Essential Oil Safety for Kids

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If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I love essential oils. At times I am frustrated with Western Medicine and have been fascinated by other forms of care we can provide to our families, in a preventative setting rather than a reactionary one. Essential Oils have been that for us. I know this is just the tip of the ice berg for me. I love researching, learning, and discovering ways to keep people healthy using what God gave us  and to look at the whole body instead of symptomatically  treating problems. (I’m not knocking all of Western Medicine- it is useful and has been life-saving for many, including me- just not all the time). One of the top things I discuss and talk about with people is safety of oils with kiddos. To be honest- when I started out I thought very little of it, if people use Tylenol on infants- why would these be any more problematic. Well the more digging I did I realized everyone has a different opinion about everything. Isn’t that how it always goes?? One person says safe to use, others say it is ok to use in moderation and someone else says, don’t ever use. Now how in the world am I supposed to know what to do???

So I kept digging, articles, journals, books, research, internet searches, library, etc. I found a lot of really great information, it was just hard to find good quality info on safety related to children. I greatly care about the purity of the oils, that is why I choose Young Living. Here’s where I have personally settled for now. (I am always learning, and my commitment to you is to always be honest with what I am learning and using in life).  I am using the Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Healthy Care Professionals as my go to resource. If you want the condensed list of which oils are considered safe and not safe, click here. While I love thieves, pan away, and many other young living blends- based on this recommendation I am not going to using them on E any more (my kiddo). I will definitely continue using them on us, grown adults; but have chosen to go to other oils as a “safer” source. There a few oils that are considered more unsafe with kids, clove and eucalyptus seem to be on the top of that list. One is due to a constituent called 1,8 cineole which can cause slowing of the respiratory tract in children. This substance can be found in Rosemary and Eucalyptus and many say to avoid these oils until children are 10 years old. While it is up to the market to provide us with great product, it is our responsibility to use them correctly. Clove can also be considered a “hot” oil and is not recommended until 2 years of age.

There are many people who use these oils on their children and have no issues. However, since I am not a doctor  I cannot advise what you should or should not do. Just make sure you do your research and know what you are using a why. E.O.s are very potent and powerful substances that can be so useful; however, we need to do so with care and consideration. With that said there are many oils that I can use on the 6 months and older age range. The list gets even longer around the 2 year mark as well. This list is taken from the Essential Oil Safety Guide. As always make sure you are diluting in proper ratios. This is not meant to be an exhaustive resource, but a guide that you can look further into.

  • Bergamot
  • Black Pepper
  • Blue Tansy
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary Sage
  • Copaiba
  • Coriander
  • Cypress
  • Frankincense
  • German Chamomile
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Juniper Berry
  • Helichrysum
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Mandarin
  • Neroli
  • Palmarosa
  • Patchouli
  • Petitgrain
  • Pines -except Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), or Huon Pine (Dacrydium franklinii)
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Sandalwood
  • Siberian Fir Needle
  • Spearmint
  • Spruces
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Sweet Orange
  • Tangerine
  • Tea Tree
  • Vetiver

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As children grow there livers are able to metabolize more and the list can get longer the older they get.  As Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D, author of Advance Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy said, don’t knock the baby  out with the bath water.” Just because we need to be more cautious or investigate further, does not negate the power and healing properties that these oils have.

If you’d like to do further research on this topic here are a few books, and websites I’d recommend starting with.

– Advance Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy  by Kurt Schnaubelt

– The Chemistry of Essential Oils made simple by Dr. David Stewart

– The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-toxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health  by Valerie Ann Worwood

– Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: Valerie Ann Worwood

– When Modern Medicine Fails Dr. Scott A. Johnson

– Learning about EO One Drop at a Time:

– Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern

– Essential Oil Pocket Reference Guide by LifeScience Publishing


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