Product Liability

Four Infant botulism cases in Texas linked to honey-flavored pacifiers

pacifier baby Pixabay 314x210 Four Infant botulism cases in Texas linked to honey flavored pacifiersTexas health officials are warning parents not to give children honey pacifiers after four infants were hospitalized with botulism infections.

The four children lived in different parts of Texas, but all had been sucking on pacifiers flavored with honey that originated from Mexico. The babies fell ill between mid-August and October and all were hospitalized.

Health officials say the honey may contain a bacterium that can produce a botulism toxin in the intestines of small children and attack the nerves and eat away at the organs. Symptoms of botulism poisoning include difficulty breathing, paralysis and death, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

For years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have recommend parents not give children younger than 12 months of age honey because it may contain bacteria that can make babies sick. By the time babies are a year old, their digestive tracts are developed enough to prevent botulism bacteria from growing and producing toxin.

Honey-filled pacifiers are not popular in the United States but may be available in some specialty stores and through online retailers. Most of these pacifiers are not designed for the honey to be consumed. But some have a small hole that allows the child to ingest the honey. Pacifiers can also accidentally rupture, causing the honey to leak out and be ingested. For safe measure, health officials say pacifiers containing any food substance should be avoided.

Texas sees about seven to eight cases of infant botulism each year in recent years. So far in 2018, 10 cases have been reported or suspected in the state.

Source: Texas Department of State Health Services