OILS 4 KIDS - Safety & Instructions
Aromatherapy for use around kids - not BY kids.
Always keep essential oils out of reach of children.
Aromatherapy can be amazing for looking after your littlies - natural plant-based Essential Oils can knock the baddies out of the ballpark as well as any Superhero (and probably smell better too!) - helping with anything from grazes & itches, to nerves, concentration or the grumps. You just need to bear in mind that little people are smaller in stature, plus also have less developed systems and skin than bigger people, and so you generally need to use less than you might use for an adult. So there's just a few simple rules to become acquainted with when using Aromatherapy around kiddoes - and we've outlined them all here where you can pop back and check if you're ever unsure.
We also include a free easy-to-follow AROMATHERAPY SAFETY / HOW TO USE YOUR PURE OIL BLEND card with every AQ OILS 4 KIDS purchase, which you can keep on hand for reference, so you're ready to go even if you've haven't ever picked up an Essential Oil before.
So here at AQ we ask that you DO take Aromatherapy Safety seriously. But DON'T be put off: the rules are simple!
If you're new to Aromatherapy, or interested in using your current oil collection with your children, have a look through the headings below, and then skim down to those that apply. Remember to BOOKMARK this page (or PIN IT to your Pinterest page) so you can re-visit whenever you need to. We've got plenty of other detailed LEARN MORE pages on Aromatherapy and other natural products, so take a look through those also if you're keen on taking in some easy-to-understand information.
CLICK HERE to view our OILS 4 KIDS range.
TOPICS COVERED IN THIS BLOG - Scroll Down To View Them:
* WHAT IS AROMATHERAPY, AND WHY IS IT GREAT FOR KIDS? A brief intro to what it is and how it works.
* IMPORTANT NOTE RE BABIES & AROMATHERAPY - We don't recommend using Aromatherapy with children younger than one.
* AROMATHERAPY SAFETY FOR KIDS - Please do have a read even if you already love your oils.
* HOW TO USE YOUR PURE OIL BLEND - Full instructions on a number of methods to use Aromatherapy with your kids.
WHAT IS AROMATHERAPY, and WHY IS IT GREAT FOR KIDS?
In the simplest terms, AROMATHERAPY involves the use of very strong plant-derived aromatic oils (Essential Oils) for medicinal or therapeutic effects on both the body and the mind. Some oils might be excellent antiseptic, antiviral or pain relieving oils and so might treat minor medical ailments or irritations; others might have an effect on the mind - to calm, energise or uplift. These benefits are achieved by absorbing the oils into the body via the nose using oil diffusers, inhaler sticks or vaporisers; or via the skin using ,ethods such as massage, compresses or baths. The one thing to remember though is that essential oils are very strong. They cannot be applied directly to the skin - especially with children: they need to be diluted in another medium first, such as massage oil or cream. They also cannot be ingested or swallowed, unless specifically prescribed for your condition by a suitably qualfied Aromatherapist - not somebody selling you oils, even if it's the representative of a big company who is telling you it's ok. See below - AROMATHERAPY SAFETY - for more information, plus full instructions and tips on exactly how you can safely use your oils.
When it comes to looking after the little ones in your life, you want the best for them. Natural products are in high demand as we become more and more aware of the huge array of chemicals that are used in many commercial products: from scary artificial colours, flavours and preservatives in snacks and processed food, to harsh synthetic fragrances in the cleaning aisle in the supermarket. We all know them well! As a completely natural product, Essential Oils are wonderful for treating anybody, but they do come into their own with children - as long as you use the right oils, and use them sensibly. With Aromatherapy you know exactly what you're using, and are benefitting from plant-based oils that not only work amazingly well, they smell wonderful too.
This is why we created our AQ OILS 4 KIDS range, covering pure Essential Oil Blends to suit a number of 'Kid's Issues': From SNUFFLES to TUMMY UPSETS, from NIGHTMARES to HOMEWORK. By tailoring Oil Blends to suit various circumstances and needs, OILS 4 KIDS takes the guesswork out of which oils to use, so they're suitable for both the beginner or the advanced Aromatherapy lover.
LOOKING FOR HELP WITH BEDTIME FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN?
