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Aromatherapy for children works very well to manage common childhood complaints but it is most important to proceed very, very cautiously and follow the instructions on the label.
Before you can start using aromatherapy for children, you need to first take the time to learn about which essential oils are safe for kids.
It is equally important to learn the right way to administer these essential oils for children. You must take the time to learn about the right dilution ratios as well as the right delivery methods.
Essential oils are highly concentrated substances that need to be used sparingly even for adults. When using aromatherapy for kids you need even less than the 1 – 2 drops that are typically recommended for adults. Using too much of any essential oil can result in a mild adverse reaction at best. At worst, it can be downright dangerous.
ALWAYS consult with your pediatrician before you start using any essential oils for children.
How Aromatherapy for Children Works
Aromatherapy is the art of using essential oils to balance health and promote overall well-being. Different essential oils provide different benefits. Which one you use for your child will depend on what you are trying to achieve.
When using essential oils for children, the oil is generally diluted in a carrier oil or it may also be blended in a base cream or lotion. To get the benefits of aromatherapy for kids, the blended, diluted oil can be put into a diffuser or it can be massaged directly into the skin.
The essential oil molecules pass through the skin in very small amounts and do their healing work within slowly and gently. It is an excellent way to boost your child’s health, ensure overall wellness and manage common childhood health issues without using too much medication.
Essential Oils for Children – Safety Precautions
Safety precautions rule supreme when using any essential oil for children’s health. Being extra cautious will ensure that your child does suffer from any serious adverse reaction.
Even if you using only those essential oils that are considered safe for use in children, remember, that not all kids react the same way. A particular essential oil may be safe and work very well for most people but your child may be sensitive to it.
Observing these 6 safety rules when using aromatherapy for children will ensure that your child enjoys the benefits of essential oils with minimum risk.
Safety Rule #1 – Learn which essential oils are safe for children
I’ve said it before but cannot stress this enough – not all essential oils are safe for kids, especially younger ones. Some are toxic. Knowing which ones to use and which to avoid is the number one safety rule when it comes to aromatherapy for children.
These essential oils are safe for kids:
- Tea Tree
- St. John’s Wort
- Citrus – orange, tangerine, mandarin and grapefruit
- Rose Otto
- Cinnamon Leaf
Safety Rule #2 – Follow instructions strictly when administering oils
Administering the oils correctly is just as important as choosing the right oils. If the instructions call for diluting and diffusing, make sure you do just that. Do not attempt to administer it by way of topical application or it could cause painful skin irritation or some other reaction.
Same with dilution instructions. If the instruction calls for using a very diluted version of the oil, do not be tempted to use a higher concentration to get quicker results. Aromatherapy for children does not work that way. Using more of the oil is at best a waste of precious oil and at worst, it could be harmful.
Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about using essential oils in your home or directly on your child’s skin.
Safety Rule #3 – Introduce Oils One at a Time
If you plan to start using essential oils on your kids, regardless of the method of administration, make sure you only introduce one oil at a time. And of course, never settle for anything less than the highest quality essential oil.
When your child is very young, you might not yet be aware of the various substances they are sensitive or allergic to. Because of their high concentrations, essential oils can trigger off allergic reactions and if you use more than one type of oil at the same time, you will not know which oils your child is reacting to.
The best and safest way to start using essential oils on your child is to introduce one oil at a time. Observe if they have any reaction to that particular oil. If there is a reaction, stop use immediately.
If there is no reaction, continue with the aromatherapy, using the same dilution, dosage and delivery medium. Observe your child carefully all the time.
If after a while of use, there is no adverse reaction, you can introduce a second oil. Proceed cautiously as before, testing and observing as you go along.
Safety Rule #4 – Less is More
Read any aromatherapy recipes for adults and you will see that almost all recipes recommend using just 1 to 2 drops of a particular oil. This is because these oils are so highly concentrated. In larger doses, they can irritate the skin or cause other painful or even dangerous reactions.
Essential oils, even in their diluted form, can often be much too harsh for children, especially younger toddlers and babies. Using lesser than the recommended amount is much safer than using even a drop extra.
Safety Rule #5 – Observe Closely for Reactions
Even if you stick to using only those essential oils that are recommended for younger kids, it still pays to be super careful and watch for sensitivities or allergies.
You definitely do not want to take any chances with your child’s welfare.
When using essential oils for children, observe your child closely while looking for any signs of discomfort or any physical manifestation such as skin rash.
Safety Rule #6 – When in doubt, best not to use aromatherapy for children
Are you unsure about some aspect of using essential oils for babies?
Is your child prone to allergies?
Does your doctor not know enough about aromatherapy to give you proper advice on using essential oils for children?
Maybe you have never used essential oils in any capacity before and are not familiar with this healing technique.
Whatever the reason, when in doubt, it is best to refrain. Do NOT experiment with your child’s health.
Special Precautions When Using Aromatherapy for Babies
The younger your child, the more careful you need to be. When using aromatherapy for babies, you need to be super careful.
Read and educate yourself before you use any essential oil for babies.
Consult with your pediatrician and/or a qualified aromatherapist.
Be extra careful about which essential oils you use on your baby.
Make sure the oil is properly diluted and that the correct carrier oil is used.
Essential oils that are safe to use on babies include dill, lavender, chamomile and blue yarrow. Make sure with chamomile, you only use German or Roman chamomile, not any other varieties.
A Novel Way to Deliver Essential Oils to Children
I came across an interesting product the other day while exploring different uses of essential oils for children. The product is called MohDoh. This is a kind of playdoh that contains carefully controlled concentrations of essential oils that are blended and incorporated by aromatherapy expert Penny Price.
Kids of all ages love to play with playdoh and can keep shaping and molding their clay for hours together. As your child kneads and molds their MohDoh, they inhale the vaporized essential oils, their skin also slowly absorbs the oil and they get the combined benefits of Aromatherapy, Play Therapy and Color therapy. This has been down to help a wide range of conditions, from tiredness and travel sickness to coughs and colds, insomnia and chest congestion.
What an absolutely wonderful idea!
Best Essential Oils for Different Conditions in Children
You can take all the precautions in the world to keep your children healthy but it will all be in vain. May as well get used to the idea that your kids are going to get sick from time to time.
Your school-going child could catch a cold from his classmate.
Your younger child could get a tummy ache from eating too much cake at her friend’s birthday party.
Colds, coughs, cuts, bruises, tummy aches and earaches are all rites of passage through a child’s growing years.
It’s no fun but it happens. The best you can do is to be prepared. Instead of stocking up on harmful prescription medicines, it is a far better idea to stock keep a few select bottles of essential oils on hand instead.
Take a look at some of the more common conditions that children experience and the essential oils that you can use to treat these conditions:
*Best essential oils for children’s cough & sore throat – Sandalwood
*Best essential oils for children’s allergies – Rose Otto
*Best essential oils for burns, scrapes and bug bites – Tea Tree Oil
*Best essential oils for ear infections in children – St. John’s Wort, Chamomile
*Best essential oils for infections from wounds – Frankincense
*Best essential oils for respiratory disorders in children – Eucalyptus
*Best essential oils to boost immunity in children – Lavender
When using essential oils for kids, I cannot over-stress the importance of correct usage.
This means buying only the highest quality oils, diluting them with the appropriate carrier oil in the recommended ratio and using the recommended administration technique. Read the label on the bottle carefully.
Best Place to Buy Essential Oils for Children
Even better, you can save big on Plant Therapy’s KidSafe essential oils with free shipping and reward points on every order! Click on the image below to know more.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your physician before using essential oils. See Full Disclaimer here.