I can’t tell you how many questions I’ve gotten on diffusing with children and babies! A few months ago, I did a webinar on Essential Oils and Children and I was overwhelmed with people asking me about a particular synergy blend from a well-known essential oil MLM.
The blend was 100% unsafe to use with children because it contained not just one, but quite a few oils that should not be used on children. This got me thinking… what else are people missing when it comes to children?
In that same webinar, I also had a lot of questions regarding essential oil use while diffusing. Is it safe to diffuse all oils around children? How long can I diffuse around my child? When are the best times to diffuse around my child?
In this post, I hope I can answer all those questions and then some. I’ll mainly be focusing on children aged 2 years to 10 years as a wider range of essential oils can be used. I’ll also be talking about Plant Therapy’s awesome line of KidSafe synergy blends which I received in exchange for this post.
Note: this post contains affiliate links. I receive a small percentage from the purchases which fuels my DIY and essential oil fund (which means more DIYs for you to enjoy!).
So let’s dive in to some of those questions I mentioned before:
Is it safe to diffuse all essential oils around children?
- The answer is no. Essential oils work best when the are used safely. Each oil has its own precautions and there are many oils that shouldn’t be used with children of certain ages (i.e. babies, under 2, under 5, and under 10 years of age). If it is not indicated for use with these populations, that generally means all routes (topically, inhalation, and diffusing). Also, all children are different and react differently to individual scents. One child may have a different aroma preference and another may simply seem more agitated/calm when exposed to a certain oil.
How long can I diffuse around my child? When should I diffuse?
- I always suggest a short diffusion time for children: 10-15 minutes maximum. Their bodies are much smaller and can be affected more greatly by essential oils than an adult’s body. I know some parents who like to diffuse to help calm their child before bed or at bedtime, so I suggest diffusing during bath time or putting a diffuser out-of reach and setting the timer on intermittent intervals for 10-15 minutes. I find that is just the right amount of time to calm my toddler and help him to sleep.
And finally the BIG question: What essential oils should I diffuse around my child?
- This really is the most asked question. I find that no parent would intentionally misuse essential oils on their own child. The problem is: there is a LOT of misinformation when it comes to using essential oils with children. I have always found the MOST reliable information comes from the researched-based clinical text Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed. by Robert Tisserand . It’s the most comprehensive guide you will find for using essential oils safely.
With all the misinformation on essential oils, I am very reluctant to trust any one brand or company. However, I found myself struggling with a bit of the post partum blues. I was shopping on Amazon and I put Plant Therapy’s KidSafe “Blues Buster” synergy blend in my cart and it was love at first sniff! Not only was it safe to diffuse around my children (10 months and 3 years), but it was such an uplifting aroma!
I don’t normally buy synergy blends (being a certified aromatherapist, I often blend my own for certain purposes), but I absolutely fell in love with the KidSafe Synergy blends from Plant Therapy. After doing a little research, I knew why: they were formulated by expert Robert Tisserand himself! I immediately knew these blends would be safe beyond question, extremely therapeutic, and would smell wonderfully.
Buying a lot of essential oils can be really costly. Trust me, I know! That’s one benefit to synergy blends. They are expertly formulated with a number of essential oils that are often costly on their own. When you buy a synergy blend, you that it has been formulated with specific uses in mind and has been made by the experts.
The KidSafe Synergy blend starter kit comes with the following blends. I’ll give you my own descriptions and how I use them with my kids (and myself!):
- A+ Attention: I’m using this one right now as I’m writing! It’s a lovely floral/woodsy blend of Petitgrain, Bergamot, Atlas Cedarwood, Pink Grapefruit, Lavender, and Vetiver
- Calming The Child: This is our quiet-time blend. It has a sweet citrus-like aroma from it’s composition of Mandarin, Tangerine, Lavender and Roman Chamomile. We used to use Lavender and Roman Chamomile for our bedtime blend, but there is something delightfully uplifting about Calming the Child that I attribute to it’s citrus counterparts. I diffuse blend when we do quiet-time activities (coloring, quiet play, etc.) and when the boys seem to be extra rowdy.
- Nighty Night: Remember when I said sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a synergy blend than individual oils? This is one of those times. Nighty Night contains a calming oil called Blue Tansy that is quite expensive on its own ($40 for 5 mL!). However, in this blend, Blue Tansy works with Lavender, Marjoram, Mandarin, Atlas Cedarwood, Patchouli, Clary Sage and Roman Chamomile to help children fall asleep easily and stay asleep. While the recommended instructions are to apply topically to the chest, I am a big fan of diffusing this blend as we are reading our bedtime story.
- Sniffle Stopper: It is SO HARD to find a synergy blend for respiratory issues that is safe for kids. This is most often due to the fact that many respiratory blends have oils that contain high percentages of 1,8 cineole (Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Rosemary). While these oils have wonderful nasal opening power, they can cause breathing issues to young children when used on or around their faces. Sniffle Stopper uses Fir Needle, Rosalina, Spruce, Cypress, Spearmint, and Virginian Cedarwood to gently and effectively clear stuffiness. One whiff and I felt a slight tingle down my nasal passages. I’ll be glad to have it on hand when cold-and-flu season returns. It contains a lesser known oil: Rosalina, which is a gentler substitute for Eucalyptus and works almost as well.
- Germ Destroyer: This blend is a great one to diffuse. It contains oils of Spruce, Marjoram, Lavender, Rosalina and Lemon which are wonderful at clearing the air and getting rid of germs. I like to diffuse this one when my toddler comes home from his preschool class. It is probably one of my favorite aromas of all the synergy blends as it is so complex yet uplifting.
- Immune Boom: This synergy blend is packed with oils that I’ve personally use to help boost my own immune health. Oils like Lemon, Palmarosa, Dill, Petitgrain, Copaiba, and Frankincense work together to keep us going strong. I diffuse this blend twice each day for 10-15 minutes when I notice an illness going around.
Now that I’ve shared all my diffuser tips with you, let me know: Do you have a favorite oil to diffuse? Do you have a favorite synergy blend to use with kids?
I’d love to hear from you!