The moment we decide to become parents, no decision is just about us anymore and we know that everything that we eat, the products that we use and our lifestyle will have an impact on our children as well. It is the moment when we start looking for alternatives, natural and efficient solutions that can help with each problem and have no side effects.
Being a parent means trying constantly to find the best possible ways to keep your child healthy and happy. Because, despite our optimistic expectations, children can also feel unhappy sometimes, they can be tired, they may have sleep disorders or struggle with anxiety. In this context, essential oils may be one of your greatest finds. And once you’ve mastered the secrets of aromatherapy, you’ll never be able again to imagine a world where you could parent as easily without them.
Some Safety Precautions
According to the Aromahead Institute, essential oils should be kept away from babies’ skin until 1 year of age. But even for children over 1, the recommendation is that you opt for aromatherapy and avoid topical applications, especially without a carrier oil. Even on the adult skin essential oils must always be applied diluted to avoid burns and irritations.
The second important rule is that you always consult with your paediatrician about using essential oils for your child and always follow his or her recommendations.
Last but not least, never give essential oils orally to children, unless instructed otherwise by the pediatrician.
How can children benefit from aromatherapy?
Keeping in mind the age recommendations, here are some of the occasions on which essential oils could help your child.
If your child usually feels sick on the road, essential oils might help with the nausea. Put a few drops of Bergamot, Ginger, Peppermint or Spearmint on a tissue or a cotton ball and let him inhale it. Patchouli can also be really useful, as it contains active compounds that prevent vomiting.
Though it sounds medical, the term does not refer to a disease per se, but to a rage of manifestations that children display from time to time such as screaming, hitting, crying, kicking or breath holding. Lavender, Rose or Ylang Ylang have a calming effect. You can try diffusing them when your child starts acting out.
Stress and anxiety
Anxiety in children is more common than you would think and always has to be treated seriously, with the help of a specialist. But sometimes your child can simply be stressed about an exam or have separation anxiety when going back to school. The best essential oils to relieve stress and anxiety are Lavender, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Chamomile and Frankincense.
You can safely sanitize your child’s room with the help of essential oils. They effectively kill bacteria without the danger of contributing to the emergence of resistant pathogens. Some of the best antibacterial essential oils: are the Tea Tree Oil, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lavender, Lemongrass and Geranium.
Peppermint and Eucalyptus essential oils can help ease congestion and open the airways. Just be careful not to use them for children under ten years of age. Avoid applying them topically, as the skin on and around the nose may already be sensitised, and opt in turn for a diffuser.
Children and adolescents need at least 9 hours of sleep per night. Any sleep problem can impact negatively the child’s performance in school and his other extracurricular activities. Some of the best essential oils to help your child sleep better are Lavender, Vevetier, Chamomile or Valerian. You can use them individually or choose a blend of the best ones, such as Sleep Easy.
Important Points to Keep in Mind
” Don’t leave essential oils within the reach of children.
” In case of accidental ingestion, take your child to the closest emergency room.
” Keep essential oils away from eyes and the mucus membranes.
” Do not use essential oils daily while breastfeeding.
” Always carry out a test before applying essential oils topically.
” Use only organic and pure essential oils.
” Use essential oils sparingly when doing aromatherapy for babies or children. Start with just 1-2 drops of essential oil per ounce or carrier oil.
Here is a list of essential oils that can be used for diffusions for children over 1 year of age:
” Palma Rosa
” Rose Otto
” Sweet Orange
” Tea Tree
After two years of age, you can also introduce the following essential oils:
” Ylang Ylang
For a child over 6 years old you can also use these essential oils: