Essential oils are a must in our home. We use them daily to support wellness and emotions. There are many essential oils that are safe for children. However, you should always do your own research for your family and start small. Let’s discuss some ways to use oils in your home and what are safe essential oils for children. 

Essential Oil Use In My Own Home 

We started using essential oils in our home to ditch and switch toxic products in our home, such as: 

  • Candles 
  • Bleach/harsh cleaning products 
  • Toxic topical products 

We use safe essential oils for kids instead of burning a candle. Diffusing is the not only a great way to make our home smell lovely, but you also breath in some beneficial plant properties while doing so. I have ditched all my cleaning products and now use an essential oil cleaner that is safe for children. I don’t have to worry after cleaning the tub that they are sitting in chemicals.  

Essential Oil Safety First 

There are some key rules when using essential oils with children to keep your family safe. 

  • Essential oils should NEVER be ingested. 
  • Oil and water don’t mix. Therefore, it should NEVER be put in the bathtub because it will be undiluted and directly touching skin. 
  • DO NOT diffuse essential oils around children under six months old. 
  • For children under two, DO NOT use an oil diffuser for longer than 60 minutes. So, this means not overnight in their bedroom! 
  • Don’t use essential oils on or around babies under 3 months old.
  • If your child has any known health conditions, such as asthma, always consult your pediatrician before introducing a new substance. 
  • Make sure you start small with amounts and get adjusted. 
  • Peppermint oil should not be used with children under 3. 
  • Under the age of 3, Eucalyptus oil should only be used topically at 0.5% dilution. 


Diffusing is the safest way to use essential oils. Diffusers can also act as humidifiers so it’s a win especially when they are sick. However, you should never put your oils in a humidifier, only in a diffuser. Safe essential oils for children are all right to run in a diffuser throughout the night for older children. Just remember a little goes a long way, start small, 1-2 drops. 

Here are some great benefits of diffusing essential oils. 

  • They can help you relax and sleep 
  • They can support your immune system 
  • Help clear airways for healthy breathing 

Here are some of my favorite safe essential oils for kids. 

  • Lavender (promotes calmness, sleep and allergy support) 
  • Frankincense (calming, immune support) 
  • Lemon (respiratory and allergies) 
  • Peace and calming (which is a blend oil that is great to add during the bedtime routine, great for children that have bad dreams or fear the dark) 
  • Thieves (boosting their immune systems) 


Safe essential oils for children two years and older need to be properly diluted. Some essential oil companies sell kid line oils which already come diluted. I love leaning on my oils; they truly help our family when they have an illness or trouble sleeping. 

Guidelines for Topical Dilution  

  • Children ages 2+ ( MIN 3 drops MID 5 drops MAX 10 drops ) 
  • Add to a diluted 10ml roller bottle 
  • Great oils to use as a fatty oil for dilution would be, coconut oil or grapeseed oil 
  • NEVER put an undiluted oil on a child. 
  • Always start on the bottoms of their feet when using essential oils 

When my children have been exposed to an illness or are not feeling well, I will rub thieves in a roller bottle on the bottoms of their feet before bedtime. Another safe essential oil for kids that I like to use on the bottom of their feet is lavender, after they get out of the tub. This allows their body to start calming down during the bedtime routine. Remember no oils in the bathtub though! 

DIY recipes that have essential oils that are safe for kids over two years 

Homemade Vicks Vapor Rub 

  • ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • ¼ cup shea butter
  • 15 drops of lemon myrtle
  • 15 drops of lavender
  • Melt coconut oil, add oils and add to a glass mason jar!
  • Apply to the bottoms of feet, chest and back 

After Sun Lotion 

  • ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • 5 drops of lavender
  • 5 drops of frankincense
  • Melt and mix!
  • Store in a mason jar and apply after bath time.  

Once again always do your own research and make sure you are using pure essential oils. There are some oils on the market that are not safe or pure, dig around and research! You’ll be glad that you started ditching and switching your home, now go get oily! 

Learn more in the wonderful resource: Essential Oil Pocket Reference.

About The Author

Jaclyn Capilli has over 10 years experience working with children. After graduating from Curry College with her Bachelor Degree she worked as a paraprofessional in a special need’s classroom. Then while in Graduate school at Cambridge College she nannied for a local family for 3 years. After moving back to the South Shore she worked for Head Start for 5 plus years while nannying for a local family. She is now a mother of two and is working for Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny. She owns Jaclyn Nicole Photography, a photography business in the South Shore. In addition, she is a knowledgeable, Young Living Essential Oils representative!