Unless you live under a rock (and we know you don’t because you’re reading this online), you’ve probably had a friend or relative tell you to try essential oils for cleaning, illness, sleep, aromatherapy… you name it. True, essential oils can be wonderful for your family, and can enhance and simplify your life. BUT before you get started down the EO path, you have to know how to use them safely, especially around kids.
Although natural, not every essential oil is appropriate for general use, and some are dangerous for kids. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a list of essential oil dos and don’ts as well as a few fabulous ideas to get you started.
Essential Oils and Safety
Before you get started integrating essential oils into your family and home, it’s important to understand that not all herbs and natural products are safe for kids. Essential oils are an extremely concentrated form of the herb or plant they are made from, so need to be used in very small doses – usually diluted with a carrier oil like jojoba, coconut or almond oil.
Additionally, when using essential oils on your kids remember that their bodies will absorb each oil differently and require a smaller amount to reap the desired benefits. Basically, the younger the child, the smaller the dose. Note that certain oils should never be applied directly to the skin and some should not be used at all around children, especially those under the age of 6. And never use essential oils around sensitive areas like the eyes or genitals. Ingesting essential oils is also not recommended, unless you use 1-2 drops of diluted food-grade essential oils, such as peppermint.
Which Oils Are Safest For Kids?
Now that you understand and respect the power of essential oils, let’s talk about the safest essential oils to use for the benefit of your family.
Frankincense Oil: A natural antibacterial, frankincense oil is helpful to keep on hand for wounds and even sinus infections.
Lavender Oil: One of your first purchases should be lavender, as it’s one of the most versatile essential oils. Diffuse it to add a aura of calm to your home or rub it on the backs of your kids at bedtime with your favorite carrier oil.
Citrus Oils: Orange and lemon oils bring a bright freshness, great for lifting spirits and supporting immune function.
Sandalwood Oil: The scent of sandalwood is unmistakable. This essential oil is a helpful anti-inflammatory and may be helpful for sore throats and sleepless nights.
Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is another versatile oil you’ll want to keep in stock. It can be added to your children’s hair to keep school-lice at bay and is a helpful antibacterial for burns, bug bites and skinned knees.
Peppermint Essential Oil: Useful for respiratory support, this oil should always be well diluted and isn’t recommended for children under the age of 3.
Chamomile Oil: As calming as a cup of chamomile tea, this oil can be helpful for encouraging a good night’s sleep as well as colic and ear infections.
Helpful Ways To Use Essential Oils For Kids & Families
DIY All Purpose Cleaner: Mix a few drops of lemon essential oil with water and spray on toys and surfaces to clean and disinfect.
Nighttime Massage Oil: Tuck your kids in with a little night time back rub using lavender oil and a carrier oil in a 1:1 ratio.
Get Gum Out of Hair: Next time your child comes to you with a pink blob of gum in their hair, use a few drops of lemon oil to help get it out without the need for a scissors.
Stinky Shoe Spray: The entryway can quickly become one of the smelliest spaces in your home as the sweaty shoes pile up. Freshen it up by creating a DIY spray using witch hazel, and a blend of lavender, lemon and thyme essential oils.
Homework Helper: Diffuse a bright citrus oil like orange or a calming oil like vetiver or chamomile to help your child focus and finish up their nightly homework.
If you’re looking for a good brand of 100% pure essential oils to start stocking up your medicine cabinet, start with Plant Therapy. They even have specially blended oils just for kids!
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