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Why Should Babies Not Have Honey?

Babies younger than 1 year old should not be given honey. That's because a type of bacteria (called Clostridium) that causes infant botulism can be found in honey. Infant botulism can cause muscle weakness, with signs like poor sucking, a weak cry, constipation, and decreased muscle tone (floppiness).

How Can I Protect My Baby From Infant Botulism?

Parents can help prevent infant botulism by not giving their baby honey or any processed foods that contain honey (like honey graham crackers) until after their child's first birthday. Light and dark corn syrups also might contain botulism-causing bacteria, but a link hasn't been proved. Check with your doctor before giving these syrups to a baby.

What Else Should I Know?

As kids get older, they can have honey because their mature digestive systems move the Clostridium bacteria spores through the body before they can cause harm.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date Reviewed: Feb 10, 2023

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