Are Essential Oils Safe For Babies and Kids?
Essential oils are highly concentrated substances extracted from plants. Recently, they have become widely popular as they promote a range of health benefits. Naturally, many parents are looking into whether or not it is safe to use essential oils around their babies and kids.
Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils have become a popular form of alternative medicine for adults for their calming and healing properties. These same properties make them attractive for use around babies and kids as well. Essential oils have been found to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-fungal and antiviral effects. They can also help to relieve congestion, headaches, muscle soreness, poor digestion, and stress.
Risks of Essential Oils for Babies and Kids
There are, however, risks associated with using essential oils around babies and kids.
- Skin Sensitivity: Essential oils can be highly irritating to the skin, and young children are particularly sensitive. There is also the risk of allergic reactions and rash.
- Inhalation Risks: Essential oils should never be used directly in a diffuser or vaporizer around babies and kids. There is a risk of the oils irritating their respiratory tract.
- Toxicity: Essential oils can be toxic when ingested, and young children are particularly at risk of this. Care must be taken if using oils around children, as they are likely to put their hands in their mouths.
How to Use Essential Oils Safely
Essential oils can be used safely around children, as long as the proper precautions are taken.
- Dilute the Oil: It is important to always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before using them. For children under 10, the recommended dilution ratio is 0.5-1%, and for children over 10 it is 2-3%.
- Try a Patch Test: Before using a new oil, it is helpful to do a patch test on yourself to make sure that you don’t have any negative reactions to it.
- Avoid Certain Oils: Some oils should be avoided altogether when using around children, including peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary and clove.
In conclusion, essential oils can be used safely around babies and kids, as long as the proper precautions are taken. It is essential to always dilute the oils with a carrier oil, do a patch test before using a new oil, and avoid using certain oils altogether.