USA TODAY — After four infants in Texas were treated for botulism, the Department of State Health Services is warning parents not to give babies pacifiers containing honey.
Health officials say the infants had each been given a honey-containing pacifier purchased in Mexico.
All four infants had to be hospitalized for life-saving treatment.
The infants were unrelated and are residents of West Texas, North Texas and South Texas.
Botulism is a serious illness which is caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves.
The toxin can cause difficulty breathing, paralysis, and even death. Honey might contain bacteria that produce the toxin in the intestine of infants that consume it, according to health officials.
According to a press release from the department, honey-filled pacifiers are not commonly sold in the United States, but might be available in some specialty stores and online retailers. [Many toxins and pathogens that were until recently “not commonly” found in the U.S. are becoming increasingly common. – Editor] Read more.
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OFFICIAL FDA STATEMENT:
Honey Pacifiers Suspected in Texas Infant Botulism Cases
FDA Reminds Parents Not to Feed Honey to Children Younger Than 1 Year
November 16, 2018
The FDA is reminding parents and caregivers not to give honey to infants or children younger than one year of age. This includes pacifiers filled with or dipped in honey.
The FDA has received reports from the state of Texas that four infants have been hospitalized with botulism.
All four infants had used pacifiers containing honey.
These pacifiers were purchased in Mexico, but similar products also appear to be available in the U.S. through online retailers.
Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves and causes difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and even death.
This toxin is made by Clostridium botulinum and sometimes Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium baratii bacteria.
Honey is a known source of Clostridium botulinum spores, which can multiply in a baby’s immature digestive system, and has previously been implicated in some cases of infant botulism.
For this reason, the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend not feeding honey to infants younger than 12 months.
The FDA is recommending parents and caregivers do not give pacifiers filled with or dipped in honey to their infants or young children. If you have previously purchased a pacifier filled with or dipped in honey, you should stop using it and discard it immediately.
The FDA recommends online retailers discontinue sales of honey filled pacifiers.