This is a hot topic and even though people have used store bought chest rubs for years, that does not mean they are safe to use. It is all about reducing risk and why take a risk using products such as these when there are just as effective and safer options? Yes, many of these products are marketed as safe for little ones & they even make “baby” versions, (and there are many different brands that sell these type of things.), and they feel that the products are safe, so each one, after learning the facts, will have to decide what is best & safest for their family.
Always be sure that the oils which you choose are safe for your family's situation!
Many of these types of products contain essential oils such as eucalyptus and/or peppermint and contain high levels of menthol and/or camphor which is great for reducing chest congestion and clearing nasal passages for older children and adults, but can be dangerous to use around small children. Even if these are “fragrance” oils instead of essential oils, the menthol scent can cause adverse reactions and cause breathing to become shallow and labored in little ones.
The reason behind this is that menthol and other similar substances can stimulate the cold receptors in the lungs which causes respiration to become more restricted. Think about going outside during bitterly cold weather and taking a deep breath of that icy cold air. It makes it hard to breathe and can even be a bit painful. In an older child or adult our bodies can better handle this response, but in a young child or baby, their response to something like this is often going to be more severe due to the fact that they are still developing.
* Another child safe chest rub from Aromahead. If you aren't familiar Elemi, please click on the meme which will take you to a page on the Aromahead site where you can learn more. If you do not have Elemi, you can use Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) as a sub.
You can learn more about why using oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus are not child safe here.
* More info on why Vicks may not be the safest option for your family.
Vicks VapoRub May Lead To Respiratory Distress In Babies And Toddlers
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Lea Harris Jacobson is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist Scholar's Program graduate from Aromahead Institute. This website is home to educational advice and empowering information about using essential oils safely. The Using Essential Oils Safely facebook group founded and run by Lea and her team has over 140,000 members and hundreds of new members joining each week. Lea is the author of her bestseller Essential Oil Profiles (available as a full color print book as well as an ebook). Based off the information in the popular Top 60 Essential Oils APP, the print version has sold out in days each time it's been offered. Other books by Lea: The TRUTH About Essential Oil Safety, and the Hydrosols Quick Start Guide.
Lea is the creator of Safe Essential Oil Labels, designed to wrap around any size or brand bottle, as well as apps for essential oils and carriers, and hydrosols.
You can find FREE classes here: Free Essential Oil Classes, and sign up for the Using Essential Oils Safely BASICS course Lea teaches where you can earn your "Essential Oil Safety Advocate" title.