Along with our SLEEPY TIME blend / inhaler options which can be found in our OILS 4 KIDS section, take a look at 'Dream Wonderland', a beautiful Australian creation merging the magical world of music and books for sleep time. CLICK HERE to visit their website, or CLICK HERE to see a YouTube video all about Dream Wonderland. (Dream Wonderland is in no way affiliated with Aroma Queen - you will be taken to a different website).
IMPORTANT NOTE RE BABIES & AROMATHERAPY
Please do be aware that our AQ OILS 4 KIDS range is intended for use with CHILDREN of school age and upwards (big full-grown adult children included), but can also be used in lesser amounts for children aged 1 - 5 years. Our OILS 4 KIDS are NOT intended to be used for babies, infants or newborns.
We strongly recommend that you avoid using aromatherapy altogether when dealing with premature babies, or on babies less than three months old. With babies over three months you might use some very gentle oils in a diffuser or room spray, but we recommend that you do NOT apply these in any way to the skin (massage, creams or baths) until they are slightly older.
Babies have very delicate skin at the best of times, but especially when younger than three months. They also tend to rub their eyes with their fists or suck their hands or fingers, and so it can be very difficult to use oils around them or in their bath and still be sure that they won't accidentally rub some in the wrong place, causing potential damage to their eyes etc. Being smaller creatures, they are not designed to be able to deal with the same essential oils or strengths that an adult would. A handful of very gentle oils, including Lavender, Neroli, Mandarin and Roman Chamomile, may be used in small amounts, however always use very diluted oils, and do not use them too regularly. A single drop of one of these oils in a burner is more than adequate for a very small child - which is much less than you'd use for an adult.
While we do not recommend using essential oils around children under the age of one, if you do want to use Aromatherapy please take extreme care:
* THE 'SAFE OILS' FOR BABIES - Use only the safest and gentlest of oils with children under one year old: Lavender, Neroli, Mandarin or Roman Chamomile. Only ever use the tiniest amount.
* DO NOT USE ESSENTIAL OILS REGULARLY with children of a very young age. Allow them to develop first - even with adults it's best to have periods without using Aromatherapy.
* BURNER - A single drop of one of the 'safe oils' in a diffuser is more than enough for a baby. Ensure the room is well ventilated as even this much may be a little overpowering for a small child - even if you can barely smell it!
* TISSUE METHOD - Do not place an oily tissue in or near their bedding or clothes, as they may put it into their mouth
* MASSAGE / SKIN APPLICATION - Do not apply diluted aromatherapy massage oils to a baby or young toddler's skin, unless you're rubbing them in a place where they'll be unable to get the oils onto their hands or face. Use ONLY the very gentle oils mentioned above, and in tiny amounts - just a single drop in a tablespoon of massage oil is more than enough.
* BATH - Do not use undiluted essential oils in a baby's bath – even if you splash the oils into the water they may still result in a 'slick' on the top, get onto their skin and be rubbed into their eyes. Try diluting a single drop of one of the gentle essential oils mentioned above into another medium first, before adding it to the bath: this will help it disperse better (try a drop of oil with a drop of Solubiliser, and mix into a cup of water to ensure it's well dispersed, before adding it to the bath).
Essential Oils are extremely strong liquids which need to be used and stored with care - particularly around children or infants. Children have very delicate skin and are more sensitive to Aromatherapy than adults, so even if you're already familiar with using Essential Oils, have a quick read below as there may be issues you haven't thought of when it comes to using Essential Oils around children.
* ALWAYS USE LESS for children than you would for an adult. See below - HOW TO USE YOUR PURE OIL BLEND - for info on exactly how much is best. If your child is less than a year old, see above - IMPORTANT NOTE RE BABIES & AROMATHERAPY: we do not recommend using Aromatherapy around children under one year of age. If your child is older than one but not yet at school, use even less than the suggested amount: you'll be surprised at how little you need to use to make a difference.
* NEVER INGEST OR SWALLOW ANY ESSENTIAL OIL. Even small amounts may be toxic or even fatal if swallowed, for both adults and children alike - call your local Poisons Hotline immediately if your child has accidentally swallowed an amount of Essential Oil. (The NSW Poisons Hotline number is: 13 11 26). To avoid accidental swallowing, always leave the flow restrictor (dripolator) inserted in the rim of the bottle, which means that only a drop or two will escape at a time. And always keep essential oils out of reach of children or pets.
