Using Aromatherapy for Children
Essential oils are are great tools for enhancing health and well-being. However, when using essential oils and aromatherapy for children, you need to be aware of some important cautions concerning using essential oils. Some oils are very good and some are not suitable for using around children. There are also some that are even dangerous.
When used correctly however, essential oils can be of great benefit and will not conflict with a child’s prescription drugs. Always research the oil of choice thoroughly before using it with any child.
Overview – Using Essential Oils and Aromatherapy For Children
There are many, many diverse applications for essential oils for almost every conceivable minor ailment seen in childhood. The key is knowledge. Essential oils can be a wonderful way of supporting your child’s health, happiness and well-being. Essential oils can be very therapeutic and nurturing to both your child and you as the parent or caregiver.
Essential oils can be used externally by applications such as in children’s baths, body lotions, oils, creams, gels, compresses, foot baths, or in a oil warmer. The effects of aromatherapy will generally fall into one of three main categories:
- Assisting in healing from minor illnesses and accidents
- Supporting your child’s overall sense of well-being
- Assisting your child in getting quality rest.
When using essential oils and aromatherapy for children, it is imperative that you find a reputable supplier of therapeutic-grade essential oils. Try to buy organic or wild-crafted varieties whenever you can. Synthetic copies of oils (which are commonly used in perfumes) are not appropriate and can even be harmful to your child’s health.
To maintain their efficacy, essential oils should always be stored in dark amber or cobalt glass containers. Keep them in a dark and cool location, safe from any access by children. Wooden storage boxes from craft stores can make very lovely containers for keeping your E.O. bottles in. And safe from curious, teeny fingers too.
Methods of Using Essential Oils For Kids:
There are two methods of using essential oils with children.
- One method is by Inhalation – which is done through a diffuser, nebulizer, or by adding the EO to a humidifier reservoir.
- The other method is by Topical Application – which is done by diluting the essential oil in a carrier oil and applying directly to the skin.
Adding essential oils to a bath combines the two methods, however I will cover this under topical application.
For topical application, essential oils for kids are diluted in varying strengths depending on the use and age of your child. The concentration can vary from one drop of essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil, to a couple of drops per teaspoon of carrier added to a drawn bath, to an equal ratio of carrier and essential oil applied directly to your child’s feet (as in the case of gentle Lavender).
In other words, there is a huge variation in dilution levels depending on the circumstances. Mamas, do your research and then trust your instinct. Only you and your child baby know exactly what is right for your situation.
EO Dilution Rate:
General dilution rate guidelines of essential oils in one ounce of carrier oil:
Age of Child and amount of Essential Oil per One Ounce Carrier Oil for Topical/Massage Application:
- Newborn: 1-3 drops essential oil / ounce – BUT – Always consult primary care physician before use
- 2 to 6 months: 1-3 drops essential oil per ounce
- 6 to 12 months: 1-4 drops essential oil per ounce
- 1 to 4 years: 5-8 drops essential oil per ounce
- 6 to 7 years: 5-10 drops essential oil per ounce
- 9 to 12 years: 5-12 drops essential oilper ounce
- 12 years to young adult: 10-15 drops essential oil per ounce
Cautions – Essential Oils And Children:
Some quick tips on safety using essential oils with children:
- Never use an essential oil directly (undiluted) on children’s skin, unless you are indicated to do so for a specific condition.
- If your child has very sensitive skin, it is important to test a small area before using a new single oil or blend.
- Keep essential oils away from the eyes.
- When using citrus oils like orange, bergamot, lemon, tangerine, mandarin, and lime – do not use them where the skin will be exposed to sunlight for the next 12 hours. These particular oils are considered ‘phototoxic’, and can react from the sun’s rays. However, they can be used in a bath, where they will be washed off the skin when the bath is completed.
- Essential oils are not to be taken orally (by mouth). When your child is taking medications, then reduce the amount of essential oil by half the amount recommended for their age group.
Which Carrier Oils For Children?
- Sweet Almond oil is generally regarded as the safest and best overall carrier oil for use with babies and children.
- Apricot kernel oil is also considered extremely safe with children over 6.
- Jojoba oil can be added at about 10% concentration for any blend. Jojoba has a soothing effect on skin and is really good for the hair.
Topical EO Application – Nurturing Massage EO Recipes:
There is nothing better for any child than the loving, nurturing touch of a parent. A gentle hug, a smile, a kiss on the cheek all reassure the child and help the parent and child to bond. These everyday forms of connection are instinctual and children thrive from it.
Research shows that massage can help children’s growth both physically and emotionally. In hospitals, studies done with premature baby’s show that touch is an essential aspect of the children’s ability to thrive.
Using aroma-therapeutic nurturing touch massage can be therapeutic to both the child and the parent. Using a light, conscientious touch you can massage your child’s feet, arms, hands, back, abdomen and legs. The massage should always be done with loving intention.
