General Safety Precautions
Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and pets.
Do not use or recommend the use of photosensitizing essential oils prior to going into a sun tanning booth or the sun. Recommend that the client stay out of the sun or sun tanning booth for at least twenty-four hours after treatment if photosensitizing essential oils were applied to the skin.
Avoid prolonged use of the same essential oils unless they are being used under the guidance of a qualified health professional.
Avoid the use of essential oils you know nothing about on your clients. Research and get to know the oil prior to using it on others.
Avoid the use of undiluted essential oils on the skin, unless otherwise indicated.
If you suspect your client may be sensitive to specific essential oils or if your client has known allergies or sensitivities, it may be wise to perform a skin patch test.
Know the safety data on each essential oil and place into context of use and knowledge.
Use caution when treating a female client who suspects she is pregnant or has been trying to become pregnant.
Keep essential oils away from the eyes.
Essential oils are highly flammable substances and should be kept away from direct contact with flames, such as candles, fire, matches, cigarettes, and gas cookers.17
Make sure your treatment room has good ventilation.
Do not take essential oils internally without appropriate advanced aromatherapy education and understanding of the safety issues involved in doing so. Essential oils are commonly used internally throughout the world. Some individuals are doing so without the appropriate knowledge or understanding of safety concerns. NAHA does not support the indiscriminate or uneducated internal use of essential oils. If essential oils are used internally, we recommend doing so under the guidance of a knowledgeable health professional, or by using properly diluted, professionally formulated products labeled for internal use. To learn more, we recommend you receive education from a NAHA approved school. NAHA is dedicated to promoting education in this area so that internal use is better understood, and if done, is performed safely and effectively.
If essential oil droplets accidentally get into the eye (or eyes) a cotton cloth or similar should be imbued with a fatty oil, such as olive or sesame, and carefully swiped over the closed lid.18 And / Or, Immediately flush the eyes with cool water.
If an essential oil causes dermal irritation, apply a small amount of vegetable oil or cream to the area affected and discontinue use of essential oil or product that has caused dermal irritation.
If a child appears to have drunk several spoonfuls of essential oil, contact the nearest poison control unit (often listed in the front of a telephone directory). Keep the bottle for identification and encourage the child to drink whole or 2% milk. Do not try to induce vomiting.19
Safety for Animals
For information on how to be safe when using aromatherapy with your animals, download Aromatherapy for Animals