In the last decade, reports have surfaced in Canada, and worldwide, of side effects and reactions in children who accidentally ingest products containing eucalyptus oils, which are not intended for oral use. Parents and caregivers may not be aware that these products can be toxic to children. As with any other medication, it is important that these health products be used with caution and stored out of the reach of children.
Because of these recent reports, Health Canada has now regulated new label requirements for liquid and semi-solid products containing more than 0.022% eucalyptus. This includes both eucalyptus radiata and eucalyptus globulus. These new regulations require such product labels to have a cautionary statement:
Keep out of reach of children. In case of accidental ingestion, call a Poison Control Centre or doctor immediately and advise them this product contains eucalyptus oil.
Our regular Chest Rub falls under these new regulations. Because it is a semi-solid ointment, and it contains more than 0.022% eucalyptus oil. As we have outlined in our FAQ section, we already do not recommend the use of some of our products on babies or pregnant women due to the concentration levels and/or safety guidelines of the essential oil blends contained within.
In the case of the Chest Rub, we do have Baby's and Kids formulas that do not contain eucalyptus oil. These formulas use essential oils deemed safe for children and babies, and are made with concentration levels that meet safety guidelines for the use of essential oils.
We chose to make the Baby's and Kids formulas, without eucalyptus oil, to be over-cautious. Using a product containing eucalyptus, in an essential oil blend that is then diluted in a carrier oil or ointment, on a child over 2, most likely will not cause any adverse affect - providing it is used properly. Here are some tips on the safe use of products containing eucalyptus oil:
- Do not ingest eucalyptus oil (we do not recommend ingesting any essential oils)
- Do not apply products containing eucalyptus oil on babies under 2
- Do not apply products containing eucalyptus oil on the face of children under 10 (especially in or near their eyes, nose and mouth)
- Keep products containing eucalyptus out of reach of children
- Reach out to manufacturers to find out the concentration levels of eucalyptus in their formulas
- As with all essential oils, when in doubt, use eucalyptus oil under the supervision of your family physician, naturopath, aromatherapist or preferred health care professional
These guidelines seem very straight forward, however, because the use of essential oils has become more widely accepted, many people are using them without adequate knowledge of how to use them properly and safely.
For anyone interested, and willing to invest, in learning more about the safe use of essential oils, there is a terrific book Essential Oil Safety written by world renowned essential oil expert Robert Tisserand and his co-author, Rodney Young. Considered the most evidence-based resource available, it took 10+ years to write and contains over 4000 citations.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or to make a comment.
- stay wild