Honey board to provide info about infant botulism and safe use of honey

Logan Douglas was temporarily blinded and paralyzed as the botulism he contracted at 16-weeks-old ravaged his body.

Six months after his parents, Theresa Fitzpatrick and Alex Douglas, were faced with the decision of whether to turn off his life support as baffled medics feared the worst, Logan is doing great (right, photo from The Sun).

When a limp and ill Logan was first taken to physicians, he was admitted to hospital and, after a battery of tests, a Glasgow-based doctor ordered a test for infantile botulism for Logan.

Devastated Theresa has revealed she still blamed herself after feeding her baby honey.
She wasn’t aware that the food wasn’t suitable for children so young – and unwittingly placed his health in danger.

There are too many cases like Logan. So the U.S. National Honey Board (NHB) is announcing a new partnership with the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP). Together, the organizations will develop a honey education program, based on recent research findings that uncovered widespread confusion surrounding the age when honey can be introduced to young children. Focused on health professionals who deal directly with parents of young children, education efforts will dispel honey misconceptions, explain the benefits of honey and remind parents that honey can be given to children older than one year of age.

“It’s widely known that honey shouldn’t be fed to infants, but most people don’t know why or at what age it can be introduced,” said Cheri Barber, DNP, RN, CRNP, President of NAPNAP. “The truth is that honey can be introduced to a child at one year of age. It’s important that health care professionals and families with young children understand the facts about honey.” Barber added that honey has been used for centuries to help soothe coughs, and with the recommended removal of over-the-counter cough medicines containing dextromethorphan (DM), parents are turning to effective natural remedies like honey.

Because infants’ gastrointestinal systems are immature and thus susceptible to contracting infant botulism if spores are present, the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the California Department of Public Health and other health associations recommend that certain foods not be fed to infants under one year of age, including honey. After 12 months of age, honey may be introduced to a child’s diet. Botulinum spores occur in nature, but honey is one of the potential dietary sources for infant botulism.