Honey seems like a wholesome and nutritious addition to your little one’s bottle of tea, plain yoghurt or fruit slice, but beware of introducing it any time before the age of 12 months.

Honey can contain Clostridium Botulinum, which is a bacteria that can germinate in a baby’s immature digestive system, and cause a rare, but potentially fatal illness known as infant botulism. It is believed to be the cause of 10% of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) cases around the world. Symptoms include lethargy, constipation, muscle weakness, slack jaw and sucking difficulties.

Other than honey ingestion, we encounter this bacteria every day of our lives, in dust and soil, but it is harmless to us adults and older children, because the microorganisms in our intestines keep the bacteria from growing.

To be on the safe side, keep honey and its baked good allies for a special treat after your child’s first birthday.

Author: Kerry Belgrove

Kerry Belgrove is a qualified Speech-Language Therapist who graduated top of her class at the University of Stellenbosch, receiving special recognition awards for best student in academic, clinical and research work. She has gained clinical experience in a number of different health, education and private settings, but it is with the establishment of her own private practice that her passion for serving the paediatric population truly flourished. As a health professional, wife, and mom-to-be, Kerry is inspired to offer her expertise in helping parents through all walks of life.

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