* NEVER APPLY ANY ESSENTIAL OIL DIRECTLY TO THE SKIN unless you've first diluted it in a carrier / massage oil, cream or balm. The golden rule with children is to use a dilution of NO MORE THAN 1 % ESSENTIAL OIL (use less on children younger than school age, and see IMPORTANT NOTE RE BABIES AND AROMATHERAPY above on why we recommend NOT using Aromatherapy on children younger than one year of age).
- 1ml dilution means 1ml Essential Oils per 100ml Massage Oil/Cream etc. 1ml is approx 20 drops of essential oil.
- For a 15ml Tablespoon of Massage Oil/Cream etc, a 1% dilution would be just 2 - 3 drops of essential oil.
* AVOID THE EYE AREA:
If you're applying a diluted Essential Oil to the skin, avoid applying it to any area where your child might accidentally get the oil into their eyes or mouth - especially if they tend to rub their eyes with their hands or fists. If your child does get essential oil into their eyes, immediately flush the eyes with FULL CREAM MILK: the oil in the full-cream milk will very quickly dilute the Essential Oil and help alleviate the stinging. Once the stinging has stopped, wash with water to remove the milk.
A few oils, particularly some of the Citrus oils, cause photosensitisation, or sensitivity to UV light and should not be applied to skin before exposure to the sun as they may encourage burning. These include: Angelica, Bergamot (unless 'Bergaptene Free'), Cumin, Lemon, Lime (unless 'Distilled' rather than 'Cold Pressed'), Orange & Verbena. If your Oil or Oil Blend may contain any of these oils and you want to apply it to the skin diluted in a roll-on bottle etc, either refrain from applying the dilution to the skin before any exposure to the sun, or apply the dilution to an area that will not be exposed, ie under clothing etc. As always, never apply any essential oil directly to the skin unless you've diluted it in another medium.
* SOME PEOPLE or CHILDREN MAY EXPERIENCE AN ALLERGIC REACTION
or sensitisation to a specific Essential Oil in the same way that they may be allergic to a certain food group or type. If you notice this to be the case, discontinue use immediately. Avoid using harsher oils with children - some to avoid which may cause sensitisation include Peppermint (use Spearmint intead), Eucalyptus Blue Gum (use Eucalyptus Radiata instead), Lavandin (use Lavender instead), Cinnamon Bark etc.
* STORE YOUR OILS IN A COOL, DARK PLACE:
Essential Oils lose their therapeutic benefits if exposed to UV light or to extreme heat. To make your oils last longer and work better, store them carefully. All essential oils should be packaged in a dark colour (amber, cobalt blue or green), and in glass rather than plastic.
* ALWAYS KEEP YOUR OILS OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN OR PETS
to avoid the chance of accidental use or swallowing. Keep lids securely tightened, and take special care if you're using a candle-powered burner: never leave a lit candle unattended.
* AVOID USING ESSENTIAL OILS DURING PREGNANCY,
particularly the first four months. Even oils as gentle as Lavender can have an effect on the female reproductive system, while some oils can trigger a period or even contractions. The use of oils during pregnancy is a topic that few agree on, however at AQ we believe that it is wisest to avoid causing potential harm and thus recommend avoiding Aromatherapy completely, at least until late in the pregnancy. Oils to definitely avoid at any time during your pregnancy include: Arnica, Basil, Birch, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Cypress, Fennel, Jasmine, Juniper, Marjoram, Myrrh, Peppermint, Rosemary & Thyme.
Always remember, Aromatherapy is intended to complement, not replace traditional medicine: it does NOT replace your local GP. Seek professional medical advice if minor symptoms persist.
FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION, VISIT OUR INTRODUCTION TO AROMATHERAPY PAGE.
HOW TO USE YOUR OILS 4 KIDS BLEND, or any PURE OIL or OIL BLEND
We've put together a range of AQ OILS 4 KIDS pure Essential Oil Blends, to take the guesswork out of which oils work for various purposes. Whether you're using one of our OILS 4 KIDS BLENDS, a pure essential oil or an oil blend of your own, the instructions are the same.
Here's some of the most popular methods for using Aromatherapy with your kids - most quantities are aimed at school aged children and upwards:
* OIL BURNER / DIFFUSER: To diffuse oils in a room, use 2-3 drops in a burner, and ensure the room is well ventilated. Use less for younger children (try a single drop), and up to 8 drops or so for an older teen. Do take care using candle-powered diffusers and make sure they can't be accidentally bumped etc - and never leave a lit candle unattended. Try an electric diffuser for overnight use, or to avoid the need for candles - these are available from many local pharmacies etc. If you opt for a 'humidifier' diffuser double check that it can use pure essential oils as many need specially made water-based dilutions.
