Many people have been talking about essential oils lately, and all the excitement is for good reason. These oils that come from plants and herbs are alternative natural remedies for various health issues, beauty and even house cleaning purposes. However, since they are highly concentrated and powerful, people need to be cautious when using them. For safe use, essential oils are usually used in diluted form. Also, they should not be over-used. The responsibility to be cautious while using essential oils increases greatly when it comes to our children.
Children are more sensitive to essential oils as their skin is much more permeable. Additionally, their low metabolic rate and weak immune system makes them more prone to getting adversely affected by any product. This is why experts say to avoid using essential oils, even topically, on children under 3 months of age.
Precautionary Measures for Using Essential Oils
For kids older than 3 months, make sure you do the following things before using essential oils for any reason:
- Always dilute them.
- Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children as they can be very dangerous in high doses.
- Do not use any kind of essential oil on or near airways (mouth and nose).
- The safest area to use essential oils on children is the bottom of the feet (where the skin is the thickest).
- If your child is suffering from asthma or any other respiratory disease, do not use diffusers or vaporizers in your house.
- Do not use essential oils internally or in any food or teething recipe. These practices are really not safe for children.
- Always consult a doctor before using any essential oil on your child in any way.
- Be extremely careful while using essential oils for premature babies (never under 3 months old).
Safe Ways to Use Essential Oils for Kids’ Most Common Problems
The following are some of the ways in which essential oils can be safely used for children:
- For Constipation – Mix a drop of Roman Chamomile or Lavender essential oil with a tablespoon of Carrier oil and massage it on your child’s tummy in a circular motion (clockwise).
- For Diaper Rashes – Mix 1 drop of Lavender and Roman Chamomile oil each with a drop of whole milk. Add this to you child’s bath water and swish around well before giving your baby a bath with this water. Careful the water does not get in their eyes!
- For Cough – Add a drop of Lavender oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil. Take a small amount of this mixture and rub it on their chest and back.