Honey And Babies
As sala’amu alaikum
Before I begin this article I would like to thank a reader Sid Ban for bringing this topic to me, Sid Ban I hope that it will answer your question, and yes you where right. To your next question, I will post something on it later. Thank you again.
Walaikum as salaam
Honey can be dangerous for babies. There is the risk that if a baby is given honey when it is too young, endospores of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which were lying dormant in the honey can start to produce toxins in the baby’s digestive tract.
Infant botulism is an illness that can occur when an infant ingests bacteria that produce a toxin inside the body. The condition can be frightening because it can cause muscle weakness and breathing problems. But it is very rare: most babies who do get botulism recover fully.
Infant botulism is treatable, but because of its severity, it’s important to learn the symptoms so you can recognize it early. Also know that honey is a known source of the bacteria spores that cause botulism. For this reason, honey shouldn’t be given to babies under 12 months of age.
Signs and Symptoms: Symptoms of botulism appear between 3 to 30 days after an infant consumes the spores. Constipation is often the first sign of botulism that parents notice (although many other illnesses also can cause constipation). Call your doctor if your baby hasn’t had a bowel movement in 3 days. Other symptoms can include:
- flat facial expression
- poor feeding (weak sucking)
- weak cry
- decreased movement
- trouble swallowing with excessive drooling
- muscle weakness
- breathing problems
Infant botulism can be treated, but it’s important to get medical care as soon as possible. Call your doctor right away if you see any of the warning signs in your baby.
Prevention: Like many germs, the Clostridium botulinum spores that cause botulism in infants are everywhere in the environment. They’re in dust and dirt, and even in the air. Experts don’t know why some infants contract botulism while others don’t.One way to reduce the risk of botulism is to not give infants honey before their first birthday. Honey is a proven source of the bacteria and has led to botulism in infants who’ve ingested it. Light and dark corn syrups were thought to be a source of spores, but no proven cases of infant botulism have been attributed to ingesting them. However, check with your doctor before giving these to an infant.