My family is my most precious earthly possession. When I started using essential oils and would talk to other women, I noticed that there was almost a sense of hesitation when talking about putting oils on your kids. From then on I went through this phase of extreme caution when using oils on my kids, as if I was deciding to clip the red or the blue wire on a bomb. Then I went to school and chilled the hell out. It was a relief. So when people freak out when it comes to oils and kids I get why, so did I. Here’s what I want you to do, go diffuse some lavender, pull up a chair, grab a drink and let’s ease your mind, knowledge is power right? You can’t get burned by fire from the stove if you know it’s hot!
SCARY STUFF FIRST
Let’s go ahead and rip the band aid off, KIDS CAN AND HAVE DIED/BEEN INJURED USING ESSENTIAL OILS. If you’re anything like me, I look at the absolute worst case scenarios and work my way to the more positive information. I don’t like surprises and I’m a bad news first kinda gal. So let me list some of the most extreme cases of injury/death I’ve come across (courtesy of: Haddad and Winchester’s Clinical management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 4th ed., Chapter 101, “Essential Oils”)
- An 8 month old had a seizure and died after 30 ML (a little over 2 tablespoons) of eucalyptus oil was administered orally.
- A 2 month old baby was unconscious after drops of peppermint were administered nasally.
- A young child ingested clove oil and suffered liver damage, seizures and went into a coma.
These are horrible instances where safety was not a top priority to the people administering those oils. However, we can use these unthinkable tragedies as a teaching moment. I do want to emphasize that these cases are very rare and you can easily die or get injured from overdosing on any medication, not just essential oils.
Leave the ingestion to the big kids and adults.
Your baby can barely take water let alone essential oils. Don’t even let the thought about making them drink oils cross your mind friend. Their sweet little baby organs can’t handle it yet. What is okay though, is making a gallon of lavender lemonade for your kiddos, and adding a few drops of a high quality lavender essential oil to some simple syrup. Need more safe tips on ingestion? Check out this link.
Don’t shove oils where the sun don’t shine.
When it comes to kids, if there is a cavity where the sun don’t shine, leave it to the professionals. You can use oils topically when you are changing a diaper but that’s where we should draw the line with our little ones. No nasal sprays and no enemas. Here’s my two cents on nasal sprays; a tooth infection is very dangerous, do you know why? Because it’s right next to your brain. Looking at the instances above, it only took a few drops to the nose to cause unconsciousness, yet it took two whole 15 ML bottles of oil to cause death through ingestion and I personally think there were two reasons. One, because of the age difference and two, one is closer to the brain than the other. Enemas should be left to the pros because that is a straight shot to your digestive system. When you ingest an oil it is filtered through your organs and then reaches your stomach, the other way doesn’t have those filters and little stomachs require more caution.
Always keep your oils out of your children’s reach.
If there’s a group of people who can eat a large amount of disgusting stuff in one sitting, it’s kids for sure. They have the highest chance of ingesting a lot of oils without you even noticing. If this ever happens call poison control immediately: (800) 222-1222
Eucalyptus and Peppermint…. Basically any oils that are controversial .
These are oils that people are usually cautious about. There’s a fear that they may actually cause respiratory distress, seizures and skin irritation in children. Most oil injury cases involve these controversial essential oils. Here’s an easy way to deal with that. Watch your baby and take down the dose. Easy peasy. If you diffuse 8 drops of eucalyptus for yourself, use 4 for the kids. Same deal with the rest of those oils, drop the dose and make sure to dilute. Check up on them every five minutes for twenty minutes. If they show adverse effects, it will usually show up after in the first fifteen so that’s why I say twenty just to make sure. After that just keep an eye on them. They’ll be aight’. If anything does happen, call poison control. For more on what an adverse reaction may look like, check this out.
NOW LETS TALK ABOUT WHAT WE CAN DO!
We’ve already covered the three methods of application: Aromatic, Topical and Ingestion. But how much do you give your kids? Every good oil company should have a recommended dosage on the back of their bottles. With that information in hand, all you have to do is use my handy dandy essential oil dosage chart! So let me show you how it works:
Let’s say you have a 5 year old and the adult dosage is 3 drops. 5-8 year olds only need 1/3 of that dose. So instead of giving them 3 drops, you’d give them 1.
With babies since the dosage is much smaller. I’m a big fan of making small batches of rollers and balms, that way it’s fixing the dosage for you. You just dilute it so that way they’re getting smaller amounts of oils at one time, if you don’t know how much to dilute visit this post.
KID APPROVED EFFECTIVE WAYS TO APPLY OILS
Take a teaspoon or tablespoon of Epsom salt (the smaller the bath, the less salt) and add 1-3 drops of essential oil to the salt. Pour the salt into the bath and allow it to dissolve. Voila! I suggest a lavender or cedarwood bath at night. It’s fan-freaking-tastic!
Add 4-6 drops of your favorite essential oils to a diffuser, the bigger the room and the further away the kiddos are, the more drops you put it your diffuser. To support the respiratory system my favorite blend is by far Young Living’s RC. If you’re a fan of single oils, try 3 drops each of lavender and eucalyptus. For more info on diffusing go here.
I seriously don’t know what I would do without my oil roll-ons. They last forever and I use them ALL.THE.TIME. I also make balms for teething and for diaper changes. Topical application is my jam when it comes to kids. It is so effective! A favorite roller recipe of mine is 3 drops each of lavender and cedarwood in a 10 ML roller ball. Fill the rest up with carrier oil and you’re good to go. Its great to apply on the bottoms of your kiddos feet and wrists at night before bed.
Well there you have it! So long as you treat your oils the same way you do medications in your house, you’re going to be totally fine. As always, I’d love to be an essential oil resource for you, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!