check out my post here for more information on choosing an essential oil company to buy from and on how to safely use essentials oils. Rocky Mountain Oils are a great company that sells affordable and pure essential oils!
Below is a list to get you started using essential oils for kids ages 2-10. Some of them are safe for children under 2, however, for the little ones I prefer using hydrosols. Heck, I even prefer hydrosols for myself sometimes!
Simply put, hydrosols are the aromatic water that remains after hydro or steam distilling plants such as roses. You have the aromatic and therapeutic benefits of the plant in a water-soluble form.
Unlike essentials oils that need to be diluted before use, hydrosols can generally be applied directly to the skin without further dilution. They are gentler and are my preference for very young kids.
Hydrosols can also be used instead of water when making your own skin care products. I like to use them in lotion, face creams, and facial toners. When purchasing hydrosols, once again be sure to buy from a trustworthy source. Some companies will label a product as floral water or hydrosol improperly. What you may end up buying is water mixed with essential oil. Since oil and water don’t mix, this is not a true hydrosol and not a safe way to use essential oils. I get my hydrosols from Plant Therapy. They are a great company for all thing essential oils! You can use my referral link for $10 off your first order of $25 and they will give me $10 also towards my Essential Oil stash!
The Best Essential Oils For Kids And What They Can Help With!
— Essential Oils marked with a ♥ are ones you shouldn’t use until your child turns 6 —
Bergamot – Antiseptic. Itching, Stress NOTE: With regular Bergamot avoid sunlight after use if applied topically. You can get bergapten free which is safe to use in the sun.
Blue Tansy – Allergies, Analgesic (kills pain), Calming
Cedarwood, Atlas – Anti-Inflammatory, Skin Problems, Analgesic (kills pain) NOTE: Can cause skin irritation, so dilute at a lower percentage
Chamomile, German – Anti-Inflammatory, Allergies
Chamomile, Roman – Calming, Sleeping Difficulties, Ander/Mood Swings
Citronella – Head Lice, Skin Problems, Anti-Fungal, Insect Repellent NOTE: Can cause skin irritation, so dilute at a lower percentage
Clary Sage – Calming, Sleeping Difficulties, Anxiety, Anger/Mood Swings
Coriander – Antibacterial, Sleeping Difficulties, Cuts/Scrapes/Wounds
Cypress – Colds/Coughs/Decongestants
Dill – Anti-Fungal, Immune Stimulant, Stomach Issues
Fir Needle, Siberian – Allergies, Colds/Coughs/Decongestant
Frankincense – Uplifting, Colds/Coughs/Decongestants, Immune Stimulant, Anxiety, Anger/Mood Swings
♥Geranium – Anti-Inflammatory, Allergies, Head Lice, Antibacterial, Immune Stimulant, Anger/Mood Swings
Ginger – Analgesic (kills pain), Colds/Coughs/Decongestant, Stomach Issues NOTE: Can cause skin irritation, so dilute at a lower percentage
Grapefruit – Uplifting, Immune Stimulant, Anger/Mood Swings, Stomach Issues
Helichrysum – Allergies, Skin Problems, Calming, Immune Stimulant, Cuts/Scrapes/Wounds
Jasmine Absolute – Uplifting, Anxiety, Anger/Mood Swings
♥Juniper Berry – Antibacterial, Anti-Fungal, Colds/Coughs/Decongestants, Cuts/Scrapes/Wounds
Lavender – Allergies, Head Lice, Skin Problems, Analgesic (kills pain), Calming, Sleeping Difficulties, Anti-Microbial, Anxiety, Anger/Mood Swings, Cuts/Scrapes/Wounds
Lemon – Uplifting, Immune Stimulant, Anger/Mood Swings NOTE: Can cause skin irritation, so dilute at a lower percentage. Also, avoid sunlight after use, can be phototoxic.
♥Lemongrass – Analgesic (kills pain), Anti-Fungal, Antimicrobial, Insect Repellent NOTE: Can cause skin irritation, so dilute at a lower percentage.
