Introducing Aromatherapy to Young Children
Aromatherapy is perfectly safe for children, although there are safety recommendations to follow (for both children and adults), and of course the amounts of essential oil used for a child will be less than for an adult. However only some of the oils available are suitable for children; others are not suitable. For example children with epilepsy should not come into contact with stimulating oils. Always research the oil you are considering using thoroughly before using and if still unsure, always ask advice. Aromatherapy can be of great benefit as it is a wonderful way of supporting your child's health, happiness and well-being as essential oils can be very therapeutic and nurturing to both your child and you.
Aromatherapy oils are used externally (on the outside of the body) in a bath or massage (carrier) oil, or through inhalation in a diffuser. The effects of aromatherapy on your child will generally fall into one of three main categories: helping in healing from minor illnesses and accidents; supporting your child's overall sense of well-being; or assisting your child in getting quality rest.
It is imperative that you find a reputable supplier of therapeutic-grade essential oils - cheap oils, synthetic copies of oils or fragrances are not appropriate. Essential oils should be kept in dark amber or blue glass containers, in a dark and cool location, out of the reach of children.
Essential oils should rarely be used undiluted on children's skin, unless indicated to do so for a specific condition. Lavender or Tea Tree can be used for cuts, bruises, bites and stings. If your child has very sensitive skin, it is important to test a small area before using a new single oil or blend. Keep products away from the eyes, and neat oils should not to be swallowed.
Sweet Almond oil is generally regarded as the safest and best overall carrier oil for use with babies and children, although if your child has a nut allergy an alternative carrier oil will have to be used instead.
A simple and safe way of introducing your child to aromatherapy is through traditional play-doughs that have been enriched with the correct amount of essential oils (aroma play doughs). The dough's come in a bucket type tub together with shape cutters, in 5 different varieties; brainy (focus), sleepy (relaxing), happy (uplifting), harmony (mood balancing) and sneezy (helps relieve cold symptoms). These are perfect for children three years of age and over, giving you and your child all the benefits of a creative activity together with the natural enhancements of aromatherapy. However you choose to introduce your child to aromatherapy it will help to teach your child about an important part of nature.
Victoria is a strong believer in using natural products whenever possible, as we absorb much of what we put onto our skin. She would far rather everyone be absorbing essential oils than parabens!