Honey, in its thick, sweet, golden splendor, can be a fantastic addition to most diet plans, offering aid to allergy sufferers and giving the body a daily dose of eye-healing rutin. For parents looking to give their nursing baby a treat or stop a squalling bout, reaching for the honey bottle might make sense. Before you ascribe to this way of thinking, there’s something you need to know: Honey and dark corn syrups can cause infant botulism.
(Photo via Danilo Rizzuti)
Infant botulism, which is potentially fatal, is not the same botulism found in improperly canned or soured foods. The botulism found in honey is from naturally-occurring spore off Clostridium botulinum. Just like with pollen collected by bees, this particular form of spore is gathered up in the environment and only begins to populate when inside the body. Botulism from canned food has populated within the food. For yet unknown reasons, babies are particularly susceptible to the non-food form of C. botulinum. A human adolescent or adult would have no issue digesting the spores.
According to infantbotulism.org, infants with botulism will present with symptoms of physical weakness, a weak or altered cry, lack of facial expression, inability to nurse, and constipation. These complications occur as the botulism colonizes in the baby’s intestinal tract, blocking proper communication between nerves and muscles in the body.
Current recommendations states breastfeeding mothers who eat honey do not need to worry about passing botulism to their children, though thorough hand washing routines should be observed in households where members routinely eat the supplement.
The minimum age a child should be for honey consumption is 1 year-old.
The views, opinions and information expressed in articles and blog posts published on imperfectparent.com and all subdomains are those of the authors alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Imperfect Parent or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of any entity of, or affiliated with, Imperfect Parent. The Imperfect Parent
is designed for entertainment
purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for medical, health,
legal, or financial advice from a professional.
of material from any of Imperfect Parent's pages without written
permission is strictly prohibited.