The FDA recently warned parents that cold and cough medications for children under the age of 6 were ineffective and potentially dangerous. Consequently drug makers voluntarily recalled all of the cold medications aimed at the young crowd. Parents are now in a quaundry over what to do with their sick infants.
However, with parents feeling like they have little options to soothe their infants’ stuffy noses, hospitals are seeing a rise in botulism cases. Wondering what stuffy noses and botulism have to do with one another? Apparently, many mothers are using honey to soothe throats and treat colds. Hospitals are seeing pacifiers being filled with honey in addition to some infants even dying from botulism poisoning. The problem has become large enough that several state health agencies have issued warnings reminding parents not to give their infants honey.
Honey is very dangerous for infants and should never, under any circumstances be given to a child under the age of one. This includes any form: organic, highly processed, even heated. The reason is that honey can contain a form of botulism that is deadly to infants. After one year of age, honey is fine as an older body is able to tolerate the spores better.
Remember that the best treatment for a cold is a good old fashioned aspirator and saline drops. I believe many parents used to turn to this as a last resort because let’s face it–babies don’t love have their noses aspirated. I can remember numerous wrestling matches taking place over trying to aspirate noses. It’s much easier to give medications.
Using a humidifier in the baby’s room at night can also help. There is a form of infant’s Vicks that can help with soothing stuffy noses also.
It is likely that your baby will endure one cold during the winter months but never underestimate the power of prevention. Washing your hands when you’re sick and not letting numerous people handle the baby is an excellent way of keeping germs at bay. Breastfeeding also offers good protection against illness during that first year.