How to Safely Use Essential Oils with your Children

Yes, it is safe to use essential oils with your children. BUT, you need to make sure you're doing it safely! This post tells you everything you need to know to be sure you're using essential oils safely with your children.

Last month, I hosted a giveaway with Rocky Mountain Oils. If you missed that, don’t worry–there will be more giveaways to come! As one of the entries in that giveaway, I asked a 1-question survey about your obstacles with using essential oils. I am working on a very exciting project to address all of those concerns and you can read more about that here. However, there is one issue that came up in nearly every response–essential oils and children.

I was encouraged by your concerns because it’s right to be concerned. It shows that you recognize the potency of essential oils and you want to be sure that you are using them responsibly with your children. I applaud you for that!

At the same time, I want you to be empowered to use essential oils safely because they have been such a benefit for my family, including my children.

Before we get started with the details, I should first admit that I tend to use essential oils on the conservative side. There are 2 reasons for this:

  1. There is no need to use them any other way. If they work when used safely, cautiously and on the conservative side, why would I do things that could be considered unsafe or irresponsible?
  2. Better safe than sorry. I would never want to take a chance where my child’s health and safety is concerned.

With that said, there may be some exceptions to these rules that a qualified health professional may lead you to make. I am not a qualified health professional, and I do not know your particular situation, so these are just general guidelines.

Most of these guidelines are also important when using essential oils with adults, but are even more so when using essential oils with children because their little systems are so much smaller and more sensitive.

For ages 2+

In most circumstances, essential oils should only be used with toddlers and children who are ages 2+. There are some essential oils that are mild enough to be used with younger children, but you should research each oil as there are many that are specifically not advised for certain ages (I am including some of those in the free printable below). For smaller children, I prefer to use herbs and tinctures when possible.

Do not use essential oils for children under 6 months.

Always Dilute

It is important to always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before using them topically. This is true for anyone, but especially true for children. It is generally advised that you use a 1% dilution for children ages 2+.

This is necessary for all companies and all oils. There are very few exceptions, and those should be under the guidance of a professional-and by this I do not mean a sales rep.

What does a 1% dilution look like? 

  • 1 drop of EO to 5 ml of carrier oil.
  • 2 drops of EO to 10 ml of carrier oil
  • 3 drops of EO to 15 ml of carrier oil
  • 5 drops of EO to 30 ml (1 oz) of carrier oil
  • 10 drops of EO to 60 ml (2 0z) of carrier oil

Yes, essential oils are potent and concentrated enough that this is enough to do the job. Some may be a bit more potent, but you want to keep it at 5% or less. 

Never give essential oils internally

Our family does not use essential oils internally. Instead, we look to other natural methods–herbs, tinctures, supplements, etc. if something needs to be treated internally. I do not advise ingesting essential oils for anybody (except under the guidance of a healthcare professional), but this is especially important for children. Please do not give your child essential oils to ingest. Be responsible and cautious.

You should also never use essential oils in the ear canal, in the eyes, or around the mouth/nose area. 

Use high quality oils

While I’m not one to say that only one company is good, quality matters. Be sure you’re using a good, high quality essential oil. This post can help you ask the right questions when choosing an essential oil company.

Oils to AVOID using with children

Here is an incomplete list of some of the most common oils that should be completely avoided for use with children under a certain age. There are others, so be sure to research your oil for possible contraindications before using it.

Avoid or use with caution on children under 2

  • Anise
  • Basil
  • Cardamon
  • Cassia
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel
  • Ginger Lily
  • Ravintsara
  • Hyssop
  • Laurel
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Marjoram
  • Melissa
  • Myrtle
  • Niaouli
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Ravintsara
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang-Ylang

Avoid or use with caution for children under 6

  • Anise
  • Cardamom
  • Eucalyptus–use at max 1% dilution in children ages 3-6
  • Fennel
  • Laurel
  • Marjoram
  • Myrtle
  • Niaouli
  • Peppermint–use at max .5% dilution in children ages 3-6
  • Ravintsara
  • Rosemary
  • Wintergreen

Brand New Kids Oil Line from Rocky Mountain Oils!!!

It can be confusing to try and keep up with which oils are approved and which oils aren’t. Rocky Mountain Oils has created a brand new collection just for kids!  

RMO Kids Line Oils

This line contains 10 safe, effective blends which address everyday concerns such as sleeping, tummy troubles, muscle soreness, immunity, and much more. Each blend is in a 10 ml. roller bottle (with a stainless steel rollerball), and contains only oils that are pre-diluted and safe for young children.

No more wondering which oils to use when, or how much to dilute. All of the oils are diluted to a safe dilution percent, so that all you have to do is pull out the bottle and /swipe. Love this!

SPECIAL DEAL: Through 8/20, you can save 25% on the complete Kids Line, making it just over $100 for the ALL 10 roller ball blends! We use these daily in our home.

As an added bonus, you will also receive a FREE moby diffuser with your purchase! It’s so cute and your children will love it.

free moby diffuser

We were able to try these out in advance, and my boys were so excited to have their own oils. We’ve already been using them and love the blends.

P.S. Don’t forget Rocky Mountain Oils ship free in the US with no minimum order.

How to use essential oils safely with children


  1. tara8910 says

    Very good information. I have been wanting to find out more about this. Thank you! I’m visiting from the “A Little Bird Told Me” Link Party.

  2. acraftymix says

    That’s so great to know, thank you. I’ve always wondered what the right mix/concoction should be

I love to hear your feedback and value your thoughts! All I ask is that we remain respectful and civil, even when we disagree. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate you!

Thank you for joining in the discussion!