Essential Oil use with Babies and Children

I see a great amount of misinformation floating around the web on oil use and children so I want to lay out some basic safety tips for you.  If you are new to oils I cannot stress enough the importance of research.  To be sure you are getting the most accurate information research should be based on information provided by reputable aromatherapy websites or from licensed aromatherapists and doctors (in other words people who have studied the use of essential oils, NOT someone who sells them and has been using them for a month).

Basic safety rules for using Oils with Children

1. Babies and children should NEVER ingest oils.  
Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND licensed physician with a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine says “Essential oils are the distilled volatile aromatic constituents of the plant that are highly concentrated.  Remember that one drop of essential oil is equivalent to 15-40 cups of medicinal tea, or up to 10 teaspoons of tincture.  Would you ever give a child 40 cups of tea or 10 teaspoons of tincture?  My goodness, I hope not.” (Krumbeck, E. 2014, September 8, When to Not use Essential Oils retrieved from
http://naturopathicpediatrics.com/2014/09/08/essential-oil-safety-danger-essential-oils-seizures-children/)
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. (Anthis, C.  2014, August 14. Safe Essential Oils use with Babies and Children retrieved from http://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/essential-oil-safety-babies-children/)

2.  Oils used with babies and children should ALWAYS be diluted. 
Using oils Neat (without a carrier) could possibly cause permanent sensitization. Marge Clark says in her book Essential Oils and Aromatics: A Step-by-Step Guide for Use in Massage and Aromatherapy “One of my mentors reminds me ‘sensitization is forever.’ And I know she is right. Years ago I read the books saying that lavender oils could be used neat (undiluted). I very unwisely used undiluted lavender on broken skin, and consequently set up a sensitivity reaction. Today, almost two decades later if I come in contact with lavender in any form I will immediately start a new round of contact dermatitis that can take months to heal” (Clark, M., Essential Oils and Aromatics, Sandy, UT; Silverleaf press, 2008, 32.)

And remember Babies and Children can’t always express when something hurts them so PLEASE, ALWAYS DILUTE OILS with children and babies!  Also don’t forget to do a patch test on babies and children to make sure your dilution ratio doesn’t cause skin irritations and I always like to test the oils on myself before applying on my child, and recommend to others to do the same, just to be safe.  For a dilution chart click the below link: EO Dilution Chart

3. Introduce oils slowly, One at a time. . .
Just like you introduce new foods to babies one at a time to make sure their little bodies can process them without an adverse reaction, you should introduce essential oils one at a time to make sure their little bodies can process them without an adverse reaction.

4. Always keep oils away from eyes and mucus membranes (nose and mouth).
Just don’t do it.  If essential oils get in eyes flush immediately with milk and then water.  (You can also use milk or a carrier oil to flush essential oils off your hands if you end up with excess essential oil on your hands.)

5. Use extreme Caution when using oils on children with asthma
“Most essential oils will inflame a sensitive respiratory tract. I have heard from some of my naturopathic colleagues who have seen frightening cases of children completely unable to breathe because of essential oil-induced asthma attacks,” says Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND (Krumbeck, E. 2014, September 8, When to Not use Essential Oils retrieved from
http://naturopathicpediatrics.com/2014/09/08/essential-oil-safety-danger-essential-oils-seizures-children/)

Below is a list of age recommendations of some essential oils  for babies and children by two different experts.  This is by no means a complete list of oils and in some cases the two experts disagree on which age oil use is appropriate.  This list is a guideline and if you have questions about a specific oil, you should do some research or consult a qualified aromatherapist for more details. When in doubt don’t use an oil on yourself or your child until you find out more.  And ALWAYS DILUTE!

Age Recommendations from Two Different Experts
Expert Expert Essential Oil Name Latin Name
No. 1 No. 2
6-8+ Years 6+ months Bergamot (Citus bergamia)
2+ Years Basil, Lemon (Ociumum x citriodorum)
2+ Years Basil, Sweet  (Ocimum basilicum)
2+ Years Benzoin (Styrax benzoin, Styrax paralleloneurus)
2+ Years Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
7-12+ months 6+ Years Cardamon (Elettaria cardamomum)
6+ months Carrot Seed (Daucus Carota)
2+ Years Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)
6+ months Cedarwood, Atlas/Virginia (cedus atlanticia, cedrus deodora, Juniperus virginiana)
6+ months Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
6+ months Cinnaman Leaf (Cinnamon zeylanicum)
6+ months Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus)
2+ Years Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
2+ Years Clove Bud/Clove Leaf (Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia aromatica, Eugenia caryophyllata)
2+ Years Copaiba Basalm (Copaifera officinalis)
2-5+ years 6+ months Coriander (coriandrum sativum)
9-11+ Years 6+ months Cypress (cupressus sempervirens)
Newborn and Up 3+ months Dill (anthum graveolens)
9-11+ Years Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
Newborn and Up 10+ Years Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)
6+ months Fir Needle (Abies sibirica)
9-11+ Years 2+ Years Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
2+ Years Garlic  (Allium sativum)
2-6+ months 6+ months Geranium (Pelagorium graveolens)
Newborn and Up 3+ months German chamomile (Matricaria rectutita)
2-5+ years 2+ Years Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
2-5+ years 6+ months Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
2-5+ years 6+ months Helichrysum (helichrysum angustifolium)
6-8+ Years Ho-wood (Cinnamomum camphora, Laurus camphora)
2+ Years Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
2+ Years Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)
Newborn and Up 3+ months Lavender (Lavandula Agustifolia)
2-5+ years 6+ months Lemon (Citrus limonum)
6-8+ Years Lemon Eucalyptus (eucalyptus citriodora)
2+ Years Lemongrass (Andropogon citratus, Andropogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon flexuosus
2+ Years Lime (Cirtus x aurantifolia)
Newborn and Up 6+ months Mandarin (Citris reticulata)
Manuka (Leptospermum Scoparium)
6-8+ Years Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
9-11+ Years 2+ Years Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
6-8+ Years 2+ Years Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
6-8+ Years Myrtle (Myrtus communis)
2-6+ months 6+ months Neroli (citrus aurantium)
7-12+ months 6+ Years Niaouli (melalecua viridiflora)
2+ Years Oregano (Origanum onites, Origanum smyrnaeum, Origanum vulgare, Origanum compactum,
2+ Years Oregano Origanum hirtum, Thymbra capitata, Thymus capitatus, Coridothymus capitatus, Satureeja capitata)
2-5+ years Ormenis flower
Moroccan Chamomile
(ormenis mixta)
2+ Years Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
7-12+ months 6+ months Palma Rosa (cymbopogon martinii)
7-12+ months 6+ months Petitgrain (Citrius aurantium)
6-8+ Years 6+ months Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
2-5+ years 6+ months Ravensara (Ravensara Aromatica)
Newborn and Up 3+ months Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
6+ months Rosalina (Melaleuca ericfolia)
2-6+ months 6+ months Rose otto (Rosa Damascena)
6+ months Sandalwood (Santalum Spicatum)
2+ Years Spearmint (Mentha cardiaca, Mentha spicata)
6-8+ Years Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
6+ months Spruce (Picea abies, Picea Glauca, Picea mariana, Picea rubens)
6-8+ Years 6+ months Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
2+ Years Sweet Marjoram (Marjorana hortensis)
7-12+ months 6+ months Tangerine (Citrus reticulata)
2-6+ months 6+ months Tea tree (Melalecua Alternifolia)
2-5+ years 2+ Years Thyme linalool (Thymus vulgaris, type linalol)
2+ Years Tumeric (Curcuma longa)
2+ Years Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
2+ Years Verbena (Lemon) (Aloysia triphylla, Aloysia citriodora, Lippa citrodora, Lippa triphylla)
2+ Years Vetiver  (Vetiveria zizanioides)
2-5+ years 3+ months Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
9-11+ Years Ylang, ylang (Cananga odorata)

Sources and Recommended Reading:(The above lists are from Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: More Than 300 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Essential Oil Blends by Valerie Ann Worwood , from Safe Essential Oil Use with Babies and Children by Christina Anthis and  Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals-, 2e by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young  PLEASE NOTE THIS LIST DOES NOT COVER ALL ESSENTIAL OILS IF YOU ARE UNSURE IF IT IS SAFE TO USE AN ESSENTIAL OIL ON YOUR CHILD OR BABY CONSULT A CERTIFIED OR REGISTERED AROMATHERAPIST OR JUST DONT USE IT)

Safe Essential Oil Use with Babies and Children by Christina Anthis

When Not to use Essential Oils by Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND

Essential Oils and Aromatics: A Step-by-Step Guide for Use in Massage and Aromatherapy by Marge Clark

Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: More Than 300 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Essential Oil Blends by Valerie Ann Worwood

Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals-, 2e by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young

http://roberttisserand.com/

If you’re interested in purchasing Essential Oils click below: Organic Essential Oils

I am NOT a doctor or medical professional. If you are seeking medical advice please do so from a qualified professional. Products and               Information on this site are not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any disease or ailment.

FTC disclosure: I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendations/testimonial or link to retail products on my website to support my blogging habit. I will never link to a retail site I do not myself use and recommend.


