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Product Education: Kids and Essential Oil Safety

Kids and Essential Oil Safety

Essential oils are powerful tools that can be used to support health and well-being. When proper usage guidelines are followed, essential oils are safe for the entire family. But for kids, what are those proper usage guidelines? Keep reading to find out!


  • Opt for topical and aromatic uses with children before using them internally. 
  • Start with just one drop of oil diluted with several drops of carrier oil for topical application.
  • Use the doTERRA Touch® line and doTERRA Kids Collection for easy, pre-diluted application.
  • Keep essential oils out of reach of children at all times and never let children use oils unsupervised.
  • Avoid sun exposure for 12 hours after topical application of citrus oils.
  • Consult with a physician before using essential oils.
  • Hot oils, like Oregano or Cinnamon, require extra dilution before topical application. Avoid using these strong oils topically on children until they are older. 

Are Essential Oils Safe for Kids?

Yes, essential oils are safe to use on children; however, there are a few extra precautions to take when it comes to using essential oils on your little ones. Children have more delicate and sensitive skin than adults, so it is always necessary to dilute oils before applying them topically on your kids. If taking oils internally, children require far less than an adult because they have smaller, more sensitive, developing bodies. 

The most important rule for kids when it comes to using essential oils is to only do so with the help and supervision of an adult. Keep essential oils out of reach of your children so they cannot use them unsupervised.

How to Safely Apply Oils on Children

Before you start using essential oils, make sure that you have a firm understanding of how to apply them, the appropriate dosages and quantities, and which areas to avoid. For example, when applying essential oils topically, avoid application to the eyes, ears, nose, or sensitive areas, and avoid putting essential oils on broken or damaged skin.  

Internal use is probably the most potent way to use essential oils and although safe when used appropriately, for children you may want to start with aromatic or topical application instead. If taking an oil internally, make sure that it is approved for internal use.

When applying essential oils topically, dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil so that it is not too powerful for the child’s skin. This will help ensure your child doesn’t experience any sensitivity. While some worry that using a carrier oil will reduce the benefits of essential oils, it will actually help increase absorption as that the oil stays on the skin for a longer period of time.

If you are looking for a good carrier oil, consider using doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil. Remember that the dilution ratio you use on your child should be different than what you might normally use on yourself. It is recommended that you use several drops of carrier oil to one drop of essential oil with your child. The exact dilution ratio you use may change with their age. Younger children require more dilution than older children. For easy application, the doTERRA Touch line and doTERRA Kids Collection are prediluted. 

How Much Oil to Use on a Child

Dosage, which is how much of an essential oil you use at once, is a big part of using oils safely. If too much oil is used, it can cause your body to react negatively. So how do you make sure that you are using the right amount of oil? 

For children, a good rule of thumb is to start with just one drop of an essential oil, and as we said before, make sure it is diluted for topical application. From there, you can decide if the oil had the effect you wanted or if you need a second drop. It is not recommended to apply more than two drops at a time on a child. Remember, when it comes to using essential oils, less is often more. Using small amounts multiple times a day is better than using a large amount once a day.

What to Do If Your Child Has an Adverse Reaction

Although uncommon, some people experience sensitivity to essential oils. This can include: 

  • Pain, swelling, or tenderness of the skin
  • Itchiness
  • Hives, rash, or boils
  • Digestive upset
  • Difficulty breathing

If your child experiences a reaction to essential oils, discontinue use immediately. Do not apply any other essential oils. If the reaction is severe, prolonged, or worsens over time, seek immediate medical attention from a trained professional.

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