← Go back Is Honey Safe for Baby?
Published on Sunday, November 6, 2016 by

honeyandbabies240Infant botulism is a rare but serious form of food poisoning that can affect babies up to a year old. In Canada, honey is the only food that has been linked to infant botulism. You can help reduce the risk of this disease by only feeding honey to healthy children over one year of age.

Infant botulism is caused by Clostridium botulinum spores, which are sometimes found in both pasteurized and unpasteurized honey. When an infant ingests honey, bacteria from these spores can grow and produce toxins that could lead to paralysis.

Contact your doctor immediately if your baby shows signs of any of the following symptoms of
infant botulism:

  • is constipated
  • has weak muscles
  • is too weak to cry or suck as usual
  • has a wobbly head because the neck is weak
  • lacks facial expression
  • has weak arms and legs
  • has trouble breathing
  • is not able to swallow

Only give honey to healthy children over one year of age. By this age, children have developed helpful bacteria in their intestines that protect against Clostridium botulinum spores. Therefore, their risk of developing infant botulism is very low.

Since the first reported case in 1979, there have been 42 reported cases of infant botulism in Canada. Three of these cases have been linked to the consumption of honey.

For more information: www.healthycanadians.gc.ca

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