October 2, 2014

Medina
Mostly clear
53°F

Honey – Not for Infants

Honey has long been touted for its medicinal qualities, but the United States Department of Health and Human Services still warns parents of infants to avoid feeding honey to children. That warning was issued because honey can give infants botulism, a rare paralytic illness cause by a nerve toxin. Spores of botulism are found in dust and soil, but they also can make their way into honey. Infants’ immune systems are not strong enough to combat such a bacterial infection, and their gastrointestinal tract is not as fully developed as an adult’s, making them even more vulnerable to the bacteria associated with botulism. Infants with botulism appear lethargic, feed poorly, have a weak cry, have poor muscle tone, and suffer from constipation. When left untreated, these symptoms can lead to paralysis of the respiratory muscles, arms, legs, and trunk.