In has been a popular belief since the ancient times that honey, especially raw hones, is a very nutritious and safe for babies or infants but the reality is absolutely the opposite. Any kind of honey either raw honey or honey brought from the market which has been heated to kill any bacteria present in it are both quite harmful for infants to such an extent that it may lead to potentially life threatening complications if not treated promptly. Thus, it is advised to stay away from Honey for babies/infants under the age of 1 year. This article gives a brief overview on why is honey harmful for babies.
Why is Honey Harmful for Babies?
Some of the reasons as to why Honey is Harmful for Babies are:
Honey in infants can result in severe cases of food poisoning resulting in muscle weakness, severe constipation, inability to suck milk from the mother which are all quite serious in infants as their immune system has still not developed to the extent that the body is able to fight illnesses themselves and need to be treated promptly.
Honey contains spores of bacterium Clostridium botulinum which in infants may lead to botulism poisoning. The spores of this bacterium tend to thrive in soil and also tend to contaminate certain food products of which honey is one. A child over age one has a well developed intestine and gastric acids and thus when these spores enter the stomach they are easily neutralized by these gastric acids.
This is not the case with infants. They do not have a well developed intestine and if these spores enter their body they are not able to be neutralized resulting in botulism poisoning which can cause muscle weakness, constipation, and a weak cry which tends to gradually get worse requiring immediate medical attention.
In case, unknowingly if you have fed your baby honey and notice any signs of illness or distress in the baby then you need to immediately go to the emergency room for prompt treatment. The baby will be administered botulism immune globulin given via IV lines to prevent any complications arising from botulism poisoning.
In summary, though Honey is nutritious and good for the health but that is not so for babies or infants. In fact it is highly recommended to stay away from honey till the child is at least one year of age, as feeding the child with honey prior to this age may result in many undesired complications some of which are quite serious. The effects that honey may have on your child that have been mentioned above are good enough to prove that Honey is Harmful for Babies.