Essentials oils have wonderful health benefits. Studies show that the smell of oranges alone helps dental patients feel less anxious when they are visiting their dentist. Lavender is known to be a great calming oil that helps soothe and relax the senses. While essential oils are natural and beneficial to our senses and tired bodies, they must be used in moderation and very carefully, when it comes to children. Learning how to use essential oils for children is important as they have more sensitive skin and senses compared to adults.
How to use Essential Oils for Children
Essential oils for children can help relieve anxiety and stress and even help children with disorders like autism and ADD/AD. However, you need to use the right oil, dilute them and use them in the right way when it comes to children.
The Right Age to use Essential Oils for Children
Essential oils are not recommended for babies, especially those under three months. Their immune systems are still developing and their skin is also a lot more sensitive than an adult or older child. The compounds in essential oils can be absorbed by the skin and can prove to be toxic for babies. Two years is the minimum recommended age to use essential oils for children.
The Right Essential Oils for Children
Mandarin orange, Frankincense, Vetiver, Cedar Wood and Lavender are safe essential oils to use on children. You can use almond oil or another carrier oil, to dilute the essential oils when you are using them for massage.
You need to dilute them with water for sprays. You can also use patchouli, lemon, sweet marjoram, clary sage and more. If you are not certain, it is best to consult an aromatherapist for professional advice.
You can also use blends of oils like Lavender, Vetiver, and Cedarwood as a calming massage oil. Blends can also be used for diffusers and sprays.
The Right Way to Use Essential Oils for Children
There are different ways to introduce your children to essential oils, but you have to be safe first. It is not recommended to use it in a bath for children, but you can use it if it is diluted in a water-soluble carrier like raw honey, or glycerin.
Essential oils can also be diluted in a spray and simply spritzed into the air in a room or poured in a diffuser. However, you need to use these in moderation as they can be overwhelming for the senses. You need to limit the amount of time a diffuser is being used in any one room in your home. As a general guideline, adults should not be overexposed to essential oils in the air for more than an hour, with an hour break after. For children, this time should be less, about 20 minutes or so.
Similarly, use caution when spraying the air with your diluted essential oils. Depending on the ventilation in a room, and how hot it is, too much can be overpowering and lead to congestion or nausea. Be cautious, and spray only a little.
Essential oils can also be used to massage but have to be diluted with a carrier oil first. Never spray your child’s clothes or bed linen with essential oils. When massaging with essential oils start with your child’s feet.
Safety Guidelines when using Essential Oils for Children
Never apply to the face and neck area. The skin is too delicate and near mucous membranes. Also read your labels carefully. Is it a 100% natural essential oil or is it perfumed or a blend?
The right dilution is also important. For children under six, dilute one part of essential oil in four parts carrier oil (1:4). For children over six, use equal amounts of essential oil and carrier oil.
Lavender oil is calming, and aids sleep but some children with ADD/ADHD react adversely to Lavender oil. You will need to do a small patch test first. Please remember to consult the pediatrician before starting to use essential oils for children.
Jennifer Rice is a lover of all things living and has dedicated her life to making a difference to all those who cross her path. A passion for mind and body movement has led her into a long and successful career in pilates on a global scale, with clients in Canada, New Zealand, Dubai, LA, Jordan and most recently Spain.