Essential Oil Safety for Kids and Babies

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts, and they need to be used with caution.  It often takes several pounds of plant material or flowers in order to create a single ounce of essential oil.  It takes 16 pounds of fresh peppermint leaves to create an ounce of essential oil.  In most cases, essential oils should not be used undiluted on the skin. 

Due to the small molecular size of essential oils, they can penetrate the skin easily and enter the bloodstream.  As a general rule, essential oils used on adults should be diluted in a carrier oil (some of our favorites are coconut oil, sweet almond oil and sunflower oil) in a 3-5% solution.  Dilution levels should be much lower for those with sensitive skin, especially kids and babies.

Essential Oil Safety for Kids and babies

Undiluted use on the skin can cause irritation or an allergic reaction in some people, and some of the compounds found in essential oils can cause breathing issues in young children.  When using essential oils for your family, it is important to do your own research.  Look for articles that have been published by certified aromatherapists or physicians, and don’t rely on information from a sales person.  Your family’s safety comes first. Robert Tisserand & Robert Young wrote a fantastic book on Essential Oil Safety – and here’s a short excerpt of their recommendations for some of the more common essential oils and the ages they can be safely used on**.  Some oils should be avoided on the skin (topical use), some oils should be avoided even in a diffuser.

Common Essential Oils to avoid in kids and babies

  • Anise/Aniseed  - avoid using (all routes) on children under 5
  • Basil (lemon)  - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Benzoin- avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Birch (sweet)  - avoid using (all routes) on children
  • Cardamom- avoid using (all routes) on children under 6
  • Cassia  - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Clove Bud, Clove Leaf, Clove Stem- avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Eucalyptus  - avoid using (all routes) on children under 10
  • Fennel (bitter and sweet) - avoid using (all routes) on children under 5
  •  Hyssop - avoid using (all routes) on children under 2
  • Lemongrass- avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Melissa/Lemon Balm- avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Oregano - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Peppermint- avoid using (all routes) on children under 6
  • Peru Balsam  - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Rosemary  - avoid using (all routes) on children under 6
  • Sage (White)  - avoid using (all routes) on children under 6
  • Sage (Wild Mountain)  - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Verbena (Lemon)  - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Wintergreen – avoid (all routes) on children due to methyl salicylate content
  • Ylang-Ylang- avoid topical use on children under 2

So what Essential oils are safe for your beautiful bouncing babes?

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Bergamot, Blue Tansy, Cedarwood, Chamomile (German and Roman), Clary Sage, Coriander, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Patchouli, Pines -except Ponderosa Pine or Huon Pine, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Spruces, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, Tea Tree, and Vetiver

 

We don't want to scare you away from using Essential Oils with your family - but we do want you to be safe and use caution.  Here's to your family's health!  

XO - Moody Sister Jess

 

** You can read a longer list with the scientific plant names here:  http://www.learningabouteos.com/index.php/2014/02/07/essential-oils-and-children/