Essential Oil Safety for Babies and Children

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ALL essential oils should be diluted for use with babies and children. Dilute with a carrier oil such as sweet almond or coconut. A “carrier oil” is a type of base oil to slightly dilute the essential oil and protect the skin against direct contact with the essential oil.  Adding essential oils straight to bath water runs the risk of causing irritation to the skin not to mention accidental ingestion or contact with the eyes. Do not use essential oils in teething recipes. There are many applications for essential oils with babies and children, but they should be kept away from a child’s face. Essential oils should not be used in or around the nose in children.

Slowly introduce one essential oil at a time

When introducing essential oils to babies, it is important to introduce the oils one at a time and sparingly, to watch your baby for any sort of reaction and to allow your baby’s body to slowly become introduced to that essential oil. Do not introduce more than one essential oil in one day. If your baby is going to have a reaction to an essential oil they will likely show signs of a reaction in the first 15-30 minutes after inhalation or direct skin application.

What age is safe to use what oils?

It is not advised to use essential oils on babies less than 3 months of age because their skin is not mature yet and therefore more permeable and sensitive to essential oils. Unlike adults, newborns are also not as capable of dealing with adverse reactions to essential oils. Use more caution with premature babies, avoiding all essential oil use until they reach at least 3 months after their due date.

Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on babies 3+ months

The maximum recommended amount of essential oils used on babies 3+ months topically, should not exceed .2% of the recipe, or 1-2 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

  • Lavender

Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on babies 6+ months

The maximum recommended amount of essential oils used on babies 6+ months topically, should not exceed .5% of the recipe, or 3-5 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

  • Sweet Orange
  • Tea Tree

Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on children 2+ years

The maximum recommended amount of essential oils used on children 2+ years topically, should not exceed 2% of the recipe, or 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

  • Clove Bud
  • Frankincense
  • Lemongrass

Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on children 6+ years

The maximum recommended amount of essential oils used on children 6+ years topically, should not exceed 3% of the recipe, or 30 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

  • Peppermint

Essential oils safe for topical use/diffusion on children 10+ years

By this age, most of the essential oils are safe for topical use or diffusion for children, though you should always be sure to slowly introduce each oil individually to be sure that there are no adverse reactions or allergies.

Peppermint is safe to use at 6+ years but eucalyptus essential oil should be avoided until 10+ years of age. It’s important to note that the brand of essential oil you choose to use does not change this recommendation.

  • Eucalyptus

NAHA Safety Note for Peppermint Essential Oil:

– Avoid use on children under 30 months of age. The nasal mucosa is an autonomic reflexogen organ, which has a distance action to the heart, lungs and circulation and may lead to sudden apnoea and glottal constriction.- Direct application of peppermint oil to the nasal area or chest to infants should be avoided because of the risk of apnea, laryngeal and bronchial spasms, acute respiratory distress with cyanosis and respiratory arrest. Do not apply undiluted peppermint essential oils to the feet, particularly on infants and children under the age of 12.

– Inhalation of larges doses of menthol may lead to dizziness, confusion, muscle weakness, nausea and double vision.

If your child accidentally ingests some essential oils, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Call your general practitioner unless signs of poisoning are present, then you should immediately bring your child and the bottle that was consumed, to the nearest emergency room.

Common Baby Issues and Solutions: 

Calming: Dilute Lavender and apply to the feet and on your chest if you are holding them to promote relaxation. You can wipe extra on their blanket/clothes. Diffusing with a diffuser is also very helpful.

Digestive support : Dilute 1 drop each of Lavender and Sweet Orange in 2 Tablespoons of carrier oil and rub baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction for at least 30 seconds for digestive support. Apply every 15-30 minutes until their tummy is settled.

 Minor cuts and scrapes: Frankincense promotes a healthy inflammatory response so its a great choice as a child learns to scoot, crawl and walk.

Teething: Use diluted Lavender along the jawline as often as every 15-30 minutes to soothe.

Ears: Dilute Lavender and Tea Tree and apply around the ear (never put oils IN the ear) frequently, massaging down towards the lymph nodes to encourage healthy drainage.

Respiratory support: Dilute Tea Tree and Lemongrass and apply to the chest, back and feet several times an hour. A combination of Frankincense and Lavender can also be used for stubborn respiratory issues.

 Diaper Time: Dilute 1 drop of each of Lavender and Tea Tree in coconut oil or sweet almond to soothe the skin. Apply each time you change their diaper. You can use a glass spray bottle for this. Use damp, soft paper towels to wipe or better than that – make your own.

Healthy Homemade Baby Wipes

What You Need: 1 roll premium paper towels 2 cups warm water 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil 3 drops Lavender essential oil 3 drops Tea Tree essential oil An airtight storage container/empty wipe container/wet bag * Use cloth for reusable wipes.

Directions:

Cut paper towel roll in half with a serrated or electric knife. Use half the roll now, and half later. Combine water, Coconut Oil, and essential oils in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the paper towels and then cover with the airtight lid letting the mixture absorb for 10 minutes. Turn the container over and let sit for another 10 minutes. Remove and discard the cardboard middle. Just pull the wipes from the center when you are ready to use. Store in container of your choice. Tip: For on-the-go wipes, insert 15-20 wipes into travel size wipe container. 

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