F.D.A Reminds Parents of the Dangers of Honey Dipped Baby Pacifiers
The idea of offering honey in pacifiers for babies is a long-held tradition among many traditional Mexican families and indigenous people of North America. A survey of parents in a rural area near Houston in 2010 and 2011 found that 11% of parents said that they used honey pacifiers with their infant children.
Despite outbreaks of botulism among babies who use honey-filled pacifiers, even now you can often find this kind of pacifier for sale online.
10% of the honey produced in the U.S. contains spores from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. This is usually not a problem for adults or children over a year old, since it's just the spores, not the botulinum toxin.
In children under 13 months, the spores can turn into botulinum toxin in the baby's intestines. Among infants, these spores can turn into a full-blown case of botulism.
Infant botulism can mean anything from subtle changes in muscle tone to "floppy baby syndrome" or even sudden infant death. In 2018 a number of Texas babies ended up in hospitals due to consuming honey on pacifiers.
Many new parents today don't remember the honey pacifier botulism outbreak in 2018, As a result, it is a good idea to remind parents of the dangers of honey, not just in pacifiers, but even in processed foods containing honey.
After the age of one, babies' guts develop the fauna necessary to safely digest honey. Even then, however, it is not recommended to go "hog wild" feeding your baby honey. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you not give children under the age of 2 any added sugar.
Of course, the sugar that naturally occurs in fruits, whole grains, beans or diary is not considered added sugar.
In conclusion, while there are folk remedies and cultural anecdotes that recommend honey-filled pacifiers for young babies, do not give a child under the age of one honey. Botulism can be fatal.