Mandarin – Uplifting, Anti-Fungal, Immune Stimulant, Anger/Mood Swings, Stomach Issues NOTE: Avoid sunlight after use, can be phototoxic.
♥Marjoram, Spanish – Calming, antimicrobial, Cold/Cough/Decongestant, Cuts/Scrapes/Wounds
Myrrh – Anti-Inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Cold/Cough/Decongestant
Neroli – Calming, Sleeping Difficulties, Anxiety
Oregano – Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antimicrobial, Cold/Cough/Decongestant NOTE: Can cause skin irritation, so dilute at a lower percentage.
Palmarosa – Anti-Inflammatory, Allergies, Head Lice, Antibacterial, Immune Stimulant
Patchouli – Anti-Inflammatory, Anxiety, Skin Problems, Stomach Issues,
♥Peppermint – Antiseptic, Headaches, Stomach Issues NOTE: Can cause skin irritation, so dilute at a lower percentage
Petitgrain – Calming, Sleeping Difficulties, Immune Stimulant, Anxiety, Anger/Mood Swings
Rosalina – Allergies, Analgesic (kills pain), Calming, Antimicrobial
Rose Otto or Rose Absolute – Sleeping Difficulties, Anxiety, Anger/Mood Swings
Sandalwood – Skin Problems, Calming
Spearmint – Antifungal, Immune Stimulant, Stomach Issues
Spruce – Antimicrobial, Cold/Cough/Decongestant
Sweet Marjoram – Calming, Antimicrobial, Cold/Cough/Decongestant, Cuts/Scrapes/Wounds
Sweet Orange – Calming, Antimicrobial, Immune Stimulant, Anxiety, Anger/Mood Swings
Tangerine – Uplifting, Antifungal, Immune Stimulant, Stomach Issues
Tea Tree – Allergies, Skin Problems, Head Lice, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antimicrobial, Cuts/Scrapes/Wounds
Vetiver – Skin Problems, Calming, Immune Stimulant, Anxiety
Ylang Ylang – Anxiety, Calming, Antibacterial, Skin Problems. NOTE: Dilute well, has a strong odor that can cause headaches if over-used.
Want a printable version of this list? Click here to snag it!
This is not a complete list of every single oil that is safe for kids. But I feel it is a good starter list with some of the more common oils that will cover most of your needs. Essential oils that are great for your kids and yourself! I’ve also included a few things each oil can help with next to each one.
A few things to keep in mind when using essential oils for kids
♦For topical application, you want to stick with a 0.5%-1% dilution ratio. I always start with the lower amount when first introducing a new essential oil to Little Man. He has sensitive skin like I do. So, I always go with a better safe than sorry approach for him. And myself for that matter! At a 0.5% dilution, you would add 4 drops of essential oil to 1 oz. of your carrier oil. At 1% dilution, 9 drops of essential oil to 1 oz. carrier oil.
♦When diffusing essential oils you don’t want to have it running all day long. That can cause over-exposure and future sensitization problems. For diffusing try to stick with 10-15 minutes at a time 3-4 times a day.
Something that tends to be a bit controversial but here’s my take on it.
Why I say no to using any type of Thieves blend or similar on or around children under the age of 10. Those blends contain Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Peppermint. These oils contain the constituents 1,8 Cineole and Menthol which stimulates the cold receptors in the lungs. This triggers a reflex in young children that can slow breathing, sometimes dangerously.
Peppermint can be used with children ages 6 and up. However, all Eucalyptus and Rosemary should be avoided until age 10.
For more information on this, you can check out Blossoms & Blends. She is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist and specializes in working with kids. Her blog has tons of great information on essential oils for kids!
If you like using those blends for yourself but want to keep your kids safe, a personal inhaler works excellent for that. I have a few blends that I love, but they contain an essential oil that is not safe for my Little Man. Those are the ones I put in my personal inhaler rather than using my diffuser.
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