Kid-friendly Aromatherapy Tips & Tools
By Caryn Gehlmann
Many children are dealing with extra stress this year. The pandemic has disrupted routines, interaction with family members, school schedules, and more. Can essential oils help your child feel more grounded and resilient? Yes! Many parents and educators have found that aromatherapy can help calm a child who is anxious or stressed, promote sleep, and help with various wellness issues like allergies or nausea. If you’re new to aromatherapy and using essential oils, or would like to gain more clarity on the topic of safe essential oils for children, you’re in the right place to find kid-friendly aromatherapy tips.
For a starter, I found this article by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to be very helpful — How Aromatherapy Can Help Children. Vanessa Battista, a pediatric nurse practitioner who has studied aromatherapy, gave great advice to parents. She said you need to make your children involved in the process and find a fragrance and a “tool” (application method) they like using! She explained, “Aromatherapy only works if a child enjoys the smell and finds it calming or uplifting. Different people have different smell preferences and associations.” I couldn’t agree more, like adults, children need to listen to their nose!
Below I share three scenarios where kid-friendly aromatherapy can be helpful along with suggestions for essential oil blends and application methods that are popular with kids. This is a great starting point for you as a parent to help your child tap into the therapy aroma can provide.
#1 – Kid-friendly aromatherapy blends for school
Whether your child is going to school or doing schoolwork at home, these blends can help them to concentrate and focus, or on the other hand, soothe anxiety if they’re stressed about a change in their routine.
e3’s Concentrate, Revitalize and Pick Me Up blends are kid favorites that help them focus on their schoolwork without the side effects of caffeine! If anxiety or overstimulation is the main issue, Lavender, or e3’s Peace or Child Harmony blends are great options.
Here’s a DIY blend you might want to try to get your child in the right frame of mind for school in the morning:
If your child is going to school, how can you help them use their essential oils discreetly in the classroom?
Here are some practical application tools for aromatherapy at school:
Aromatherapy Bracelet – Simply place a drop of your favorite essential oil on the lava beads. Your child can wear their bracelet to school and enjoy the gentle diffusion throughout the day.
Aromatherapy Inhaler – Inhalers can easily be tucked into pockets or backpacks for a quick aromatherapy moment on the go. Your child can choose which of the eight colors they like best!
Mask Spitzer – If you’re having trouble getting your child to keep their face mask on, these mask spritzers can be a lifesaver! Let your child choose which blend they prefer and it will make breathing through a mask more pleasant, so they’re less tempted to remove it.
#2 – Child-friendly aromatherapy blends for bedtime
Many essential oils have been shown to have a calming effect, promoting natural, restful sleep. Lavender essential oil in particular has been extensively researched and appears to help people, including children, get to sleep. Other e3 blends that are helpful for bedtime include Sleeptime, Stress Relief, Relax, and Peace.
Here’s a DIY blend you might want to try with your child at night:
Some parents like to run a diffuser in their child’s bedroom, however, depending on the age of the child, there can be safety concerns. Here are a couple of other ways to incorporate aromatherapy into your child’s bedtime.
Aromatherapy Plush Animals (aka Snooperbear) – These cleverly designed stuffed animals have an internal diffusion cartridge hidden safely inside a “tushy” pocket. That way your child has the multi-sensory experience of holding onto something soft and cuddly while enjoying the relaxation of their favorite blend safely diffusing.
Spritz the Bedding – Spritzers combine essential oils with water in a spritzer bottle that you can mist on your child’s bedding and pillowcase. You can get the spritzers pre-made or learn how to make your own.
Aromatherapy Bath – If your child takes a bath before bed, try making it a relaxing aromatherapy bath by mixing a relaxing blend of essential oils with Epsom Salts. (You never want to add essential oils directly to water.)
#3 – Aromatherapy blends for child wellness
When your children aren’t feeling well, essential oil blends can often provide some comfort. There are a wide assortment of e3 blends to choose from if your child is struggling with allergies, headaches, tummy troubles, and more. Before choosing a blend, make sure to read the page to see if it’s appropriate for children.
Here are a couple of DIY blends you might want to try if your child has an upset stomach:
Blend together with 5 ml of carrier oil. At bedtime using a small amount of oil, massage the whole of their abdomen with gentle movements working around the belly button in a clockwise direction starting on the child’s right side up and over, down the left side, and repeat.
Blend together with 50 ml of carrier oil (Calendula, Sweet Almond, or Fractionated Coconut Oil). Using a small amount of oil, massage the whole of their abdomen with gentle movements working around the belly button in a clockwise direction starting on the child’s right side up and over, down the left side, and repeat. Since diarrhea is often the result of nervous tension, you can also rub it in the soles of their feet!
What are some other application methods that work well for children?
Queenie Unicorn Diffuser – This child-friendly diffuser can be used in the bedroom, living room, study area, or anywhere you want to create a relaxing and supportive environment. Your child can choose to use the soothing sounds and lights that make it even more of a treat.
Roll-ons – e3’s roll-ons are already diluted which makes them a good option when you want to apply it to your children’s skin. This is recommended for children over the age of 3 and make sure to do your homework regarding the safe usage of each blend.
Perhaps you’d like to explore kid-friendly aromatherapy blending with your child? To help you out, download our free workbook, the Art & Science of Blending Essential Oils, and we’ll walk you through it! Questions? Our clinical aromatherapists are available to support you.