Kids + Oils : Essential Oil Safety for Babies and Kids
YOU are the parent. It’s your decision and yours alone as to what you feel comfortable using on your children. It’s so important as parents to take a hard look at what we are using on our children – whether it be the products we use, the medicine we give them, the food they eat, the natural remedies we use, and the list goes on and on.
I am very comfortable using most oils, well-diluted, on my children – and have been since they were 5 years old. My grandson, has be oiled from 3 months old. There are so many options regarding what essential oils to use on our littles!
Gentle Babies by Debra Raybern is one of my favorite books!
My opinion? Use oils safely.
Don’t give a child 30ml of essential oils to drink. Don’t do that as an adult . Don’t stick essential oils straight up a child’s nose. Use quality oils. Use common sense. Don’t look to random blogs for answers. Read REAL research based on real science AND using quality essentials oils. Dilute for kiddos.
When in doubt, don’t use it. Always follow your gut, mamas.
Do what YOU are comfortable with.
You’re likely to come across a blog post, Facebook group, or a photo that a friend shares on social media warning about the dangers of Peppermint, Eucalyptus, or Rosemary for children. Thieves has both Eucalyptus and Rosemary, so it might come up in the warnings as well.
Each parent has to research for themselves and do only what they feel comfortable with. I never would want to convince someone to do something that they do not feel comfortable with, so I always encourage parents to research as much as possible and if they have a concern at all to go with that caution. But I wanted to share why I feel comfortable using Thieves, Rosemary, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus with my children.
The concern about these specific oils comes, supposedly, from the Essential Oils Safety book by Robert Tisserand. It’s the book that all of the British-model trained aromatherapists call their “Essential Oil Bible”. The British-model of aromatherapy doesn’t care about the growing conditions and quality of the oil, and they recommend a very very high dilution ratio.
Young Living uses the French-model of aromatherapy which places a HIGH emphasis on the quality of the oils and encourages an aggressive approach of essential oil use when needed as long as the quality is the best.
Tisserand’s book is a compilation of the toxicology reports from the fragrance industry. The fragrance industry is required to have toxicology reports for each and every chemical that they use to produce the fragrance of essential oils. So there are toxicology reports for literally every single chemical in every oil that’s out there.
Keep in mind, in these toxicology reports, these chemicals are either (a) isolated from the rest of the chemicals in the actual essential oil or (b) synthetically produced.
So when the essential oils groups or pages post things warning about eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint, they are actually warning about the chemical 1,8 cineole and the chemical menthol.
According to other essential oil experts, those two chemicals WHEN ISOLATED, may cause minor respiratory distress in 1 in 10,000 children.
But even looking at the sections for 1,8 cineole and menthol in Tisserand’s book I don’t see anything concerning other than the danger of INSTILLING 1,8 cineole or menthol into the nose of infants. So… let’s definitely not do that! (Instilling is sticking the oil literally up the nose. This is NOT the same as diffusing)
In the Menthol section it also says “When menthol vapors were inhaled by 44 premature newborn infants, there was either a transient cessation of respiration, or a drop in the respiratory rate.” (Transient cessation of respiration = apnea)
No one would ever recommend giving a premature newborn menthol to inhale!
For Peppermint Oil (not just isolated menthol) the only contraindication for infants and children in Tisserand’s book is “Do not apply to or near the face of infants or children.”
For Eucalyptus Oil (all types including radiata, globulus, and others) AND Rosemary the book says “Do not apply to or near the face of infants or children under ten years of age.”
So, just to be safe, I will keep it below the face. In fact, I like keeping Peppermint & Thieves below the belly button or on the back for the most part on my children and I would only use it on the feet of my infants if I really needed to.
All of the fear mongering that goes on in these essential oils groups that are supposedly about safety drives me nuts! If you actually look at the studies and look at the contraindications, even the safety book doesn’t say what these groups are trying to make it say.
You are the parent, and you can choose to do what you are most comfortable with. There are always other options should you choose to skip certain oils. I personally love using Myrtle for my kids, and the SniffleEase Kidscents blend is so wonderful!
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