Why You Should Not Give Honey To Infants Less Than A Year Old

Honey has been praised widely not only for its taste but also for the health benefits it offers. As such, it is recommended for adults to enjoy honey once in a while, not only because it is quite a treat, but it is also suitable for you. However, there's a warning to be remembered. You should not feed honey to babies or infants under the age of one. Why? Here's why:

Infant Botulism

It is not recommended to give honey to babies or infants because it contains a rare bacteria that can cause a serious health condition called infant botulism. Infant botulism is a rare but serious condition that can cripple infants before they grow up. The disease can be deadly, and once an infant has the disease, they need extensive care to survive. However, if the baby is still strong enough, the infant can recover and live a normal life.

What Are the Symptoms of Infant Botulism?

Infant botulism causes muscle weakness. Babies who are affected are not able to make use of their limbs or muscles properly. The babies who survive infant botulism can suffer from permanent muscle weakness that can limit their mobility and can ultimately lead to paralysis.

Infant botulism causes constipation, lethargy, floppiness, and poor feeding. There are other symptoms as well, depending on the cause of the problem.

Who is at Risk?

According to official statistics, each year, eight to 25 babies in the US are afflicted with botulism. Out of the eight to 25 babies per year, half of them will succumb to the disease. The disease is most common in babies younger than six months.

What Causes Infant Botulism?

The bacteria Clostridium Botulinum is the main cause of infant botulism. The bacteria are present in soil, dust, and raw honey. The bacteria produce botulinum toxins that can't be destroyed by heat or sugar. As such, the bacteria is transformed into spores instead of being destroyed. The spores are very difficult to destroy, and the spores can easily spread.

The spores can spread through the air and contaminate the food or surfaces that the baby will come into contact with. The spores are particularly attracted to honey and other types of sweetened liquids. Once the spores enter the baby's bloodstream, they can cause toxicity. The botulinum toxins can lead to the development of botulism in infants.

How to Protect Your Baby?

The best way to protect your baby from botulism is to avoid giving honey to babies. That's not enough, however. If you eat honey or handle honey, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after you handle your baby to avoid infection.


No one wants to hear that their baby is ill. It is even worse if the illness is serious and life-threatening. Honey should not be fed to babies because it can cause infant botulism. So, if you're tempted to let your baby try honey, wait till they're a year old or older. That way, they can safely enjoy the excellent taste and health benefits of honey, just like you are!

Honey Connection sells pure West Australian Jarrah Honey to Australia and select international addresses. If you are interested in buying organic Australian honey, check out our store!