Essential Oils for Children
If you have kids in your house, I bet you are discovering the powerful ways in which doTERRA oils and products can support a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps you’re a little nervous to use oils on your kids; maybe you’re not sure if they’re entirely safe for the younger set. Well, as an avid essential oil user for over 30 years and as a mama to one amazing kiddo, let me tell you that doTERRA’s products can be wonderful for children. We enjoy them daily in our house. If these products are used with care and common sense, you can safely reap all the benefits they have to offer!
If you are nervous about using essential oils on the younger set, here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Essential oils are not novel. While it may seem like essential oils are just the latest and greatest thing, they’ve actually been used by humans for millennia. Essential oils contain constituents that will be recognized by our body systems and handled appropriately. Rest assured that if you use essential oils on your children, you’re not inventing the wheel.
2. Kids are not tiny adults. Remember that oils are potent, and you only need a very small amount to achieve efficacy, especially when it comes to children. A little bit goes a very long way. Adjust amounts accordingly. See Recommended ideal amounts in the dilution chart below.
3. Dilute. Kids’ skin is different from adult skin; it’s thinner and generally more sensitive. Even though most oils tend to be non-irritating on the skin (especially on the bottom of the feet, where the skin is thickest), it’s a great idea to dilute essential oil in a good carrier oil before applying to children. You’ll still get the same benefits of the essential oil—you’re just adding extra moisture and pampering delicate child skin. The doTERRA Touch products are great for this, by the way. They’re our favorites!
4. Diffuse. Aromatherapy is an excellent way to enjoy the benefits of essential oil without the worry of skin reactions. Inhaled oils have long been studied for their ability to enhance feelings of relaxation, encouragement, excitement, focus, and well-being. Additionally, diffused oils may support a healthier indoor environment. That’s always a bonus when you’ve got a houseful of kids.
5. Oils FOR kids, not BY kids. The labels on doTERRA’s oil bottles remind us to keep them out of reach of children. Kids won’t understand the potency of the essential oils—they only know that these lovely liquids smell divine, and may go overboard in using them. Adults, not children, should always be doing the oil applications, and judiciously at that.
6. Be informed. doTERRA has mountains of information about safe usage of essential oils on their websites. There’s an entire team of support staff who answer questions about essential oils and products (just email firstname.lastname@example.org). And don’t be afraid to chat about oil usage with your family doctor or pediatrician—medical professionals like having a holistic picture of their patients’ health situation, and they have access to other medical literature that can help guide your decisions.
Dr. David K. Hill, D.C. shared these recommendations at the 2015 doTERRA Convention. To create these recommendations he balanced effective ranges of essential oils with known safety data. It is important that essential oil users stay within the Ideal Amount ranges to derive the maximum benefit from using the essential oils. In fact, overwhelming the body with too much essential oil can sometimes lead to unwanted outcomes. This is because cells in the body utilize complex chemical reactions to metabolize the oils. It is never appropriate to exceed the metabolic capacity of the cells.
The Ideal Amount column states how much total essential oil a user should take at a time. This amount can be repeated every 4-6 hours, for amounts no greater than the 24-hour Maximum amount. Internal use refers to taking essential oils in a capsule or a softgel form. Oral use refers to essential oils taken in water or other liquid, or under the tongue. There is no recommendation made for aromatic use, as this greatly depends on the size of the room and other variable factors. As always, moderation is best.
These are general recommendations that don’t take into account the individual health and experience levels of the user. doTERRA essential oils are very potent and each individual will react differently to them. It is important to be aware of one’s own unique health circumstances and adjust accordingly. A key point from Dr. Hill’s presentation is that we should be more moderate with our essential oil use when our health is in anyway compromised.
These recommendations are meant as introductory guidelines, and individuals should take into account their own personal experience and the direction of their health care provider in pursuit of wellness through essential oil use.
If you still aren't sure where to start, here are some of my other favorite doTERRA products, and ways they can be used with children.
1. doTERRA Touch®. These products are awesome because they come pre-diluted. Young skin is different from adult skin—it’s thinner, more delicate, and generally more sensitive. It’s a great idea to dilute any essential oils before applying them to children, and this kit takes the mess out of dilution.
2. doTERRA OnGuard® products. We love all the products containing doTERRA OnGuard, and they are very kid-friendly. The toothpaste is wonderful. My kids enjoy the taste and I enjoy that it’s not full of chemicals that even I can’t pronounce. The cleaner concentrate makes the bathroom fresh and I don’t have to worry about toxic residue. And, of course, we diffuse doTERRA OnGuard like crazy during the winter months.
3. doTERRA Balance® and doTERRA Serenity®. These blends have done wonders for our family. We recently moved, and my kids were having trouble sleeping in their new rooms. A nice massage with these oils (diluted and applied to soles of feet) helped everyone feel relaxed and grounded in the new surroundings. We often return to these blends when the stresses of life have everyone worked up.
4. Citrus oils. We diffuse oils every day, and the citrus oils are my kids’ favorite. They are so uplifting and energizing—perfect for the dreary winter days when no one feels like rolling out of bed. It’s a natural way to chase off the post-holiday blues. Our favorites are Wild Orange, Lemon, and Grapefruit. We even apply the oils to the palms of our hands and cup them to our noses for an easy “scent tent.” (Just be sure to avoid sun exposure after applying citrus oils topically!)
5. Correct-X®. We always have this product on hand during our outdoor adventures; it’s great to have something natural and effective, yet gentle and non-irritating, for sensitive young skin.
Yes, we live doTERRA in my house. It’s fun to see my son understand which oils might be good in various situations and asking for them as needed. He is learning to be cognizant of his own health while actively looking for natural ways to support well-being. I love it!