* TISSUE: An extremely simple method, and great for overnight where it's not safe to use a candle-powered diffuser, try adding 1 drop onto a tissue, placed by the pillow or nearby, or tucked into pyjamas or a shirt - as long as it isn't directly contacting the skin. If you're using oils with a younger child, always ensure that it cannot be sucked or chewed - essential oils are toxic if swallowed or ingested, and can also upset the delicate mouth area. If the oil is a coloured or opaque one, take care that it doesn't come into contact with fabric etc. as it may stain.
* INHALER STICK: To take your oil blend with you anywhere you go, an inhaler stick is a simple and inexpensive method which kids love - great for school, travel, by their bed or just to keep a 'breathing' blend handy while they have a cold. Add 2-3 drops to the inhaler wick, and insert the wick into the main inhaler section. Add the end cap, and inhale directly as needed, enclosing the screw-on casing each time to keep the oils fresh. You can use slightly more oil for older children or young adults - and just top up the wick with additional oils once the scent starts to fade.
HINT: Try adding a fun, personalised label to the inhaler stick, so your child knows it's theirs to use whenever they need it. You can even colour code their inhalers for different purposes.
* ROLL-ON: For an instant 'apply anywhere' roll-on, use no more than a 1% dilution for children, especially young ones - and do not apply to anywhere on the skin that a younger child is likely to lick or suck. For a 5ml Roll-On Bottle use a single drop; for a 10-15ml Roll-On Bottle use 2-3 drops. You can use slightly more for a young adult - up to 3% for a full-grown adult - but never use more than 1% on a younger child as their skin is much more sensitive than an adult's skin. After adding the drops of oil/s to the bottle, top up with a light, natural Carrier Oil (Vegetable Oil) such as Jojoba or Apricot Kernel, which won't be too greasy. Apply to pulse points on the wrist or neck, or to the effected area, and re-apply as needed. Read the Safety Notes above about which Photosensitive oils you should avoid using on the skin.
HINT: Make up a 'SCRAPES' Roll-On with antiseptic and healing oils, ready to treat bumps and grazes as they happen. If using pure Tea Tree or Lavender oil you can use a slightly stronger dilution. Lavender and Tea Tree are the only two oils that are safe to apply a small amount to the skin at a higher strength.
* MASSAGE / SKIN APPLICATION: To make a dilution to apply directly to the skin or for gentle massage, dilute your pure essential oils into an oil, cream or balm at the same strength you would for a Roll-On Bottle: a maximum of 1% for younger children, or slightly more for young adults (up to a maximum of 3% for a full-grown adult). So for 100ml of massage oil or cream at 1% dilution, you'd use no more than 1ml (20 drops) total essential oil. For a 15ml Tablespoon of massage oil or cream, you'd use no more than 2-3 drops. Don't make too much if it will take a while to use up - essential oils begin to lose their benefits over time, once they're mixed with other products. Avoid using on open wounds, or around the face / eye area - if your younger child tends to rub their hands in their eyes or mouths avoid applying diluted oils anywhere they can rub their hands into.
* BATH: For younger children use a single drop in a bath, or 2-3 drops for an older child (up to 8 drops or so for a full-grown adult). Splash the oil WELL into the water before your child enters the bath so no pure oil can come into contact with your child's skin. Alternately use a pre-diluted BATH OIL, or blend your essential oils with SOLUBILISER (equal parts), or some liquid soap before adding the oil to the bath - the Solubiliser will help the oils blend with the bath water, rather than sit as a slick on top.
NOTE: We do not recommend using pure oils in a baby's bath unless they're a particularly gentle oil that is safe for babies or infants, such as Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Neroli or Mandarin, and these are best diluted into another medium first to make absolutely sure that no pure oil will come into contact with their skin.
