Essential oils for children

Resulting from an extraction or distillation process, essential oils are highly concentrated therapeutic plant essences. Due to the high concentration of therapeutic molecules, essential oils are generally prohibited in young children. They must also be kept out of their reach, preferably in a cabinet located high up. It is wise to avoid the use of essential oils in children under the age of two or to follow the recommendations of a certified aromatherapist for use before this age.

What essential oils should be used in children aged 2 and over ?

Very safe, lavender essential oil is generally well tolerated by children. Calming and sedative, its floral and captivating scent confers properties that relieve excitement and agitation. Many parents spray a mist of lavender on their children's pillows to promote better sleep.

Citrus essential oils are considered gentle and safe in developing little beings. Calming and relaxing, orange essential oil moderates the central nervous system, which promotes better management of emotions, energy and concentration. In addition, it facilitates sleep. This is why it is often used in conjunction with lavender essential oil.

Eucalyptus essential oil is used to soothe secretions, decongest the respiratory tract, stimulate the immune system and fight viruses and bacteria. When diffused, eucalyptus essential oil purifies the air thanks to its bactericidal properties. This is a great way to disinfect a sick child's room during periods of flu or cold as well as prevent the spread of viruses.

Lemon essential oil helps relieve travel sickness. Just put a few drops of lemon essence on a tissue and let it breathe deeply. When diffused, it purifies the child's room during periods of flu, colds, gastro, etc....

Marjoram essential oil has both relaxing antispasmodic and sedative properties. It helps in particular to combat stress in children by diffusion or inhalation. Cutaneously, diluted with a vegetable oil, it relieves infections.

How to administer essential oils to young children ?

Two main methods are recommended for administering essential oils to children: diffusion and topical application (to the skin).

In broadcast

Essential oils are diffused using a diffuser. In addition to spreading good smells, this method purifies the air, destroys surrounding microbes and distributes negative ions throughout the room. To diffuse essential oils safely in the presence of children, you must follow the following precautions:

  1. Avoid spreading essential oils to children aged 0 to 3 months.

  2. For children aged two and under, broadcast time must be limited to 5 minutes per day in the same room. The baby should never be in a room where a diffusion session is taking place and the door must be open to allow ventilation of the premises.

  3. For those aged two and over, the broadcast time can be up to 10 minutes per day in the same room. The premises can remain closed for maximum efficiency, as long as the toddler is not there at the time of the broadcast.

In direct application

To use essential oils directly on the skin, they must first be tested on a small area. The inside of the wrist is generally recommended. Simply place a drop of essential oil directly on the skin and wait 15 minutes. If the skin does not develop redness or itching, the use of this essential oil is considered safe for topical application. However, care must be taken to dilute the essential oil in a base oil. In general, the ratio of 5 drops of essential oil per tablespoon of base oil is recommended. Please note that certain essential oils are photosensitizing and can therefore increase the risk of sunburn. This is particularly the case for citrus essential oils which should not be applied to the skin 12 hours before exposure to the sun.

Remember that essential oils are highly concentrated essences and should therefore be used with caution, especially on children.

Veronique Pare