There’s lots of misinformation out there when it comes to essential oils babies or children. But can you really use them safely around a child?
Read on to find out the facts.
Can I Diffuse Oils Around a Baby?
Yes, you can diffuse oils around a baby that is older than three months old. However, you’ll need to be sure that the oils that you are using in your diffuser are safe.
There’s not much known about how these oils can affect young and growing babies, but there is lots of evidence to suggest that they can be harmful in a few cases.
Something that a lot of people do is use essential oils as a replacement for medical treatment which they should never be. While they might be able to help to alleviate the symptoms of certain illnesses, they should never be used as a replacement for medicine, especially for babies.
There are thousands of cases reported each year that revolve around children and the misuse of essential oils, and it is really important to be as careful as possible if you are going to use them.
Being careful with essential oils
Essential oils should always be stored away properly and they should never be in direct contact with your baby, like on the skin. If you are using a diffuser, keep it away from your baby to avoid accidental spills.
Even just a teaspoon of camphor oil can cause seizures in children under the age of five if swallowed. As well as this, a single dose of wintergreen oil can lead to rapid labored breathing and in severe cases, organ failure.
Something else to be aware of is the fact that as little as half a teaspoon of commonly used essential oils, like eucalyptus or lavender, can cause sedation and breathing difficulties in young children and babies.
A newborn baby is less equipped to deal with any adverse effects that develop from the use of essential oils than an adult would be. If your baby is premature you should avoid the use of essential oils completely.
Can I Diffuse Eucalyptus Around a Baby?
Eucalyptus oil is an essential oil that’s a natural expectorant and can help unclog respiratory congestion. That’s one reason why it’s a commonly used essential oil during the winter months.
Children and infants should only ever use Eucalyptus Radiata, the gentler version of the plant.
Eucalyptus globulus is only safe to use for adults and should never be used around children that are under the age of 2. If you’re planning on using eucalyptus to ease the respiratory symptoms of your child, you should always check with a pediatrician to make sure that it’s safe to do so.
Even as little as half a teaspoon of eucalyptus essential oils can lead to sedation and breathing difficulties in young children and babies. Like with other essential oils, wait until your child is over 3 months old before using eucalyptus in a diffuser nearby.
Which Essential Oils Are Not Safe to Use Around a Baby?
As I mentioned earlier you should never diffuse any essential oils around babies less than 3 months old.
As they get older there are still restrictions that you should follow as far as the essential oils you use near children.
Essential Oils That Are Unsafe for Babies Under 6 Months Old
- Carrot Seed
- Cedarwood, Atlas/Virgina
- Cinnamon bark – Never safe topically for any age.
- Cinnamon leaf
- Fir needle
- Grapefruit – Expressed grapefruit is phototoxic.
- Lemon – Lemon essential oil that is expressed is phototoxic
- Palma Rosa
- Rose Otto
- Sweet Orange
- Tea Tree
Essential Oils That Are Unsafe for Children Under 2
There are lots of essential oils that are not safe around babies but as your child gets older they’ll be able to be exposed to a wider variety without any negative effects.
However, you will still need to follow the necessary safety precautions that are in place when using diffusing these oils around young children.
They should only ever be used intermittently [no longer than an hour at a time] with at least an hour gap in between use.
Two essential oils that you should avoid for children under two years old are: