Essential oils have long been a part of natural medicine practice. In recent years, we have seen a surge in their use, especially for the health and wellness of women (including in pregnancy and labor) and with babies and children. Today, companies like Young Living, doTERRA, and Plant Therapy offer a variety of oils options, with all kinds of applications and uses.
Much like any wellness industry product, it can sometimes be hard to separate out the good information and understand best use. This feels even more important as it relates to our littles! How are mamas using essential oils in the right ways? What considerations must we always be mindful of?
Are Essential Oils Safe for Babies and Children?
At this time, governing bodies like the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Family Physicians have not issued recommendations on best practice for the use of essential oils with children. If you want to use essential oils with your children and in your home, we always recommend discussing it with your care provider first.
But, can you use essential oils safely? Yes! Essential oils have been reported to help with support of body functions, digestive upset, bug bites, calming and sleep, and more. When used appropriately, essential oils have assisted many mamas in naturally treating some of the pains and challenges of raising little ones.
Using Essential Oils Appropriately
There are a few rules that are always recommended when using oils with children.
- Buy from a trusted source: Labels should include the plant name, the Latin name, the part of the plant used, country of origin, and oil extraction method
- Never apply oils to skin without dilution in carrier oil, lotion, or cream
- Consider diffusion first; in general, this method of application is safer
- DO a patch test first: Rub a small amount of oil on a small area of skin and wait 24 hours to assess for any reactions
- Do not ever add oils to food or drink; suggested locations for application are bottom of feet, back of neck, lower back, and abdomen
- Do not add oils to bathwater
- Store your oils in a cool, dry place
Essential oils can be a safe and healthy addition to your home. As you explore this practice, stay mindful of these considerations and always consult a professional expert with questions and concerns.