The massage movement is done in the direction that the blood flows. Meaning from ankles to leg and from wrist to shoulder, etc. Here are a few suggested essential oil blends for this wonderful method. Each is added to one (1) ounce of Sweet Almond oil:
- Restful Sleep: 4 drops lavender, 2 drops Roman Chamomile
- Happy Child: 3 drops Rose, 1 drop Neroli
- Calm and Relaxed: 3 drops Petitgrain, 3 drops Neroli
- Emotional Nurturing: 1 drop Rose, 1 drop Vanilla, 2 drops Lavender
For your convenience, here are the above essential oils for sale on Amazon:
Baby Oil Aromatherapy Blends:
To use as either a moisturizer or as a massage oil. Note here that the frequent washing of a baby’s skin actually makes it difficult for them to retain vitamin C. Application of a good quality skin oil will help them to retain adequate supplies of this important nutrient. Here are two good Aromatherapy recipes for this use:
Baby Oil Aromatherapy Recipe 1:
- 1 ounce of organic sweet almond oil or hazelnut oil
- 1 drop of pure Lavender essential oil
- 1 drop of Vanilla essential oil
Baby Oil Aromatherapy Recipe 2:
- 1 ounce of organic sweet almond oil
- 2 drops of pure Lavender essential oil
- 1 drop of pure Chamomile (German) essential oil
The above blends can also be added to the bath. This is method for using aromatherapy for kids that most will love. One teaspoon with the following amount of essential oils added can be added AFTER the bath is filled, per the age of the child: 3-5 years, 2 drops; 6-8 years, 3 drops; 8-11 years, 5 drops. Perhaps the easiest way to do this would be to make a full strength blend (without carrier oil) of your choice, then dilute as needed for the application.
Inhaling Essential Oils:
For inhalation of essential oils, apply one or two drops onto a handkerchief and have the child inhale through the fabric. Or you can add your EO to a water misting bottle or humidifier. Then there is the option of using a diffuser. If you would like some info and to see different diffuser styles, go to this page here: Essential Oils Diffusers
Calming Essential Oils: Lavender is recommended for sleep, place one to four drops under the pillow. Also try Mandarin, Roman Chamomile, Ho Wood, Tangerine, Petitgrain, Vanilla, and Neroli. Use these oils either on their own or create your own blend.A few drops per quart of water either put into a mister and sprayed around a room – or added to a humidifier reservoir works well.
Anti-Anxiety EO blend: Try 5 drops bergamot, 1 drop lavender and 3 drops geranium. Dilute to 10 drops per ½ pint of water for a room spray or use in a humidifier, or dilute to the appropriate level for your child’s age if you are going to use it topically.
Mental Alertness: Try lemon, bergamot, grapefruit or pine, either singly or in a blend that pleases your senses. With Aromatherapy often the best way to blend your essential oils is to trust your sense of smell.
Essential oils can also be used in a candle lamp or warmer – with the oil gently evaporated from the surface of a small bowl of water by the heat of a candle.
NOTE: An electric nebulizing diffuser is generally not recommended for use with children, as the concentration of oils in the air can be too high.
Essential Oils For Antiseptics.
Cuts and scrapes are simply part and parcel of everyday life for kids. A very good E.O. blend for minor wounds is a 1:1 mix of Lavender and Tea Tree oil. The lavender is soothing, anti-inflammatory and contains regenerative ‘ketones’.
Tea tree is known to have very strong antiseptic properties and as such has been used for many thousands of years by the Australians Aborigines. Use this blend in the water that you use for cleaning wounds. You can also apply a few drops to the gauze of a bandage. But, remember not to put it straight onto your child’s skin because it can be irritating. On a bandage, however, it can be very soothing will help to speed up the healing process.
The essential oils I have mentioned here are recognized as generally safe for most individuals. If you or your child are recognized as having a specific illness or are under a doctor’s regular care, then please make sure to consult an appropriate healthcare practitioner before proceeding using essential oils and aromatherapy for children.
Below are some beautiful Aromatherapy Essential Oils sets and gift ideas, available for great prices on Amazon:
Essential Oil- Beginners Best of the Best Aromatherapy Gift Set- (100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils) 14/ 10 ml
Aromatherapy Top 6 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Basic Sampler Essential Oil Gift Set (Lavender Tea Tree Eucalyptus Lemongrass Orange Peppermint)
Ultimate Aromatherapy 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils Set (Essential Oil Gift Pack)- 32/ 10 ml
Celtic Cross Aromatherapy Essential Oil & Diffuser Necklace gift Set Lavender Peppermint Zen Inner Peace
ESSIO Aromatherapy Shower Kit
Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser – Remote Control with 7 LED Lights
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