Essential oils can be healing, have amazing properties and make things smell great.
I use them all the time on myself, I have tea tree face wash, I use lavender oil under my pillow for my anxiety and I use orange oil in cleaning products.
But I also want to put it out there that they can also be dangerous, for babies and young children.
They are concentrated and for good reason should be used with a carrier oil when they are to be placed on the skin.
I have seen people place straight clove oil onto the gums of babies, eucalyptus oil dotted onto the side of cots, unaware that using these oils could cause respiratory distress or stop their child's breathing.
Research should always be taken out before administering essential oils on your babies and children, making sure that you are using the correct amount of carrier oil and ONLY administering topically (on the skin) NEVER into the mouth.
A good guide is 3 drops of oil to every 30ml of carrier oil.
Please do not administer essential oils internally as most oils are not for consumption (with the exception of essential oils food grade for flavouring purposes like peppermint essence).
Also some essential oils are toxic if taken internally such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, sage and clove oil.
Below I have comprised a list of ages and essential oils that are safe for children topically and at what age groups they are recommended for :)
3+ months - Chamomile, Dill, Lavender.
6+ months - Carrot Seed, Cinnamon leaf, Coriander, Cyprus, Fir needle, Geranium, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Neroli, Pine, Rose Otto, Sandalwood, Spruce, Sweet Orange, Tangerine.
2+ years - Basil, Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Clove Bud/Clove Leaf, Frankincense, Ginger, Juniper Berry, Lemongrass, Lime, Lemon Balm, Lemon, Myrrh, Oregano, Sweet Marjoram, Patchouli, Spearmint, Tea Tree, Thyme, Verbena, Valarian, Ylang Ylang.
6+ years - Anise/Aniseed, Cardamom, Fennel, Laurel Leaf, Nutmeg, Peppermint.
10+ years - Eucalyptus, Rosemary.
There are essential oils that absolutely should be kept away from babies and children... Peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus should not be used around young children or babies. These herbs contain menthol and 1,8-cineole which can cause seizures, slow the breathing or even stop it completely in very young children or those with respiratory problems! Please take care with these essential oils.
Below are some oils that should be kept away from young children and can cause seizures and breathing difficulties.
Tea tree - is poisonous if swallowed and can cause nausea, muscle tremors and inflammation of the mouth so be very careful when using this oil around children. I have used Tea tree oil on a pimple when I was younger, full strength and I burnt a hole in my forehead!
Eucalyptus oil - is poisonous if taken internally, it can cause seizures and slow the breathing. I personally am allergic to this oil, it causes coughing, sore throat and wheezing if I get near it (ironically found this out while using a toothpaste with it in it) you can read about alternatives to eucalyptus HERE.
Sage oil - is also poisonous to children and swallowing more than a very small amount has caused seizures in children.
Clove oil - I was told at one stage to use clove oil on my baby when it was teething. Luckily I did not follow this advice. If a baby swallows clove oil it has the potential to numb the gag reflex and babies can actually end up aspirating their own saliva.
Wintergreen oil- I haven't included this in the above list as I feel it is too dangerous to even have around a 10+ year old. But I think it is worth stating it as dangerous as just 4ml of this oil can be fatal in children.
Olbus oil - Again I haven't listed this in the above list as it contains a brew of essential oils that are STRICTLY for adults only. this mix of essential oils was gaining popularity, but after a few deaths, injuries, and blindness occurred, people are starting to realize the dangers.
It contains Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Cajeput, Wintergreen, Juniper and Clove.
you can read a story about the dangers HERE.
My absolute faves to use around babies older than 6 months is orange oil and lavender in a carrier oil such as almond oil or coconut oil.
Orange oil has antibacterial qualities, beautiful scent.
Orange oil is amazing as a cleaning product is great as an insect repellent, it is antibacterial, antiseptic and is inflammatory. Just be aware that this oil makes skin a bit sensitive to the sun, so avoid using it if baby is going out into sunshine
Lavender oil smells amazing, has relaxing qualities and its antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties.
Keep safe with essential oils around babies, always use a carrier oil and keep oils away from little hands and mouths.