We use essential oils in our home every day. Our kids get in on the fun and they even have their own favorite blends!
It’s important to remember that essential oils are quite potent and children are more sensitive to some essential oil components than adults. We’ve put together a few notes to help guide you in safely using essential oils with children.
Tip #1: Oils to Avoid around Young Children
When enjoying essential oils with the entire family, there are a few essential oils that should never be used around infants and very small children. Avoid diffusing these oils around children and do not use them topically or internally for young ones.
- Blue Tansy
- Clary Sage
- Idaho Tansy
This is not an exhaustive list, but a starting point of oils you should strongly investigate before introducing to your children.
Tip #2: Dilution is Key
For topical essential oils, dilution recommendations are always listed on the label. Using oils with children will require additional dilution with quality carrier oils.
Here are some guidelines that may help:
- For babies (age 0 – 1), increase the recommended carrier oil by 8 times. So if the dilution on the label calls for 1 drop to be diluted in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil then for babies you would dilute 1 drop of essential oil in 8 teaspoons of carrier oil. If there is no dilution ratio on the label, then dilute 1 drop of essential oil with at least 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.
- For toddlers and young children (age 2 – 6), increase the recommended carrier oil by 4 times. For example, if the recommended labeled dilution is 1 drop of essential oil per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil, then you would dilute 1 drop of essential oil in 4 teaspoons of carrier oil. If no dilution is listed on the label, then dilute 1 drop of essential oil with 1 1/2 teaspoons of carrier oil.
- For elementary children (ages 7 – 11), increase the recommended carrier oil by 2 times. For example, if the label recommends diluting 1 drop of essential oil with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil, then increase the carrier oil to 2 teaspoons per 1 drop of essential oil. If no dilution is listed on the label, then dilute 1 drop of essential oil with at least 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.
Tips #3: Test for Sensitivities
All people react differently to essential oils. But, I do have to admit that when I get a new oil, I just jump right in there and use it on myself without testing for sensitivity. I DO NOT do that with my kids though! Test new oils on children by applying properly diluted essential oils to the arm or leg and watching closely for a reaction. When in doubt, wait until your child is older to introduce essential oils topically.
Tip #4: Diffuse Less Oils
We love our diffuser and use it all the time. However, children are definitely more sensitive to essential oils than adults. So, we diffuse less drops of essential oils in our common areas and save our stronger blends for the adult bedroom and/or bathroom.
Tip #5: Safe Use of Essential Oil Recipes
Most of our recipes on RecipeswithEssentialOils.com are written exclusively for adult use and we want to be sure to use caution with children in the home. For instance, you might love our sore muscle bath soak, but you’ll want to make sure to keep essential oils out of your child’s bath. If they splash and get essential oils in their eyes, it definitely won’t be a peaceful bath!
As always, follow proper safe storage guidelines to always keep essential oils out of the reach of children.
Check out our Essential Oil recipes written with children in mind:
- Bedtime Blends for Kids
- Good Night Bedtime Spray
- Hair Detangler Spray
- Soothing After Sun Spray (although be careful on the peppermint for babies)
- Summer Camp Survival Kit