It has been a culture in many religions giving raw honey to newborn babies as food or medicine. But the question is, how safe it is to feed honey to an infant who is below one year old?
Honey is safe and healthy for children and adults. However, some studies reveal that infants (below one year old) are at the risk of botulism if they eat raw honey.
What is infant botulism?
It is a severe gastrointestinal disease or food poisoning caused mainly by Clostridium botulinum spores. It is a type of bacteria that produces a toxin in a baby’s intestines.
One of the reasons for this disease could be giving raw honey to infants below 12 months old.
Symptoms of infant botulism because of honey:
If the infant happens to suffer from botulism because of eating raw honey, you may notice the following symptoms:
- He may suffer from constipation.
- There would be some changes in his movement, like floppy movement.
- You may see an infant having difficulty while feeding.
- Weakness is the other symptom.
If these symptoms are visible and connected to raw honey eating by the infant, immediately seek medical attention. The reason is that it is infant botulism.
It may be caused by other conditions too. Like, if your infant s exposed to contaminated soil, dust or air.
So, keep your infant safe from raw honey until the baby crosses 12 months and from contaminated soil or dust.
Raw honey is nutritional and healthy for children and adults. However, for infants below 12 months old, it may cause botulism. There are a lot of other health benefits of raw honey.
Raw honey has good nutritional value for all. However, A paediatrician – Jay Hoecker, at Mayo clinic U.S.A, observed that raw honey to infants might cause infant botulism.
So, avoid giving honey to infants below 12 months old. However, children and adults can enjoy raw honey health benefits forever. To choose raw honey, one must have good knowledge of choosing it. Therefore, here is complete information on choosing pure honey.