Essential oils are generally safe to diffuse around children of all ages, integrative pediatric mental health expert, Roseann Capanna-Hodge, Ed.D., LPC tells mbg.
In fact, she adds, “Essential oils have medicinal properties, so they can be incredibly helpful for soothing the nerves of children.” Research has also found that they have the potential to soothe youngsters’ skin too. Nevertheless, as with using any substance around children, she adds, you’ll want to exercise caution.
First of all, be sure to keep your EO bottles out of reach of your children so they don’t accidentally get into them. Oils are potent and can be dangerous if inhaled or applied directly to the skin.
“Certain essential oils such as cinnamon and thyme can irritate the mucous membranes when diffused,” adds Capanna-Hodge. To protect this important barrier, you may want to keep more pungent, spicy-smelling oils in your bedroom as opposed to common areas.
If you notice that your child is beginning to cough or get the sniffles once you turn on your diffuser, that’s a sign they might be having a reaction to the oils. Turn off your machine and place it in another room or smell the oils out of the bottle for a personal EO experience.
To be extra safe, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians has said that it’s best not to diffuse oils around children under three months of age.