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Basic Essential Oil Safety

I love Essential Oils!  And I am a huge stickler when it comes to using them safely! I see so many people using oils irresponsibly because they are uneducated about how and why we use them certain ways.  This is not entirely their fault, some people get sucked into to buying them from someone who is great at sales and just doesn’t know much about the oils themselves. I decided that to help combat this problem that I am going to write a summer series about essential oil safety to help anyone new to essential oils be sure they they are using them properly!  I am starting with 12 basic rules and each week this summer I will go into more detail about different proponents of Essential Oil Safety!  Please follow along and if you would like more details about any of the information I provide I will be happy to help out!

Essential Oils General Safety

  1. Keep out of reach of pets, children, (and anyone else who doesn’t know what they are)
  2. Always Dilute All Essential Oils, ESPECIALLY if using oils for Babies or Children or the Elderly. You can find many dilution charts recommended by experts in the field of Essential Oils.  Here is one from  Kurt Schnaubelt PhD, Valerie Worwood, Robert Tisserand and courtesy of Heritage Essential Oils:EO Dilution Chart (www.heritageessentialoils.com)
  3. Keep Oils Away from Eyes and Mucus Membranes
  4. Keep Oils away from Sun and Heat (Essential Oils are highly flammable substance and should be kept away from direct contact with flames, such as candles, fire, matches, cigarettes and gas cookers *)
  5. Avoid Prolonged Use of the same oil.
  6. Do not use any type of photosensitive oils 24 hours prior to sun exposure
  7. Do not use undiluted oils directly on skin. Use a Carrier Oil for Dilution and perform a skin patch test when using a new oil typically for the first time.
  8. If you are pregnant, have sensitive skin, epilepsy, heart or kidney problems or any other serious medical condition consult with the appropriate medical professional before using essential oils
  9. Never ingest Essential Oils without consulting with an Aromatherapist or other qualified practitioner
  10. Remember Less is More when it comes to essential oils.
  11. If swallowed immediately contact poison control and do not try to induce vomiting.
  12. If essential oils get in eyes flush immediately with milk and then water.  You can also use milk or a carrier oil to flush essential oils off your hands if you end up with excess essential oil on your hands.

*Battaglia, S. (2002) The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. Australia: International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy

If you’re interested in purchasing Essential Oils  to: Organic Essential Oils

FTC disclosure: I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendation/testimonial and or link to retail products in this article to support my blogging habit. I will never link to a retail provider I have not used. I will only link to providers I would personally recommend.

A Journey in Making Your Own Household Products- Bug Spray

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I live in the great state of Texas where we have mosquitos the size of golfballs. When I first had my son I decided fairly quickly that I didn’t want to use anymore chemical crap on him than absolutely necessary so I looked into making my own bug spray. I looked over some recipes online and decided to try this one from Jenae at Icanteachmychild.com  http://www.icanteachmychild.com/make-it-natural-mosquito-spray/  I altered it a little and this is the formula I came up with:

BUG SPRAY

a bottle of Witch Hazel
12-15 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
12-15 drops Citronella Essential Oil
12-15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
15-20 drops of Lavender Essential Oil (or a few more to make the smell tolerable)

I recommend using gloves when handling essential oils to avoid getting any excess oils on your hands (I promise you do not want to walk around for the day smelling like citronella).  Mix the ingredients listed above in a glass container and pour the mixture into a METAL or GLASS spray bottle(s). Essential Oils can eat through plastic over time so I alwaysrecommend using metal or glass.

CAUTION:  This formula is Not recommended for use in babies under 6 months old!  There is little research of essential oil use on babies and children so it is best to use your own judgement and do your own research to decide if you feel comfortable using essential oils on yourself or your child.  Lavender, Tea Tree and Citronella Essential Oils are generally regarded as safe for babies 6 months and older. Lemongrass is generally regarded as safe for children 2 and up.  I always recommend to test the product on an adult first (um, that would be you) before use on a child. I also recommend to do a patch test of the product on any new users by testing the product on a small area of skin before slathering it on your whole body, you know, just in case.

General Safety:

  • Keep out of reach of children and pets
  • If swallowed immediately contact poison control and do not try to induce vomiting.
  • If product gets in eyes flush with milk than water
  • Keep away from heat 
  • Do not leave in direct sunlight

For more safety tips go to https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/safety/#general

Find Essential Oils at:

Mountain Rose Herbs

Disclaimer: All information on this blog is for educational and informational purposes only.  The statements/products on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA or any other organization.  Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any diseases.  Readers are advised to do their own research and make their own decisions and refer to their own healthcare provider regarding anything health related.

 

FTC disclosure:  I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement/recommendation/testimonial and or link to retail products in this article to support my blogging habit.  I will never link to a retail provider I have not used.  I will only link to providers I would personally recommend