Mom & Me: Safely Using Aromatherapy with Your Children

aromatherapy child safety first aid safety Nov 07, 2021

Essential oils are a wonderful tool for a health plan, even with children. However, aromatherapy practice requires knowledge of both essential oils and how to apply them to children’s basic first aid concerns. Essential oils can be used for various ailments such as difficulty sleeping, skin issues, and anxiety. A good quality plant-based carrier oil is essential for topical application, especially on delicate skin. 

Increasing Concerns on Chemicals in Popular Products for Children
Have you ever read the ingredients in products used on your children? Many ingredients have officially been classified as “hazardous.” Many baby lotions, eye drops, cleaning solutions, and more have chemicals as part of their formula. Less than a quarter of the chemicals used in toiletries and cleaning products have been subjected to a full safety investigation ( It’s a known fact, chemicals that have been banned in other areas of the world such as Europe are still commonly used in thousands of household products in the United States.

Many commercial products contain synthetic ingredients that may be harmful, especially to small children. These chemically-based products can be replaced with natural alternatives. How do you begin?

Aromatherapy Safety with Children 

Aromatherapy is a great tool to use for children’s health and wellness. Unfortunately, the use of essential oils has been marketed as safe for any concern. For children, a little essential oil goes a long way. Diluting the essential oil into an organic plant-based carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil is recommended for application on the body.  For babies, you may do a trace of this dilution on the soles of the feet or as a comforting massage.  One dilution tip may be to add one drop of essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil.  You can increase the essential oil drops according to the bodyweight of the child.  If the skin gets red or irritated, stop the use and apply olive oil over the area.  
 Always use an emulsifier if adding essential oil to the bath. One drop of essential oil to a tablespoon of an emulsifier such as sea salt, bath gel, or milk will go a long way in the tub.  I have heard of parents sprinkling oils into the bathwater.  Do Not Do This – it can cause burning to the skin.  Oil and water do not mix and that is why you need an emulsifier for the bath.

Diffusion is a wonderful way to use oils with children.  During cold and flu season, my granddaughters will diffuse oils such as tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) or orange (Citrus sinesis) to keep their immune system healthy and in balance.  Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) oil is good to diffuse for any sleep concerns.  Diffuse lemon (Citrus limon) or spearmint (Mentha spicata) to help with focus and concentration for school studies.

Essential Oils to Use with Children

Children prefer the aroma of citrus oil such as orange and lemon oils, which can be uplifting. However, caution with using some citrus such as lemon on the skin and exposing to UV light which can cause burning and skin discoloration. Floral essential oils such as lavender can promote a calm and happy feeling.

For more information on this topic and to use aromatherapy safely with your children, check out my program, Mom & Me - Essential Oils for First Aid at this link:


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