Diffusion and Children

On diffusion and children, Robert Tisserand states, 2nd Ed. Essential Oil Safety, pg. 658 “A few drops of essential oil in a burner, vaporizer or in a steam inhalation is virtually risk-free. However, prolonged inhalation (more than about 30 minutes) of concentrated essential oils vapors (e.g. steam inhalation, or direct from a bottle) can lead to headaches, vertigo, nausea, and lethargy. In certain instances more serious symptoms might be experienced, such as incoherence and double vision. For children of 5 years old or less, direct inhalation should be avoided. Direct inhalation includes inhaling essential oils from the hands, a cotton ball, a nasal inhaler, a bowl of hot water or similar. Indirect or ambient inhalation, is safe for young children, and includes any method that vaporizes essential oils into the air”.

On page 9 Tisserand continues “perhaps 10 minutes or more” break between diffusions with be advisable. Although this is a safe method of application, Tisserand states it excludes premature babies, (pg. 659) as well as the health of the child, i.e.; medications, asthma, etc. The diffusion method doesn’t erase the importance of the individual oil safety precautions. Some oils, no matter what method, is not safe for children so please seek advice from a reputable source on EO safety.

Note: As you can see, we hopped around the book to find as much relevant information as we could, although there is much more. I absolutely encourage anyone to buy Tisserand’s book. But I also encourage you that if you do, you have to read it and connect the dots. I’ve seen quotes from some of a sentence, but had research been done further, there were more specific information that was of importance and relevance to the outcome. Research is key.

Through messenger on Facebook, I asked Robert for a more definitive answer on diffusion with the little ones. From Robert Tisserand: "I think after 3 months is OK, so long as diffusion is not too intensive. I know that's vague, but air concentration of volatiles is hard to pin down, and even if we could - there's no clear guideline."

I feel that inhalers would fall under “direct inhalation” and should be avoided for those 5 and under.