Life... Health... Reviews...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Honey for the baby

My 11-month-old, who will be 1 in less than three weeks, likes to eat what everyone else is eating. So, tricking her into thinking that she's eating the same thing can be a challenge. In the morning, my two middle children normally have waffles with a little butter and honey with fruit. Although the baby is almost 1, I haven't wanted to take a chance with giving her honey yet because of the risk of her contracting infant botulism.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Infants younger than 12 months are at risk of infant botulism from eating honey. Infant botulism is a rare but serious form of food poisoning." Honey is a known source of baterial spores that older children and adults are resistent to, but when infants ingest it the spores, which produce Clostridium botulinum bacteria, make a toxen that causes infant botulism.


The botulism attacks the baby's nervous system and causes death. The symtoms include:

Persistent constipation
Floppy arms, legs and neck
Weak cry due to muscle weakness
Weak sucking and poor feeding
Lethargy


Since I had my first child in 1991, I've known not to give honey to babies before 12 months of age, but I never knew all the details. Moms, and other caregivers, need to make sure that anyone who watches their children is aware of this. I remember when my husband and I had our first child together, he was about to give him some honey. He had never heard that before.


Do you think two weeks shy of 12 months is old enough to have honey?
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