Why do some people say that essential oils aren’t safe for infants and small children?
- Most non-doTERRA essential oils/products contain synthetic compounds
- Warnings from literature, research, guidelines and cautions reflect the presence of synthetic compounds
- Government guidelines are minimal and unregulated
It is very common to add synthetic compounds to essential oils by other companies. There are four different ways others adulterate the oils and some of the companies are very good about being sneaky about it but the main objective in all of them is to dilute the oils so they cost less. When you buy essential oils from doTERRA, they are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG), which means they have nothing at all added to them.
Rule of Thumb
Reduce and Dilute – consider the thumb size of your thumb in relation to a child’s thumb. The smaller the thumb, the smaller and more diluted dose for children.
- Do a patch test on the skin
- Dilute with a carrier oil for topical and internal use
- The feet are the safest part of the body
- Avoid eyes, mouth and other sensitive areas of the body
- Remember that less more often is more effective
You may be concerned about the safety of essential oils for your infant. Watch this video to see how essentials are safe for babies but should be used with caution, such as diluted, or milder oils should be used when possible.
Will essential oils like eucalyptus cause seizures?
The following is a discussion about the safety of essential oils for children:
I read an article warning against using certain oils with children under age 10 because the natural chemicals within the oil can cause respiratory issues and may cause seizures. I need to know how careful I need to be around my 11 month old? Right now I’m too afraid to use any oils in the diffuser. And am even Leary of applying it to my own skin because she snuggles against me.
Diana H. – According to the National Institute of Health, eucalyptus oil is safe in small amounts, such as the amounts found in cough drops, mouth wash, food flavoring, etc. The NIH says a poisonous dose would be somewhere around 3.5 ml. That is a lot of oil! I think diluting 1-2 drops in several drops of carrier oil would be perfectly safe. Vicks contains eucalyptus oil, and people have been using it on their children for many years.
Link to NIH info: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/700.html
At the same time, I would never push something on someone that made them uncomfortable. I might suggest a few other oils that could be used in place of eucalyptus, such as lemon, thyme, cypress, frankincense, marjoram. The new cardamom oil is also suggested for respiratory support.
Lisa A. – What i heard was that any of the oils that “can cause respiratory distress” should be fine as long as the child has not had issues in the past. i would use them like you use new baby foods. one at a time.
Libby V. – Most doTERRA oils are absolutely safe for babies. Any oils with sensitive skin warnings can be diluted. There’s even a tear sheet available specifically for use on babies. It’s likely the warning in the article was referring to lesser quality essential oils with additives. Nonetheless, oils are certainly less risky than medications and chemical additives in things like Vicks Vaporub.