Heard about the wonderful world of essential oils and wondering if you can use essential oils for kids? In this post, I’m going to discuss some of the do’s and do not’s for essential oils for kids and reveal what are some of the best essential oils for children to help you get through day to day life a little easier!
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oil is a special type of oil that is extracted from a flower, herb or any other plant source through the process of distillation. Also known as volatile oils, aetherolea, or ethereal oils, these essential oils contain the “essence” of their source, which is a blend of different unique and natural compounds. The essence of each source, when extracted into an oil, often announces itself in the unique scent and flavor that is typical of the source.
Although unique, these scents and flavors are sometimes artificially created and bottled into synthetic oils. It is important to note this when looking to purchase essential oils as synthetic products can be dangerous when used and are not considered true essential oils.
⇒ Check out my post on the Best Essential Oils Brands HERE
When extracted from its source, essential oils contain a high level of potency and cannot be used directly. Instead, they are combined with carrier oils like vegetable oil, coconut oil, or olive oil in order to make a usable product. The practice of using essential oils for health purposes is known as aromatherapy. In aromatherapy, essential oils are either diluted and then massaged onto the skin, or they are sprayed into the air using diffusers and are then inhaled. Essential oils can be toxic when swallowed.
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Benefits of Essential Oils for Children
The use of essential oils for children is becoming more popular among parents who want more natural ways to help their kids in times of physical distress. Essential oils have been shown to give many benefits to children.
Some of those benefits include:
Promotes Healthy Digestion
Digestive system issues are pretty common among kids as they are still in their developmental stages and are still vulnerable. Some essential oils like ginger, peppermint, or lavender are commonly used to help relieve nausea and improve the health of the digestive system.
Strengthens Immune System
We all know that children are very susceptible to diseases, especially in school where they are surrounded by lots of other kids who have and spread communicable diseases. Burglars, an essential oil blend made up of cloves, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils, is great for bolstering up children’s immune systems in the face of a cold epidemic at school.
Disinfects Cuts and Bruises
Every healthy and active child is going to run, jump, and climb as much as they possibly can and through a lot of different places. This means that the chances they will have a scraped knee or elbow are very high. Instead of using commercially made disinfectants, oils like lavender or melaleuca (tea tree oil) can be used to clean those bruises and protect them from infection.
Keeps Skin Healthy
Children often deal with different types of skin irritation, and they are often beset by instances of eczema, poison ivy, rashes, and other forms of irritation.
Improves Ear Health
Otitis is an infection of the middle ear, and it can occur when viruses or bacteria cause inflammation behind the eardrum. Children are more commonly affected by otitis and it can be a very painful experience as ear infections can prove difficult to treat.
Many children, especially little boys, are affected by the common mental condition known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Children affected by ADHD often find it difficult to pay attention, sit still, or control their impulses.
While it is commonplace for medication to be administered to such children, essential oils like vetiver, ylang-ylang, and Roman chamomile have been proven to help calm excited children, provide them with focus, and help them better manage their own behavior.
Relieves Anxiety and Depression
When faced with difficult and possibly traumatizing situations such as a move to another country or the death of a family member, it is possible for children to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder like anxiety or depression.
Using essential oils to treat these issues is much better than using medication, and oils like lavender, mandarin, frankincense, and patchouli are great for soothing anxious children and dialing down their nervous systems.
Children require 8 to 10 hours of sleep every day in order to stay healthy, active, and have normal brain function. Kids dealing with sleep issues like insomnia can find it difficult to cope with everyday life and may end up falling ill.
Best Essential Oils for Kids
There are a lot of essential oils that can be used to solve various childcare problems. Here are some of the best oils for use in common situations:
Essential Oils for Toddler Sleep
The following essential oils are great for helping toddlers get to sleep:
There is no other essential oil as famous for promoting sleepy time as lavender. It works wonders when dispersed through a diffuser, diluted and applied to the feet or spine, or simply by being spritzed into clothes and linen.
The smell of Roman chamomile is sweet, and it reminds little ones of the sunlight they will see when they open their eyes in the morning. To get those little eyes closed, dilute and apply some of this essential oil to the toddler’s chest or solar plexus area.
This is a super blend of essential oils made from Ho wood leaf, spruce leaf, blue tansy flower, frankincense resin, osmanthus flower, and blue chamomile flower essential oils all mixed in a base of fractionated coconut oil. When administered to children who have high levels of energy and find it difficult to sleep, this magical blend relaxes their bodies and sends them quickly to sleep.
Essential Oils for Kids Cough
If your child is down with a cough or sore throat, these essential oils for kids coughs will be very helpful:
Eucalyptus oil is very common, although few know of it. It is often found in over-the-counter vapor and chest rubs which are used to treat coughs. Eucalyptus oil has an antimicrobial effect, and using it can help children fight off bacteria that trigger illnesses. To use, dilute some eucalyptus oil in a carrier oil and massage it onto your child’s chest and throat, or add a few drops into steaming hot water and get your child to inhale the steam.
Oregano oil is very heavily laden with carvacrol, a strong antimicrobial agent that helps guard against different types of germs. It is often used in the treatment of viral and bacterial coughs among children.
Calming Essential Oils for Kids
If your children are often hyperactive, excitable or anxious, these essential oils can help resolve that:
White Spruce Oil is said to impact the brain and the heart like a natural antidepressant by encouraging the body’s nervous systems to release feel-good chemicals like dopamine and noradrenaline.
Happy Mood = Happy Calm Kids
The scent of cypress oil is fresh and anxiety relieving, and it has spasmolytic properties which can help decongest and calm the respiratory system. Its effect is often sedative, as it peels away the excitement and nervous feelings in children.
Essential Oils That Should Never Be Used Around or On Children
Due to the extra frailty of children’s bodies and systems, it is necessary to always dilute essential oils appropriately before administering them to our kids. However, some essential oils are too hazardous to children at certain ages and must be kept away from them until they reach and cross particular age markers.
For babies younger than 12 months old, the following essential oils should be avoided:
- Carrot seed
- Fir needle
- Tea tree
⇒ Looking for essential oils for babies? Check out my full article HERE
For toddlers younger than two years old, it is best to avoid the following essential oils:
- Clary sage
- Ginger Lily
- Juniper berry
- Black pepper
- May Chang
For kids younger than six years old, stay away from these essential oils:
Essential oils are some of nature’s greatest healers and can be invaluable in helping children manage with the stress of growing up. While parents may feel encouraged to try them out, it is important to remind them to choose their oils carefully and to always dilute essential oils appropriately before applying them to their children’s skin. For safety reasons, essential oils should be applied in rooms with adequate ventilation.
Remember that not all essential oils are appropriate for children based on their current ages, and children under six months old should not be exposed to essential oils. Finally, under no circumstance should your child ever swallow essential oils.
Some Great Essential Oil Products For Kids: