Botulism is a rare but serious illness that can be caused by eating contaminated food. Honey is a common source of contamination, and infants are particularly vulnerable to the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 160 cases of botulism each year in the United States. Of these, approximately 30% are caused by food contamination, and honey is a leading cause of foodborne botulism.
The CDC advises that infants under the age of one should not be given honey. This is because their immune systems are not yet developed enough to fight off the bacteria that can cause botulism.
If you think your child may have botulism, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of botulism in infants include constipation, weakness, and difficulty feeding. In severe cases, botulism can lead to paralysis and even death.
If you are concerned about the risk of botulism from honey, you can take steps to protect your child by only feeding them honey that has been heated to at least 158 degrees Fahrenheit. This will kill the bacteria that can cause botulism.
While the risk of botulism from honey is low, it is important to be aware of the potential danger. If you have any concerns, be sure to speak with your child’s doctor.