Essential oils are used worldwide for aromatherapy and for a number of benefits. Whether it’s lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint, essential oils have a range of benefits like opening up your nasal passage, boosting your digestive and metabolic systems, soothing open wounds, and reducing inflammation.
However, excessive use of essential oils can cause burning and irritation and may even lead to headaches. These potential side effects may deter people from using essential oils for their children. But it’s not all black and white- read on as we look at the benefits of essential oils for kids and what precautions you need to take when using them.
The Use of Essential Oils for Kids
Essential oils work by stimulating the receptors for smell in the brain, which then transmits these signals to the nervous system. From here on, these oils work to relax the body, ease the mind, and more. Small scale research has shown that essential oils help reduce pain for children undergoing oral surgery and can even help them sleep better. Here are some more benefits of EO for kids:
- Orange essential oil can be used to calm children undergoing going dental surgery.
- Lavender EO and ginger EO also help relax children and reduce their anxiety.
What is the Nature of Essential Oils?
Essential oils are made from the extracts of plants, fruits, herbs and other natural ingredients. These ingredients undergo a distillation process to extract the oil. These oils may be diffused in the air and inhaled or directly applied to the skin.
Aromatherapy can help control anxiety in children and help them sleep if they’re restless. Gentler oils like lavender, orange, peppermint, and ginger have been considered safe for children.
Is There Something as Using Too Much?
Essential oils are usually made of all-natural ingredients, but it’s important to be mindful of the quantity. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s harmless. Children are more sensitive than adults, so you need to be more precautious.
Essential oils are highly concentrated, and especially for children, they should never be applied to the skin directly without being diluted with a milder oil first. This can include using diffusers and adding gentle oils like coconut, almond, or grapeseed oil into the mix with the EO.
Children should also not be given essential oils to ingest since their laxative effect can be quite strong and can sedate them.
Safety Measures when Using Essential Oils for Kids
Here are some key ways you can ensure your child’s safety and health when using EO:
- Get the best quality oils that are completely organic and free from additives like the ones at HB Naturals.
- Read the label of the oil very carefully to find out about the appropriate dosage. If the dosage mentioned is only for adults, reduce it if you’re using it for children.
- Dilute the oils if you’re applying them directly to your child’s skin.
- Be very careful that your child doesn’t ingest any of the oil- many people choose to use essential oils only through diffusers so their kids won’t swallow them.
- When not in use, keep the oils secure and out of your children’s’ reach.
- Store the oils in a cool place and away from fire because these oils are flammable.
- Make sure you do your research on the selected oil. For instance, citrus-based oils are sensitive to the sun and can cause skin burns or discoloration if you step out immediately after use.
Getting the Best for Your Child
You can use essential oils on children as young as 6 months as long as you dilute them first. Around the age of five, you can start testing slightly less diluted oils on your children since everyone has a different level of sensitivity.
While the use of essential oils isn’t a replacement for medicines, they are a suitable option to help your child relax, sleep well, breathe freely, and so on.
The important thing is to find the best quality essential oils for your child. HB Naturals has a range of organic, all-natural essential oils that are completely free from chemicals and other additives. You can also find a range of carrier oils (which are also organic) here that will help you dilute the essential oils before using them for your kids. When used the right way, essential oils can be useful for children and adults alike.