infant botulism

A not so common but very serious disease in infants is infant botulism. Botulism is derived from the Latin botulus (sausage), the so-called meat poisoning and is a life-threatening, caused by the botulinum toxin (bacterium Clostridium botulinum), poisoning.

Infant botulism by honey or maple syrup

As a carrier of the toxin is the addition of honey or maple syrup to sweeten z. As teas or baby porridge called. Honey tastes delicious sweet and is a digestible food, which is also used for medical purposes. The golden juice is given many health aspects and yet this food is not subject to labeling. In order to kill the bacterium food must be heated above 120 ° degrees for a longer period of time. This is not possible with honey. He is a natural product and so he is also offered in the shops.

Infant botulism by honey or maple syrup
Infant Botulism - Risk to babies through honey

Poorly preserved or hermetically sealed food, including honey or maple syrup contaminated with the toxin, spores form the bacterium and enter the intestinal flora upon ingestion.

In infants up to one year, most vulnerable to 6 months, with still unstable body and weak intestinal flora, the poison is transported through the intestinal septum into the bloodstream and from there it reaches the nerve endings in the peripheral nervous system, where the release of an important neuronal Messenger substance is prevented.

Toxic effect of honey and maple syrup in babies

The poison effect blocks the signaling between nerves and muscles. A creeping muscle paralysis of all body and organ regions and stasis of the intestine is the serious consequence. The effect of the toxin is not always noticed immediately, so often the symptoms can only be recognized after days, even weeks. Weakening of the eye muscles, absence of facial expressions, paralysis of the respiratory muscles to respiratory distress and respiratory arrest, dysphagia and muscular weakness of the musculoskeletal system are signs of botulinum poisoning and can lead to death if not immediate emergency and intensive medical treatment. Under full medical care recovery is possible but you have to reckon with consequential damage.

Every year a case of infant botulism is reported to the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin. Studies on this type of poisoning and its effects have been made in Europe since 1976, after the first case occurred and was diagnosed in America. More cases have gradually appeared in Australia, the US and the Japanese habitat. There is also a connection with sudden infant death syndrome. In Europe, there is a duty to report under the Infection Protection Act.

No honey and no maple syrup until at least the 1. birthday

For the health of the baby, until the first birthday, should be dispensed with the gift of honey and maple syrup to avoid the risk of infant botulism to avoid.

In infants, children, adolescents and adults, with a fully functioning intestinal flora and healthy intestinal septum, the toxin is excreted without it entering the bloodstream of the body as it occurs due to the small doses in honey. A recording of the poison in nursing mothers who have taken honey is thus not given.

An exception to this, however, is the wound and healing treatment of nipples with honey. In general, it should be noted that one should refrain from sweetening baby food, home-made paps and tea / drinks in general, as this could cause and cause further dangers or illnesses.

Incidentally, the first case of infant botulism was found in 1976 in California. In Germany, there has been an average of one such case every year since 1996. In the gut of the baby toxic toxins develop. However, it may take a few days to weeks for the symptoms to become apparent. Therefore, it is very difficult for doctors to determine a connection between food and disease. If the toxin enters the bloodstream via the intestine, it is distributed in the body. It then adheres to the nerve endings and prevents the important processes there, such as muscle fractures. The result is a muscle paralysis. Unfortunately, like an adult, you can not treat the baby with antitoxin.