Essential Oil Basics: Part 5 – Essential Oil Use for Children and Pets

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Using essential oils around your children and pets should be done cautiously. In this post, I will be discussing 10 common essential oils and their usage around children, dogs, cats, and other small animals.

 

10 Common Essential Oils

The oils we will be discussing in this post are from Part 4 in this series.  (Please see that post for more information on these oils and what they can be used for.)  The Latin names are in parentheses/italics. Please be sure to verify the Latin name on the products you purchase, because the common names may be very similar!

 

Children

It is not recommended to use oils on or around babies under 6 months of age. Using child-safe oils in a diffuser is the best option for children 6 months to 2 years. Topical application with a .25% dilution is ok for children 2-6 years. Please see Part 2 in this series for more information.

Safe Oils:

  • Frankincense
  • Grapefruit
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Tea Tree

Oils to Avoid:

  • Clove
    • Do not use topically on children under age 2
  • Eucalyptus
    • Do not diffuse or use topically on children under age 10
  • Oregano
    • Do not use topically on children under age 2
  • Peppermint
    • Do not diffuse or use topically on children under age 6

In Part 3, I mentioned a couple of my favorite blends that are not safe for use around children.  Here is why they are not, and some acceptable alternatives.

Breathe (due to Eucalyptus and Peppermint) – Sniffle Stopper

On Guard or similar blends, such as Thieves and Germ Fighter (due to Clove and Eucalyptus) – Germ Destroyer
 

Dogs

Before I list the oils that are safe to use around dogs, please remember the following:

1. Do not add essential oils to your dog’s food or water.
2. Avoid using essential oils with puppies under 10 weeks of age.

Safe oils:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Grapefruit
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Roman Chamomile

You can use these oils topically to help with ailments such as arthritis (lemon), skin issues and flea control (lavender). Oils MUST ALWAYS BE DILUTED (using a 1-2% dilution) when applying topically as a remedy, because dogs are more sensitive to smells than humans.
 

Cats

There are no safe oils for cats. Diffusing essential oils with cats around is highly discouraged (and NEVER put them on their fur) due to the possibility of liver failure. If you choose to use a diffuser with a cat in your home, please do so in a room that your cat cannot enter. You should be fine using any oils topically on yourself, as long as the cat doesn’t get any on their fur, their paws, or in their mouth.

Of the ten oils mentioned above, these eight are especially dangerous to cats and should be avoided at all costs. There are many others that are not included in this list. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree

 

Other Small Animals

No essential oils should be used around small animals (birds, rabbits, hamsters, fish, etc.) Do not diffuse or use cleaning sprays with EOs in a room with a pet in a cage or tank.

 

Obviously, this is not a complete list of oils that are safe or unsafe around your children and pets.  Feel free to comment below with any questions about a specific oil or blend, and I will be happy to help!

 

Check out all of the posts in this Essential Oil Basics series:

 

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any essential oil company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Essential Oil Basics: Part 4 – 10 Popular Essential Oils and their Uses

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

In my last post, I talked about my personal favorite oils and blends. This post will cover 10 popular essential oils (single oils, not blends), and what they can be used for.

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)

Scent: warm and spicy, often used in holiday blends

Uses: cleaning, aching joints, relief of occasional toothache (adults only)

NOTE: only use a max dilution of 0.5% for topical applications, do not use with children under age 2

 

Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus globulus)

Scent: medicinal, clean

Uses: respiratory problems, congestion

NOTE: Do not use with children under age 10

 

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)

Scent: woody, a bit spicy

Uses: anti-aging, may reduce the appearance of scars, immune support

 

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)

Scent: citrusy, a bit sweet

Uses: mood booster, brightens dull skin

NOTE: Grapefruit essential oil is phototoxic and can cause severe sunburn or blistering when exposed to the sun. If using this oil topically, do not expose your skin to UV light for 12-18 hours after application.

 

Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia)

Scent: floral, fresh, sweet

Uses: promotes relaxation, relief for bruises, cuts, and itching

 

Lemon(Citrus limon)

Scent: citrus, fresh

Uses: cleaning, immune support, mood booster

NOTE: Lemon (cold pressed) essential oil is phototoxic and can cause severe sunburn or blistering when exposed to the sun. If using this oil topically, do not expose your skin to UV light for 12-18 hours after application. Steam distilled lemon (pictured) is preferred for topical use, since it is not phototoxic.

