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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
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