* ROOM SPRAY: To make a spray in an atomiser bottle to spray in your child's room or around the house, add up to 1% essential oils to the empty bottle, followed by the same amount of SOLUBILISER, and top up with water. The Solubiliser helps the essential oils blend into the water, instead of sitting as a slick, so you can't accidentally spray pure essential oils onto your furniture or skin etc. Do take care where you spray: some oils may stain fabrics or timber etc, especially if they're a darker coloured oil. Don't use room sprays in a baby's room unless you're using a particularly gentle oil that is safe for babies, such as Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Neroli or Mandarin - and always use much less than you would for an older child: babies cannot tolerate strengths that children of an older age can. See our ROOM SPRAY KITS which contain everything you need to make your own Room Sprays.
HINT: Try making up a GERM HERO Room Spray when there's sickness in your household to help stop it spreading through the entire family. Avoid spraying in a very young child's room as it may be a little overwhelming for them - spray it outside their room and in other living areas instead.
HINT: Make up a MONSTER REPELLENT Room Spay with your child, keeping it near their bed so they can spray it whenever they fear that the boogeyman might be about to lurk. If you're concerned about making the monsters 'real', give it a different name that you come up with together.
* AROMATHERAPY JEWELLERY: Aroma pendants and bracelets can make excellent portable diffusers for your child as they don't even need to be thinking about it to get the benefits of the essential oils, so it's just Set-And-Forget. There are many different types of Aroma Jewellery available, from inexpensive alloy or silicone to long-lasting stainless steel, as well as mix and match snap button diffusers that can be paired with necklaces, bracelets or even bookmarks or keyrings - all available in a range of unisex and kid-friendly designs including music notes, unicorns, waves and animals. Some pieces use a textile scent pad to hold the oils, and others like our Lava Stone Minis feature a porous natural lava stone bead. When worn, the warmth of the skin gently heats the pendant, which in turn warms the essential oils and allows the vapour to diffuse through the open holes on the front of the locket and be breathed in. To use Aromatherapy Jewellery with children, follow the instructions for each piece EXCEPT use ONLY A SINGLE DROP of oil. Some oil blends may not be as strong as others so experiment to make sure your child can still smell the scent without it being overpowering.
TIP: Try an anti-germ oil blend in an Aroma Pendant during cold & flu season to ward off the bugs before your child breathes them in. Also handy for school (if their school allows the use of jewellery) for study / concentration oils, calming oils, or oils to slow down a hyperactive young student!
NOTE: We don't recommend using Lava Stone Aroma Bracelets with children as there's more chance of an oil coming into direct contact with their skin. Gentle oils may be suitable for use with an Aroma Bracelet for older children - use your discretion and cease use if your child experiences any sensitivities to their skin. If using a Lava Stone pendant just allow the oils to absorb into the bead and then wipe dry to ensure there is no excess oil.
CREATE A RITUAL: Whichever method you use for your oils, try using your OILS 4 KIDS in a regular RITUAL with your children. Through regular use during study, bedtime, in the bath or during travel etc, the scent will become familiar and an instant association will be created so that every time your child smells the oil it will remind them of the 'Safe & Happy' times when they've experienced the oil before. This is particularly helpful for times such as homework or study: you can burn the oils during calm study at home, and then make a portable 'Exams' inhaler using the same blend, to take during exam time - this can help calm and focus your child as they will instantly associate the scent in the inhaler to the times they were studying at home.
TO VIEW OUR AROMATHERAPY SECTION, CLICK HERE.
TO VIEW OUR OILS 4 KIDS RANGE, CLICK HERE.
AQ stocks a full range of pure Essential Oils, Oil Blends, Carrier Oils, Aroma Jewellery and Accessories (burners, inhalers, roll-ons, cases).
LOOKING FOR HELP WITH SLEEP TIME FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN?
'Dream Wonderland' is a beautiful Australian creation merging the magical world of music and books for sleep time. CLICK HERE to visit the Dream Wonderland website, CLICK HERE to view a YouTube video all about Dream Wonderland books and music, or HERE to view the Read Aloud i-Book on iTunes.
(Dream Wonderland is not affiliated with Aroma Queen - you will be taken to a different website).
The advice within this page is general and not specific to individuals and particular circumstances. Before using herbs, essential oils or other natural treatments, check all cautions and restrictions. Aroma Queen cannot be held responsible for any injury, damage or otherwise resulting from the use of any treatments or products within this website. Do not attempt self-diagnosis or self-treatment for long periods or for serious problems, without first consulting a qualified medical practitioner. Always seek professional medical advice if symptoms persist.