Nature has provided us with a plethora of essential oils through different kinds of herbs, shrubs, flowers, and fruits. These oils have a number of characteristics. While some are antiviral and anti-fungal in nature, some others are soothing for the nervous system. Some other oils are helpful in fighting bloating, indigestion and colic pain in children. Nevertheless, like medicines these oils too have dosages. Any excess of inhalation or consumption may create problems. So it is better to have some knowledge about the ways to use essential oils for kids.
11 Precautions Before Using Essential Oils for Kids
Not for babies less than 6 months of age
Babies below the age of 6 months have an underdeveloped immune system. If you apply essential oils on them, it may so happen that the oil may not suit their system. The baby can get an allergic response from the oil. In that case, it may have a serious problem due to the underdeveloped immune system. Moreover, they have thinner skin. So some essential oils can cause itching and rashes on their skin.
Read more: Foods that Boost Immunity in Children
No topical use within the age of 2 years
Topical use entails using essential oils on burns, cuts, rashes, scratches etc. So using some of these oils on the skin of your baby may result in rashes, burns, itches etc. However, you may need to use them if it is a severe insect bite like a bug bite or a bee sting. You can diffuse essential oils for some specific problems, but that too only for short spells of time.
Read more: 11 Tips for Taking Care of Your Kids Skin
Topical use only with low dilution after 2 years
If your child is over 2 years of age, you can apply some essential oils topically. This is needed to heal cuts, burns, scraps etc. But you need not be over-enthusiastic and apply concentrated essential oils. It is better to dilute the oil to some degree and then apply them on the cuts and burns.
Don’t use some essential oils in kids less than 5 years
Some herbs like aniseed, anise etc may be harmful to your child if it is below 5 years of age. So don’t use them on your child if it is below 5 years of age even if the remedy calls for the application of these essential oils.
Avoid these essential oils if your child is below 2 years
Herbs like basil, benzoin, black seed, cassia, clove, ginger lily, garlic, lemon leaf, lemongrass, massoia, lemon balm, myrtle, oakmoss, opopanax, peru balsam, sage, savory, styrax, black tea, tea tree, tree moss, tuberose, turpentine, verbena, Ylang-Ylang etc have strong properties. Using them on children below 2 years of age may be counterproductive. So, don’t use them on your child if it is less than 2 years of age.
Essential oils to avoid on children below 10 years
Don’t think that your grown-up kid will be able to tolerate all kind of essential oil. A 10-year-old child may be a grown-up baby, but it too may have a problem with oils like eucalyptus, rosemary, wintergreen etc.
Essential oils which are safe for children
There are some essential oils which you can use safely on your kid. If you know their name it will help you to separate the safe ones from the unsafe ones and use essential oils on your baby wisely. Essential oils from herbs like bergamot, cedarwood, black pepper, clary sage, coriander, cypress, German chamomile, ginger etc. are safe for your child.
Essential oils cause adverse reactions to the sun for children
Some essential oils which when exposed to the sun can cause phototoxic reaction in kids. Reactions are of severe nature and sometimes irreversible. Mandarin and Tangarine are non-phototoxic in nature.
Not all herbal oils are safe for kids
When you think of herbal oil it should not be used for all kids. In terms of essential oils, you are not dealing with an entire plant, but a small extract of a plant. The buffering constituents has not rolled over and side effects could emerge.
For essential oils dilution ratios are important
The key aspect when it boils down of safe usage of essential oils in kids is dilution ratios. Though it is not suitable for kids below a certain age bracket, but based on dilution ratio it could be used.
Understand that children are bound to react differently to essential oils than adults.
The bodies of kids are smaller and in comparison to an adult they are not going to need the same amount of oil. In hindsight they are sensitive to therapeutic effects that oils process, so a small quantity is more than enough.
The following methods are the best ways to use essential oils for kids. The results could be pretty amazing as well. This precautionary guide will help you understand how best to use essential oils for kids.