I love Essential Oils but are they safe for my kids?

Posted by Kimberly Ripley on

Essential oils are packed with health benefits – Ranging from general physical health all the way to mental and emotional profits. Essential oils work so well for us that we can’t help but to wonder if they’d be a safe and easy fix for our children? Well, my friends, this blog will not only answer your questions, it could ease your mind, and your decision-making dilemmas as well.
 
First things first – let’s begin with a few foundational tips.
# 1 – Safety - As we encourage YOU not to ingest the Essential Oils, we absolutely urge you to never allow your children to ingest the oils as well. Please take safe measures when storing your oils around children.  Most cases of essential oil poisoning involve accidents with young children, often between 1 and 3 years of age. Approximately 75% of cases in the USA are in children up to 6 years old.  Also, using essential oils on babies less than 3 months of age is not advised. Their skin is not mature yet and therefore more porous and sensitive to essential oils. Unlike adults, newborns are also not as capable of dealing with adverse reactions to essential oils.
# 2 – Application – Dilution is a MUST. Say you’re giving your child a bath, we advise you to first dilute the oil in a water-soluble carrier, such as raw unfiltered honey or vegetable glycerin, such as palm, soy, or coconut oil before adding to the bath. Another way to safely bathe with essential oils is to rub a few drops on the upper side of the shower wall (away from children’s reach) – this will mix with the steam and add minor diffusion. Without a carrier oil to dilute the Essential oil, there is a heightened chance of skin irritation, especially to those private areas – OUCH! If you’re looking to topically apply, rub on the child’s feet rather than their chest or neck. There are many different applications to choose from, but just make sure you do your research first and keep them away from the face/nose region.
# 3 – Introducing the Oil to your child – Try one oil at a time, and possibly keep an Essential Oil journal. If one begins to show irritation such as burning or a rash, DO NOT use soap and water to wash the area – that could spread it. Rather, slather a carrier oil (such as organic virgin coconut oil) on the reaction site – that’ll dilute the oil and calm the reaction. If it’s made its way into the eyes somehow, a good quality vegetable oil could be used to dilute and rinse. A good reference book would be a great companion to the new Essential Oil user. If your baby or child is going to have a reaction to an essential oil they will likely show signs of a reaction in the first 15-30 minutes after inhalation or topical use.
Now, after going over these initial guiding principles, let’s talk about a few of essential oils that won’t be useful only in your home but in your diaper bag as well!
One of the most effective Essential Oils for a babies 3 months and older is Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia). With so many practical uses, lavender has a place in every prepared mother’s bag of tricks! It is soothing and relaxing for an upset baby. If topically applied to feet after dilution, or diffused, it will calm your baby like a lullaby.
You could also make a diluted lavender spray and lightly mist it onto your baby’s crib and bedding for more of a tranquil snooze. Not to mention its antimicrobial properties! So, whether using this oil for a peaceful bath, bedding and diaper bag spray, moisturizer, in a humidifier, etc. - this oil is a win-win.
Some other ones good for babies three months and older are Dill, Chamomile (Roman and German), and Yarrow.
          
For a babies 6 months and older (along with all of the above), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Cedarwood  (Cedrus deodora), Geranium (Pelargonium X Asperum), Lemon (Citrus Limonum), Helichrysum (Helichrysum Italicum) , Neroli (Citrus Aurantium Amara), Sweet Orange, and Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) are some great grabs for your little tots. This is not an exhaustive list of course, but these are some Oils that I have personally used on my babes in which we discovered some amazing remedies!
 
I will tell you, Neroli is a bit pricey (it SHOULD be pricey because that means it’s legit) but it has so many advantages, and I refuse to live without it. My oldest daughter has struggled with asthma for 3 years now, leaving my husband and I exhausted from all the preventive measures we’ve taken. After doctor visit after doctor visit, medication after medication, air purifiers, new diets, and even home exercises/therapies we began to think nothing would help her. As I was diffusing Neroli in my room one night, my daughter ran in with an attack. After sitting with her, and a couple of puffs on her inhaler, she began to settle rather quickly – quicker than normal! I didn’t think twice about it at first. After diffusing Neroli regularly in my house, her asthma attacks have slowed down immensely, I began to become curious. I did some further research and have determined that Neroli’s natural anti-anxiety effect has tremendously impacted her attacks by lowering the panic that they cause!
I absolutely love Neroli and would suggest this gentle oil to anyone struggling with anxious or colicky babies.
 
For children 2 years and older, Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum), Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea), Frankicense (Boswellia Serrata var. Frereana), Ginger (Zingiber Officinalis), Lemongrass (Cympopogon Flexuosus), Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha), Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), Oregano (Origanum onites), Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Turmeric (Curcuma Longa), Vetiver (Vetiver Zizanoides) are a short list of ones I suggest. I diffuse Lemongrass whenever my 4 youngsters come down with a cold – its powerful germ fighting ability helps fight their cough, muscle aches, fever, nausea, and when they’re simply too exhausted from the medicine’s temporary help.  
My youngest daughter also struggles with inflamed tonsils from time to time and rather than opting for surgery right away, we tried diffusing a Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, and Tea Tree oil blend. It has noticeably relieved her!
My youngest son is a tooth grinder and with each visit to the dentist we were being encouraged to use a mouth guard. One problem, getting a 3-year-old boy to keep that in his mouth at night – impossible. I recently started massaging diluted Lavender Essential Oil onto his feet (putting socks on afterward is helpful) at night and it has not only calmed his grinding, but it gives us a nighttime ritual that offers a great opportunity to grow closer with my son.
My oldest son (12 and ½) struggles with aches and pains from football. Our breakout oil is no other than Renewed Health Oil’s Achy Breaky. I add about 3 drops to two tablespoons of virgin organic coconut oil and massage it onto his achy spots (normally his neck). It not only helps him get to sleep easier at night, but legitimately eases the ache itself.
So, after all these helpful guidelines and useful tips I would like to remind you of one very important fact. Essential oils are SUPER concentrated and extremely powerful substances. PLEASE make sure you are diluting and not overusing these products. We are Renewed Health Oils encourage you to do further research on these items or feel free to consult us if you’d like more information. We hope this helps!

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