Essential Oils for Children, Are They Safe?

Essential Oils for Children  

Aromatherapy can work effectively to treat many common ailments that children experience. While essential oils are natural, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of how to use oils safely before using them with children. There are many essential oils that are considered to be safe and effective for use on kids, however there are a number of oils that should be avoided. Let’s take a look at how to use essential oils for children.

When selecting essential oils, always purchase pure high-quality essential oils from a reputable seller. Always store your oils in a cool dark place, out of reach of children. Even the safest of undiluted essential oils are very concentrated and may cause irritation. There are many oils that are considered to be safe for children. Here are a few that are great to keep on hand for everyday ailments:

  • Lavender - Use to calm and balance the emotions. Great choice for cold and flu symptoms, headaches, or to help heal minor scraps or cuts.


  • Chamomile - Use chamomile for tummy troubles, sore muscles, to reduce anxiety, and to help your little one fall asleep.


  • Sweet Orange - Use for colds and congestion, and to help lift the mood.


  • Frankincense - Frankincense is a good choice for sore muscles, headaches, and to help improve concentration.


  • Helichrysum - This oil is a great choice for respiratory ailments, pain, and minor burns or bug bites.


  • Tea Tree - Tea tree oil is an effective oil for treating infections, bug bites, and head lice.


  • Sandalwood - Sandalwood can be used to treat coughs, sore throat, and fungus.


  • Patchouli - Patchouli can be used to help with digestion and to treat dry skin.


  • Geranium - The antibacterial properties of geranium make it a good choice for many ailments. Use geranium to help prevent skin infections, treat bug bites, eczema, and minor burns.


It’s important to note that some essential oils are considered to be unsafe for use on children, especially “hot” oils. Some of these oils include:

  • Anise
  • Cinnamon
  • Bay
  • Clove Bud
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Oregano
  • Wintergreen
  • Peppermint
  • Camphor


There are numerous ways essential oils can be used in aromatherapy for kids. Oils can be diffused throughout the room in a vaporizer so that the scent may be inhaled, or a few drops can be added to a lava stone bracelet and worn on the wrist. A unique way to use essential oils for kids is to add a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil to some homemade play dough for some calming playtime. Additionally, a few drops of lavender or chamomile can be added to the bath to help your little one relax before bed. Just be sure to keep splashing to a minimum to avoid any essential oils entering the eyes. Finally, one of the most common ways to use essential oils for children is to apply them topically at the site of the condition or on the soles of the feet for quick absorption.

Before applying any oil topically, it is necessary to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil. Dilution rates for children ages 2-10 should not exceed two percent. It is recommended to start with a one percent dilution rate. This means that for every ounce of carrier oil, only 5-6 drops of essential oil should be added. When using a two percent dilution rate, you may add 10-12 drops of essential oil to your choice of carrier oil.

Be sure to do a 24 hour patch test on your child before using each new essential oil topically. Apply a small amount of diluted oil to your child’s inner forearm and wait 24 hours to be sure no reaction occurs. Never apply on broken skin or open wounds, always wait until cuts have scabbed over. It’s important to note that undiluted essential oils should never be applied topically on a child. As with any holistic practice, it is advisable check with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment, especially if underlying conditions are present.

As you can see, there are many easy ways to use essential oils for children. Oils such as lavender, chamomile, and tea tree are wonderful additions to your natural medicine cabinet. Whether diffusing oils or applying topically, always keep your child’s safety in mind, and contact a healthcare professional when in doubt.


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