Last week we covered the often controversial topic of essential oil use during pregnancy – which oils are safe, which are not, and when and how to use them. This week, we thought we’d follow up with another topic that is somewhat debated – essential oil uses for kids. As with pregnancy and nursing, some oils are great for use with kids, while others should stay safely away from little ones. This blog should help clear things up a little bit.
When it comes to essential oil uses for kids, the most important thing to remember is that kids respond differently to oils than adults, and thus the usage of them should differ also. Kids’ bodies are smaller, and so obviously they need less to reach the same levels of effectiveness compared to adults. Additionally, they’ve naturally been exposed to less in their lives, and so have not built up the same ability to handle new things compared to adults.
The key factor for safety is the dilution ratio – don’t ever use essential oils without diluting them first! The safest ratio for children under 6 years old is a .25% dilution and for children over 6 years old, the typical ratio is a 1% dilution. Often a very small amount is needed to do the job.
Which oils should be avoided? Anise/aniseed, basil (Lemon), sweet birch, black seed, cardamom, clove, fennel, garlic, hyssop, lemongrass, lemon balm, myrtle, niaouli, peppermint, rosemary, sage, savory and wintergreen are all essential oils that you should avoid using on or around children.
Which oils are safe? Here is a great infographic from our friends at Growing Up Herbal – it lists 10 of the most popular essential oils that are safe for children, and how and when to use them!
As with any essential oil, if you have concerns, check with your family physician before use.
Want to learn more about the many benefits and uses of essential oils? Please visit www.thursdayplantationcanada.ca.