Four babies developed botulism by consuming honey, and two government agencies issued warnings to parents about honey consumption. The FDA issued a reminder not to let children under the age of 12 months consume honey. According to the statement on the FDA website, four children in Texas developed botulism by consuming honey. All of the infants used pacifiers filled with honey. According to the FDA, individuals purchased the pacifiers in Mexico.
As reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services, four infants developed botulism between August and October. All four of the infants required life-saving treatment. DSHS stated the infants lived in three areas of Texas and none were related. However, they all had used pacifiers purchased in Mexico.
In a statement on their website, DSHS said:
“The four illnesses occurred from mid-August to the end of October and caused all four babies to be hospitalized for life-saving treatment. The unrelated infants are residents of West Texas, North Texas and South Texas.
Botulism is a serious illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves and can cause difficulty breathing, paralysis and even death. Honey may contain bacteria that produce the toxin in the intestine of babies that eat it. By the time children get to be 12 months old, they’ve developed enough other types of bacteria in their digestive tract to prevent the botulism bacteria from growing and producing toxin.
DSHS today also issued a health alert asking health care providers to look out for cases of infant botulism and to remind parents not to let babies eat honey. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics have long advised that children under 12 months old should not consume honey.”
Following the warning by DSHS, the FDA issued their warning on the pacifiers and giving honey to infants. Honey dipped, and honey-filled pacifiers are not common in the United States. However, individuals can purchase the products in Mexico and through online retails.
According to the DSHS report, the pacifiers have small holes poked in them, and honey can leak through the hole into the mouth of the infant. Both the DSHS and the FDA have requested all parents that have used the pacifiers in the past to discontinue using them. Families that have any of the pacifiers in the home should discard the pacifiers immediately.Finally, the FDA is also requesting all retailers to discontinue the sale of honey-dipped or honey-filled pacifiers. Online retailers including Amazon have already removed the pacifiers from their sites.
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