Essential oil use is on the rise! In recent years, we have rediscovered the benefits of using all natural essential oils. I'm sure you've heard of some of the top selling companies and you probably even have used essential oils in your home, but what about your CLASSROOM? Apparently, classroom diffusing is also on the rise. HOWEVER some questions are worth our consideration:
Is it safe to use essential oils around ALL CHILDREN?
Is it legal to use essential oils in your classroom?
Recently, I saw a post about an incident in a daycare in which children exhibited physical signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, when in fact, these were the results of essential oils being diffused in the same room for a long amount of time. Scary. You can read about this event here. Obviously, this is raising a lot of concern.
Because essential oils are all natural, people sometimes assume they are safe for everyone to use, but just like all natural herbal supplements, too much or the wrong kind can be devastating. Making an assumption is a scary and risky thing to embark upon, especially when other children are in your care.
Please let me say that I do use essential oils in my home, but at a very minimum. I'll write more about that later. But this post is mostly about safety of these oils around children- specifically within the confines of a classroom.
Let's consider together the CLASSROOM.
- Your students are under your utmost care in your classroom.
- You WANT to create a safe environment mentally, emotionally and physically for your students.
Diffusing some lavender to calm sounds great. Diffusing a synergy for germs seems logical. But is it safe for every child?
According to this FANTASTIC and well written blog post, click here too read, from a CERTIFIED AROMA THERAPIST for Plant Therapy, essential oils should be considered in the same category as medications. You wouldn't hand out medication to all your students and for students who need meds during the day, you must have parental consent. In the same way, some children may be sensitive to essential oils. There is no way to know which oils negatively affect which children until they are exposed to it. As a PARENT, who uses essential oils, I do not think they can be safely diffused in a classroom for that reason. I would certainly not approve of learning diffusing was taking place in a classroom where one of my children was learning. I would also not like to receive a phone call that my sweet baby was having a sensitivity experience to the oil and wasn't in my care. It's just a mamma bear scenario waiting to happen!
At Home Diffusing: For those who are Curious!
I said I would write a little more about how I use oils in my home. I am super paranoid about these oils for a couple of reasons: There's not enough research for my taste yet on the effects of the oils and also because I've even had some adverse affects from some of the oils I've purchased.
I always talk to a certified aroma therapist from plant therapy before making a decision about an oil for my family. DO YOU TALK TO A CERTIFIED AROMA THERAPIST? They know the most about these oils! (PS, I will refer to them a lot because I like them and they have built trust with me. This is not a direct sell company, but I recommend them!)
Sensitivities: Last year, I found out that I could not diffuse any oils that used chamomile because I have a steep allergy to ragweed which come from the same ASTER plant family. What tipped me off was difficulty breathing when diffusing. I have asthma induced by ragweed and other plants in that family which include sunflowers, safflower, and daisies, which, sadly, I love. Many, many people suffer from Fall ragweed allergies. Another reason not to diffuse any oils in your classroom containing chamomile (often labeled as Roman Chamomile).
Also, if your oils make you extremely fatigued or extremely hyper, or make your heart race, these are "NO". It's not worth it to continue to use something that wreaks havoc on your body by changing it so.
I also DO NOT inhale any oils anymore because every time I did this, no matter which oil I dropped a couple of drops on a tissue and inhaled, I experienced a spacey feeling for at least 30 minutes afterward. I actually have gotten in the car and forgot what I was doing and where I was going. That was enough to scare me. Please know your body and what affects you.
KIDSAFE: As the above post by the aroma therapist explains, you must be very careful diffusing around children. Unfortunately, I am aware of families who use a certain company of oils "neat" without a carrier oil and also diffuse oils that aroma therapists advise against being around children.
For example, I use eucalyptus to prevent sinus infections, which I used to get 4 times a year, but I cannot diffuse this around my babies!
PLEASE be careful of who you receive advice from about oils! I like plant therapy because I can chat with a certified aroma therapist online. They are very honest and tell me which oils I absolutely cannot diffuse around my children! It's ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry. In addition, they have kidsafe synergies that have already been diluted for diffusing or application. Even so, your child still may have sensitivities to certain oils.
HOW LONG: In the post I have referenced, the aroma therapists endorses diffusing no longer than 30 minutes a day around children. Again, better safe than sorry!!!
This is a great chart for reference of kids safe oils for children from 2-10! I love it! Go to town.
One more thing: Please visit the site and talk to an AT about which medications your children (and the adults in your home) currently take as well before purchasing an oil as some oils may interact with medicine.
*WHAT WE LIKE*
Check out the Bergamot for ADHD! I actually just recently bought this one and diffuse it to help me with depression and anxiety as well. It lifts my mood and helps me feel calm almost immediately! For that reason, My husband loves it! LOL.
We also use the kidsafe sneezy stop synergy for allergies to start the day off on bad allergy days. I find that when I diffuse that, we usually feel better the rest of the day. I have stopped taking and giving zyrtec and other antihistamines to my kids because we've noticed some adverse behavior as well as anxiety stemming from those medicines. Granted, some days, the allergens are super ugly down here in the south and we do need the antihistamines. However, the sneezy stop goes a long way on days we can get by with it!
My husband also diffuses lavender at night to help him sleep. He almost never sleeps well and has found that to be helpful in helping him fall asleep.
We have a few others, which I won't currently mention. I DID NOT intend for this to be such a disclosure!
In conclusion, (ha, sounds like your third grader's closing paragraph, right?) Please consider seriously skipping diffusing in your classroom if you have been diffusing or have been interested in it. Please consider consulting someone who is actually certified in essential oil use with all your questions about how to use them in your home safely.