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Is Honey Safe for Babies

When a baby is making the transitioning from milk to solid food there are certain foods that they should not be given until a later age. There are variety of reasons why this is so, but mostly it is about keeping your child safe. Some foods can be dangerous because babies have an immature immune and digestive system. It is always best to introduce each new food slowly and watch for any allergic reaction. Have you heard other people tell you that honey is potentially dangerous to babies? Let’s take a look and see if this is true!

Is honey safe for babies?
One of the most commonly asked questions related to food introduction with babies is the question about the safety of honey. Honey is used in many products, such as granola bars and is also used in the home as a general sweetener. It is highly recommended to avoid feeding your child honey until they are at least one year of age.

Honey can cause allergic reactions in some children, but this is not the reason why this recommendation exists. Honey is not safe for children under that age of one because it can contain the spores of a harmful bacteria known as clostridium botulinum. This particular bacteria is harmful to young children as it can cause a rare form of food poisoning known as botulism. A young infant does not have a mature enough immune system to fight off the infection. Botulism symptoms can appear eight to thirty-six hours after the consumption of honey and may include; constipation, listlessness, lack of appetite, muscle weakness and breathing problems.

Children over the age of one are resistant to the bacteria and this is why it is recommended that you wait until your baby has passed their first birthday before you introduce honey into their diet. If your child does contract botulism hospitalization will be necessary. However, in most cases the baby will make a slow and complete recovery.

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