 

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

Scent: intense, herbal

Uses: cleaning, immune support

NOTE: Do not use with children under age 2

 

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Scent: fresh, cool

Uses: headaches, congestion, promotes energy

NOTE: Do not use with children under age 6

 

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Scent: sweet

Uses: promotes relaxation, eases soreness

 

Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)

Scent: clean, medicinal

Uses: skin care (acne), disinfectant

 

In Part 5, I will go further into safety information about using these oils around children and pets.

Check out all of the posts in this Essential Oil Basics series:

 

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any essential oil company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Essential Oil Basics: Part 2 – Using Essential Oils

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

So now that you know what essential oils are, let’s talk about how you can use them in your own home. The most popular ways to use essential oils are to diffuse them through the air or apply them on your skin (topically).

 

 

Diffusion

Diffusing or inhaling essential oils is the most effective way to get the benefits, which include: relaxation, improved breathing, mood enhancement, and more!

Here are a couple of tips:

1. Only put essential oils in an essential oil diffuser – not a humidifier, candle wax warmer, etc.
2. Do not dilute the oils with a carrier oil (or use a pre-diluted oil blend) in a diffuser. It will ruin it.

Most diffusers work about the same, so here are the general steps, but obviously follow the directions that came with your model.

Step 1: Take the lid off the diffuser and add water. Most models will have a max fill line.
Step 2: Add your oils. For a small space like a bedroom, I only use a few drops.  In a larger space, I may use more depending on how strong the scent of the oil is.
Step 3: Replace the lid, and turn it on. You’ll see the mist and smell the oils immediately!

 

Run your diffuser for 30-60 minutes, then turn it off for one hour, and repeat if desired.

 

Topically

Topical application is best for a skin or muscle issue, or when you want oil absorption for a longer period of time. (Essential oils take time to get through the skin as opposed to being inhaled.) I always recommend you dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, before applying them.  I’ve included some dilution guidelines below.

Note: It is NOT recommended to use essential oils on children under the age of 2, unless directed by your healthcare provider.

.25% Dilution (1 drop per 4 teaspoons of carrier oil)

  • For children 2-6 years of age

1% Dilution (1 drop per teaspoon of carrier oil or 5-6 drops per ounce)

  • For children over 6 years and the elderly
  • Recommended when applying oils to the face or all over the body

2% Dilution (2 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil or 10-12 drops per ounce)

  • For healthy adults in most situations

Please note that these are guidelines, not rules. There may be exceptions based on the individual and the oil being used. Always use the lowest dilution possible for your needs.

 

If that’s a little too much work (I totally get it), you can purchase many varieties of essential oils that are pre-diluted in a rollerball (pictured), and just apply it directly to your skin without having to mix anything.

Be aware that most rollerball applicators used the dilution recommended for a healthy adult, and may not be sutable for use on children (unless you are using the Plant Therapy KidSafe products…more on those in my next post!)

 

Internally

Some people and brands also advise taking essential oils internally (adding them to drinking water, etc.), but based on the research I’ve done, I do not feel like this is safe. Therefore, I do not practice this myself, or recommend it to others.

 
Check out all of the posts in this Essential Oil Basics series:

 

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any essential oil company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Essential Oil Basics: Part 1 – What are Essential Oils?

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Since I was introduced to essential oils in 2013, I’ve been using and researching them quite a bit. Recently, my friends have started asking about them, and they’re a bit overwhelmed by all of the information out there.  So, I thought I’d do some blog posts based on what I’ve learned over the last few years.  This Essential Oil Basics series will cover what essential oils are, how to use them, my favorite oils and brands, and using them safely with children and pets.

 

    What are essential oils?

  • Essential oils are highly concentrated natural oils found in various parts of plants. They are retrieved from plants using a process called distillation, most often by steam or water. After distillation, the concentrated oil will have the fragrance and healing properties of the plant it came from.
    Are they the same as fragrance oils?

  • No. Fragrance oils are created in a lab. Essential oils come directly from the plant itself.
    What do I use them for?

  • Essential oils have a variety of uses. Lavender is probably one of my favorite oils, because it is so versatile. It can soothe a bug bite, heal cuts and scrapes, and help you get a better night’s sleep. (Assuming your kids will let you. Haha)

 

Check out all of the posts in this Essential Oil Basics series:

 

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any essential oil company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

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