The more the better! A common mindset that everyone of us have. However, there are some things that when we consume or use more than we need, can in fact cause more harm than good. Essential oils are one of them.
Many essential oil users are not aware of the potential risks when they use essential oils for their health and wellness.
It seems that many of us have a common presumption that essential oils are natural, and therefore perfectly safe. While it is true that essential oils are natural, however, not everything that is natural is safe to be used as and when we want, and as much as we please.
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts from leaves, flowers and stems. Even the world’s oil masters have advised that extra attention is needed to be given when using essential oils, especially on babies and children.
Mothers are advised not to use essential oil products unnecessary on their newly born babies.
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Just like medication, essential oils need to be correctly diluted according to the different age group for safety reasons. Dosage on how much of an essential oil is used, plays a big part in observing essential oil safety.
If too much of an oil is used, it can cause the body to react differently, especially on babies and children.
Babies and young children differ from adults in how they respond to essential oils because their bodies are so much tinier, hence they don’t need the same amount of oil as compared to an adult.
Even a baby’s dilution is different from a child’s. Baby’s skin and body systems are immature and may not handle a child’s dilutions. Therefore, it is very important to understand proper dilution ratios and formulations.
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Essential Oil Safety
So what could happen if a product that is not correctly diluted is used on your baby or child? ACD or Allergic Contact Dermatitis, an allergic immune response can happen when you use any incorrectly diluted essential oil products.
This reaction may or may not show up at the area where you have applied, it can show up at other parts of the body. And it may not necessarily happen during the first application.
Examples of some signs of sensitisation are skin redness, itchy skin and pimply bumpy skin. However, serious signs of sensitisation can include chest tightness, shortness of breath and even seizure.
The sad truth is that once you are sensitised, you are sensitised from the same oil chemical properties for life. Unfortunately this condition is said to be irreversible!
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Baby and Child Safe Essential Oils
Selecting the types of oils used on babies and children plays another very important role. Babies and children are more sensitive in responding to the therapeutic effects of essential oils.
They don’t need strong oils, hence milder oils work just as great and effective for them.
Strong oils are those that are high in chemical constituents of menthol and 1,8-cineole such as Peppermint oil and Eucalyptus oil, which are not recommended for babies and children.
Peppermint oil consists of up to 55% menthol and up to 10% 1,8-cineole, and when used on babies and children, they may cause the risk of apnea, laryngeal and bronchial spasms, acute respiratory distress with cyanosis, and respiratory arrest.
Peppermint oil is not advised to be topically applied to or diffused around children under the age of 6 years.
While Eucalyptus oil is not advised to be topically applied to or diffused around children under the age of 10 years.
So should you simply stop in using essential oils? Certainly not!
Essential oils have a wealth of proven health benefits for humans for thousands of years. What you can do is to play your part! Make an effort to read the product’s labels especially when buying essential oil products for your babies and children. Request for the ingredient’s list if it is not included in the labels.
Safe certified products are the best buys because they have been correctly diluted and formulated. Put away any products that are not suitable for our babies and children, no matter how much they have been promoted to you.
Always put your babies and children’s safety your first priority.