Essential oils and aromatherapy can be useful and effective tools to support your family’s physical and mental health and well-being.
Their uses are plenty, and knowing how to incorporate these powerful, concentrated plant extracts safely is crucial for you as Queen Mama and Chief Executive Home Officer. 😉
We’ve got you.
Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of safe and unsafe oils for your babes.
The Healing Power of Essential Oils
Essential oils are extracted from various forms of plant material such as tree bark and resin, plant leaves, stems, roots, flowers, nuts, seeds, and even fruit.
In adults, essential oils can work with the body’s natural healing systems to address various common ailments like:
- Boosting immunity
- Decreasing stress and anxiety
- Nausea & morning sickness
- Constipation relief
- Heartburn relief
- Relieving pain and discomfort
- Diabetes and blood sugar balance
- Better sleep & rest
- Muscle aches and joint pain relief
- Combatting hair loss
- Treating dandruff and scalp issues
- Headaches & migraine relief
- Yeast Infections
- Treating hemorrhoids
- Varicose veins
- Weight-loss and craving reduction support
- Decreasing inflammation
- More energy & mental focus
- Dark spots & skin brightening
- Improved blood circulation
- Boosting mood, relaxation, and mental well-being
- Soothing eczema and other skin conditions
- Treating colds, coughs, sinus infections, and sore throats
- Addressing allergy symptoms
In babies and young children, safe EOs can help naturally treat the following:
- Fungal skin conditions
- Bug bites
- Skin burns and sunburns
- Cold sores
- Cradle cap
- Diaper rash
- Cuts and scrapes
- Earaches and ear infections
- Eczema and psoriasis
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease
- Head lice
- Poison ivy and sumac
Safe Use of Essential Oils For Babies & Children
- Don’t use essential oils topically on newborns under three months of age. Their skin is sensitive and more perforable.
- Avoid the daily use of EOs for babies and children under seven years of age. Stick to an as-needed, minimalist approach until your child is older than seven years old.
- After three months, you can start introducing safe oils slowly – using only one oil at a time.
- For every new oil you introduce, wait at least 48-72 hours before introducing a new one. Watch out for potential adverse reactions, skin irritations, and allergic responses. Discontinue use of any EO that causes an adverse reaction in your child.
- Dilute EOs with carrier oils: 3-6 months – 1 drop of EO per 2.5 tbsp of carrier oil, 6-24 months – 2-4 drops of EO per 2 tbsp of carrier oil, 2-7 years – 6-8 drops of EO per 2 tbsp of carrier oil, 7+ years – 12-15 drops of EO per 2 tbsp
- Certain EOs like citrus oils have a phototoxic effect – they can cause skin rashes, dark spots, and irritation after sun exposure. Avoid phototoxic oils 18-24 hours before or after sun exposure.
- Always consult with your doctor or pediatrician before introducing any essential oil to your baby or child.
- Babies and young children should never ingest essential oils as many of them can be toxic and may cause essential oil poisoning.
What To Do If Your Child Accidentally Ingests Essential Oils
According to the Tisserand Institute (TI): (1)
“Most adverse reactions to essential oils are without any serious consequence, but if young children ingest any amount, medical attention should be sought urgently.
Accidental ingestion of essential oils by children of 5 or under is the most common cause of internal essential oil toxicity – more than 10 times any other age group in the USA (Gummin et al., 2017).
Children as young as two years have been known to remove bottle caps and drink most of the contents, even though the bottle may contain an orifice reducer.”
If your child accidentally ingests EOs, TI suggests the following: (1)
- Do not induce vomiting (corrosive chemicals may destroy mucous membranes, and there is a risk of aspiration into the victim’s lungs during vomiting).
- If the person is conscious and not convulsing, rinse the mouth with water and immediately call a hospital or poison center. Avoid alcohol.
- If the person is convulsing or unconscious, do not give anything by mouth, ensure their airway is open and lay them on their side with the head lower than the body. Put the person into a safe recovery position.*
- Contact the local emergency services for evaluation and transport to a hospital as soon as possible.
- Note that activated charcoal is regarded as ineffective for treating essential oil poisoning (Jepsen and Ryan 2005).
* According to CPR-test.org, this is the correct way to apply a safe recovery position: (2)
- Remove the victim’s glasses and straighten both legs.
- Move the arm nearest you outwards; elbow bent with
- palm uppermost.
- Bring the far arm across the chest, and hold the back of that hand against the cheek.
- With your other hand, grasp the far leg above the knee, and pull it up, keeping the foot on the ground.
- Keeping the casualty’s hand pressed against their cheek, pull on the leg to roll them towards you, onto their side.
- Adjust the upper leg so that the hip and knee are bent at right angles and tilt the head back to keep the airway open.
- Call for an ambulance.
- Check their breathing regularly. If breathing stops, turn the casualty onto their back again and perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- The steps for the recovery position are the same for children as they are for adults.
- For infants, hold the infant on their side with the head tilted down.
Safe Oils For Babies & Children
According to aromatherapist Christina Anthis, author of “The Complete Book of Essential Oils For Mama & Baby,” the following oils are safe for use on your kids:
- Roman or German Chamomile
- Dill Weed
- Sweet Orange
- Blue Tansy
- Carrot Seed
- Cinnamon Leaf
- Fir Needle
- Rose Otto
- Tea Tree
- Lemon Basil
- Sweet Basil
- Black Pepper
- Clary Sage
- Juniper Berry
- Lemon Balm (Melissa)
- Lemon Tea Tree
- Lemon Verbena
- Star Anis
- Laurel Leaf
- Spanish Marjoram