Your child’s health: Use care when applying essential oils on youth |

Your child’s health: Use care when applying essential oils on youth

Be sure to use caution when applying oils to children, as they often will react much differently than adults.
Courtesy | iStockphoto

TAHOE VISTA, Calif. — I would like to discuss the process of applying essential oils to adolescents and children.

The typical amount and usage of certain oils on adults is not at all appropriate for youngsters because of their sensitive skin and delicate constitutions.

When using essential oils on a child, always dilute in a tablespoon or more of carrier oils like coconut or almond before applying to the skin.

Use caution when applying essential oils to areas that are more sensitive like the belly or the neck, and be sure to use only a drop or two to start.

The spine and bottoms of the feet are my favorite spots to apply essential oils to my child as well as my clients.

It is a good idea to wait about 20 minutes after application; do not expect the child to show results immediately.

My toddler responds beautifully to calming essential oils like Vetiver, Roman Chamomile and Cedarwood, but I always allow him time to wind down in the bath tub before expecting a mellow mood.

Moreover, the amount of essential oil used will totally dictate the outcome, so be conservative when using essential oils on anyone but especially with children.

Remember that a drop alone is very powerful, and using too much of an essential oil can be harmful and ineffective.

Just because you are dealing with a typical toddler meltdown doesn’t mean it is time to apply a boatload of oil; always start with a drop or two, wait 20 minutes and then add a drop or two more if needed.

Never use essential oils like Lemongrass, Clove, Oregano or Peppermint on a child who is under the age of being able to verbalize their feelings.

These oils can cause a burning or cooling sensation that may send your little one into a fit of rage.

That’s not to say that they aren’t fabulous essential oils, but I suggest waiting until you can explain the possible side effects to the child before using those particular oils regularly.

Oils like Lavender, Spearmint, Lemon, Roman Chamomile, Wild Orange, Cedarwood and Vetiver are all safe, effective, soothing and excellent choices for children.

Remember that every body is very unique, and just because one essential oil becomes a favorite of your child doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best oil for every child.

With proper dilution and application knowledge you and your kids will be off to a very productive and healthy fall season.

Sarah McCallum is a massage therapist at North Lake Massage & Skin Care in Tahoe Vista. Visit to learn more.

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Health & Wellness