Our children are precious to us and what better way to take care of them than using the best essential oils for children?
Kids are in more need of care and attention than adults are, given their exposure to germs and their weaker immune systems. Aromatherapy essential oils help fight these germs and promote healing in a gentle, holistic manner.
Essential oils for kids provide relief for ailments big and small in a loving and nurturing way.
In this article, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about using essential oils for kids.
Why Use Essential Oils For Children?
Every parent has been in the terrible position of having to take care of a sick child. Thanks to aromatherapy, you can give your child the primary care s/he needs without any associated side effects.
Most common childhood ailments like colds, coughs, colic, anxiety etc can be easily dealt with using gentle essential oils. Aromatherapy can be viewed as a gentle and proactive way of thinking about the long term health of your child. Unlike conventional medicines that are full of adverse effects, pure essential oils for children offer you a way of dealing with common aches and childhood diseases without any negative effects.
This is why I recommend all parents and child caregivers to build an essential oil kit for kids and keep it on hand at all times. You never know when your child is going to fall sick. One moment they are healthy and playing; the next, they are complaining of a terrible earache or a cough.
With Aromatherapy, you need not depend on a doctor and you will always have a helping hand thanks to these gentle essential oils. You can also use the oils in a variety of ways to provide comfort to your child until you can get her/him to the doctor.
How To Use Essential Oils For Kids?
Essential oils for children must always be used externally. Also, not all oils are safe for children, especially babies. So make sure you only use the oils I have described below. Most essential oils for kids are gentle and safe but they still need to be diluted using carrier oils.
You can use essential oils for kids in numerous ways: dilute them and massage them on your child’s body or diffuse them in the room. You may use any carrier oil for dilution or creams, gels and lotions too.
Here are some other ways to use essential oils for children:
Children, especially babies, need to be touched at least a hundred times a day as doing so helps forge a bond between the parent and the child. They also need to get lots of hours of undisturbed baby sleep. Massage is one of the best ways of using essential oils for toddlers and babies.
As mentioned above, use 2-3 drops of essential oils and mix it up with a teaspoon of carrier oil. (I have listed down the best carrier oils for children later in this guide).
You can also use massage lotions, gels or body creams for diluting the oil. Massage the blend in gentle circular motion all over the child’s back, arms, legs and torso. This will soothe away aches and pains and relax your baby. A massage is especially recommended during fever, colds, flu, anxiety, gastric disturbances etc.
Vaporizer or Diffusers
In a vaporizer, add 2-3 drops of oil to some water and diffuse it in the child’s room.
Many essential oils for babies and toddlers can prevent nightmares and help the sick child sleep soundly. Nothing is more healing than a good night’s rest.
Tissue or Handkerchief
Add pure undiluted essential oil (no more than 2-3 drops) on a tissue or a handkerchief. You can attach the handkerchief to the child’s dress/shirt using a safety pin. Alternatively, place the tissue inside the pillow case on the child’s bed so s/he inhales its healing aroma during sleep.
On Pulse Points
Apply a few drops of diluted essential oils for kids on the pulse points, behind the ears, on the nostrils (in case of a cold), on the neck (in case of cough) and on the temples (for headaches). You can use any carrier oil for dilution described below.
Add a few drops of essential oils to pure water and pour the mixture in a spray bottle. Spritz it all around the room. You can also spritz the mixture on the child’s skin in case of wounds, colds or coughs, but do make sure to avoid the eyes and mouth.
Cool or warm compresses are another beneficial way to use essential oils for healing children. To make a compress, add a few drops of essential oil to warm or cool water. Soak a clean cloth in the water, wring out the excess water and apply it on the child’s body where it is hurting. A cold compress is ideal for bringing down swellings while a warm compress helps with aches, sprains etc.
Children love their baths and what better way to use the essential oils for kids than at bath time. Add no more than 2-3 drops of the oil to warm water in a standard tub and let the child soak in it for 20 minutes. Aromatherapy baths are recommended during fevers, colds and sprains.
Never ever give any essential oil internally to children. If your child has accidentally swallowed some oil, immediately administer a glass of milk to nullify the effects.
Your Child’s Age and the Essential Oil Quantity to Use
How much essential oil you use per teaspoon of carrier oil depends on your child’s age.
Here is a handy table for you to use so you do not overuse the essential oils for children.
Age of the Child
- 2-6 months
- 1-4 years
- 5-10 years
- Above 10 years
- 1-2 drops
- 2-3 drops
- 5-7 drops
- 5-10 drops
- 10-15 drops
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to using essential oils for children. Just use your judgment and start with a lower dose.
Also, always try a patch test first to ensure there is no allergic reaction.
List of Essential Oils Safe For Babies
All of the above plus...
6 months to 1 year
All of the above plus...
1 year to 5 years
All of the above plus...
5 years to 7 years
All of the above plus...
Over 7 years
All of the above plus...
Best Essential Oils For Children For Common Ailments
Here are some of the best essential oils for kids along with the methods of using them as well as the ailments they cure...
Method of use: Massage, vaporization.
Method of use: You can dilute any of the oils and use them as massage oils or diffuse it or spray it in the child’s room.
Method of use: Massage, Vaporization, or on Tissue.
Cuts, Nicks, Scrapes, Burns
Method of use: Compress, Massage, Spritz.
Colds and Coughs
Method of use: Massage, Vaporization, Compress, Tissue.
Method of use: Massage or Compress.
Method of use: Massage, Vaporization, Tissue, Spritz.
Head Lice/Ringworm of Scalp/Dandruff
- Tea Tree
Method of use: massage, spritz.
Method of use: Massage.
Essential Oils For The Mom-To-Be
Safe essential oils for pregnant women- German Chamomile, Neroli, Sandalwood, Rosewood, Lavender, Myrrh and Rose.
Essential oils to avoid during pregnancy: Basil, Calamus, Clary Sage, Fennel, Hyssop, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Tansy, Sage and Tarragon.
Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe For Babies To Breathe?
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding Eucalyptus oil, whether it is safe for children. The many health benefits of this wonder essential oil make us wonder why this is the case. The reason why experts feel Eucalyptus oil is unsafe for babies to breathe in is because of its high 1.8- cineole content.
This compound could lead to respiratory issues such as wheezing in babies. If your baby is suffering from a cold, my suggestion would be to diffuse eucalyptus essential oil in the nursery, while the baby is in a different room.
Then, when you want to put the baby in the nursery, you can move the diffuser to another room. It is safe to use diluted Eucalyptus oil for children 10 years and above.
Never ever use undiluted essential oils on children with the exception of tea tree oil on spots or lavender oil on burns.
When using the oils as bath oils, never add more than 4 drops to the average sized kid’s tub.
If your child has an adverse reaction to any oil or complains about the smell, discontinue use immediately.
When using citrusy oils like Lime, Lemon, Orange, Bergamot, Grapefruit etc, avoid sun exposure.
I will now discuss some easy essential oil recipes for children. You can make a large batch of these recipes to keep in your medicine cabinet for emergencies.
Essential Oil Recipes for Kids
- 2 oz. fresh distilled water/mineral water (boiled and cooled)
- ½ oz vodka
- 5 drops Lavender oil and German Chamomile each
- 10 drops each Tea tree and Thyme oils
In a clean bottle, add the oils and vodka and shake vigorously. Next, add just 1 ounce of water and shake vigorously in between. Store for 48 hours, and then add remaining water. Shake. Store for 24 hours-keep shaking every now and then.
Strain the mixture through unbleached coffee filter paper. Put the solution in a clean spray bottle. Use as needed on cuts, scrapes etc.
Sinus Cool Compress (Not for kids under 6 years of age)
This cool compress relieves inflammation of the sinuses and encourages drainage of mucous.
- 1-2 drops of peppermint or rosemary essential oil
- A cool washcloth (clean flannel cloth immersed in cold water)
Apply the oils on the cool washcloth. Place the compress on the sinuses for no more than 5 minutes. Make sure the temperature of the compress is not too cold.
This will relieve sinus pressure and help the child breathe easily.
Chest Congestion Rub
This recipe is safe for use on kids 6 months and older.
For children between 3-6 months, dilute the lavender oil (1 drop) in 2-3 tsp of coconut oil and rub it gently on the child’s chest.
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp cocoa butter
- 2 tsp beeswax
- 6 drops Lavender oil
- 1-2 drops of Tea tree oil
- 2 drops each Cypress and Cedarwood essential oils
Melt the beeswax, coconut oil and cocoa butter in a double broiler. Add the essential oils and whisk to blend thoroughly. Store the mixture in a tightly sealed container so it can last for up to a year.
To use: take a small quantity, rub it in your palms and apply it in gentle circular motion on the child’s chest.
Earache Relief Remedy
- Any carrier oil such as coconut oil- 1-2 tsp
- 1 drop each Lavender oil, Tea tree oil (do not use for babies less than 1 year) 1 drop basil oil (for babies 2 years and over)
- Cotton balls-1-2 nos
In a glass bowl, mix the carrier oil with the essential oils. (Do not use Tea tree oil for children under 1 year and avoid using Basil oil for kids below 2 years). Mix the oils thoroughly. Soak the mixture with sterile cotton wool.
Place the cotton balls in each ear. Do not press it in-just place it in the outer ear.
To hold the cotton balls in place, let the child wear a headband until the pain subsides. Reactivate clean cotton balls with the oil mixture and replace them as needed.
Hand Sanitizing Spray
- 3 tbsp witch hazel
- 1 tbsp glycerin
- 3 drops each Geranium, Tea tree, and Orange essential oils
- 2 drops Clove oil
- 1 drop Lemongrass oil
Fill a clean glass bottle (preferably having a spray cap) with glycerin. Next, using a dropper, add the essential oils.
Swirl gently to mix the oils and glycerin. Add the witch hazel. Mix thoroughly. Spritz the blend to disinfect your children’s hands.
It is important to nurture your child’s upbringing with natural medicines and foods. The use of drugs and chemical medicines are a thing of the past.
More and more parents are turning to safe, holistic and gentle remedies such as essential oils for children for treating common ailments.
If you haven’t already, it is time you start using essential oils to treat your kids as this will ensure that they enjoy a healthy, happy and active lifestyle!