Essential oils are becoming more and more popular. And many people are attracted to the idea of using something natural for their families – including their children.

But with all the (sometimes conflicting) advice around, how do you know what is safe to use on your precious little ones?

Here are my top tips for using essential oils effectively and safely:

  1. Remember that essential oils are highly concentrated. A single drop can represent a very large amount of plant material. So always use sparingly. Less is more!
  2. Not all essential oils are suitable for children. Many essential oils are too strong and can cause adverse effects. Safer choices include lavender, chamomile roman, sweet orange and mandarin.
  3. Selecting the right oil is only half the equation. The way you use the oil and how much is equally important. Make sure to educate yourself on safe practices before using essential oils.
  4. Always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil or lotion before applying to the skin. Essential oils can cause skin irritation or even long term sensitisation if applied neat (undiluted). This is especially important for children as their skin is so much more delicate.
  5. Essential oils are not soluble in water, so adding them to water does not dilute them. To use them in a bath, mix with a carrier oil, cream or lotion or an unscented castile soap before adding to the bath to help them disperse. And never add essential oils to drinking water.
  6. If using a diffuser, vaporiser or oil burner, remember that children have a more sensitive sense of smell than adults, so limit both the amount of essential oil you use and the amount of time the diffuser etc is on. Take breaks during the day and switch off overnight.
  7. Adjust recipes for children. Most recommendations, recipes etc are designed for adults. Always reduce the amount recommended for children by at least half (or even more for toddlers.)
  8. If in doubt always seek advice from a professional accredited aromatherapist. Especially if you are unsure about the right essential oil or method of use, if you have a health condition, are taking medication, or undergoing any treatment.

Do you use essential oils in your house? Please share your comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.
  • I use essential oils everyday, including in my drinking water. I have just finished a hot water with a couple of drops of lemon EO. There are oils that shouldn’t be taken orally but many that can. I often out a drop of peppermint oil on my tongue. Are you saying this shouldn’t be done?

    • Essential oils shouldn’t be taken orally unless you are trained in aromatic medicine or under the care of a practitioner who is. Essential oils do not dissolve in water so ading them to drinking water still means you are effectively eating neat essential oil, which can damage the delicate linings of the mouth and throat. Putting neat essential oil on your tongue or the roof of your mouth is also not recommended. Symptoms may appear immediately or can accumulate over time if the practice is continual. Bear in mind that citrus essential oils contain large amounts of chemical components called terpenes, which are great degreasers – hence why they are used in Citrus cleaning products. Not something I would be using neat in my body! Please take care.

      • Thanks Wendy. The two big distributors of EOs promote internal use, including via making your own capsules. It’s so confusing with all the conflicting information out there. Understand that the distributors aren’t accredited aromatherapists. Appreciate your professional advice.


  • I love lavender oil for stress :)

    • Lavender is great for relaxing if you are stressed – a real classic!


  • Excellent information. It would be nice to see a list of essential oils and what they are commonly used for.

    • Thanks for reading – glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for your suggestion also – I will keep it in mind for a future article.


  • And you need to be extra careful when pregnant.


  • Thanks, for the tips as I’m looking forward to making bath bombs with natural oils.

    • You are very welcome – thanks for reading! :)


  • Thanks for the tips ..your article was an interesting read.
    Would love a list of oils and their uses. Maybe you could provide a further article down the track. :-)

    • So glad you enjoyed reading. :) I hope to do more articles and will keep your suggestion in mind – thanks!


  • Helpful tips, thanks for taking the time to post them.

    • You are very welcome – so glad you enjoyed it. :)


  • I don’t use any essential oil beside the eucalyptus oil. But that is soluble in water, right? Or is eucalyptus oil different than essential oils?

    • As I state in the article, no pure essential oil is soluble in water.

      There are several “Water Soluble Eucalyptus Oil” products on the market, but these are not the same as pure Eucalyptus Essential Oil. Typically these so-called oils contain around 20% Eucalyptus Essential Oil in a base liquid such as ethanol which allows them to disperse in water. The packaging should state this somewhere if you check.

      Just bear in mind that these water soluble products are not the same as pure essential oils, and the two types of products are not directly interchangeable.

      • Oh, thank you very much for your clear explanation. I guess I’ve never bought pure essential oils then.


  • I only use them in a vapouriser and they are child specific


  • Love essential oils, especialy prefer them when my kids are unwell or need help to calm.
    We mainly use lavender, or a blend for ease of breathing when the kids have a cold. We always dilute with fractionated coconut oil. Would love to be able to spend the time and money and use essential oils around my home and family. Thank you for your tips/advice

    • Glad to hear you are being safe with essential oils and diluting tham – Thanks for reading!


  • Great article,alot of tips to keep in mind,thanks!

    • Thank you – glad you enjoyed it. :)


  • Great advice. Thank you for the information.

    • You are very welcome – thanks for reading. :)


  • I love oils, so great tips to keep my little one safe. thanks.

    • You are very welcome – so important to be careful with our precious little ones. :)


Post a comment
Add a photo
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by your browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating