Why not feed honey to infants?

Honey contains substances that are harmless to the digestive tracks of humans if they are one year or older. Honey contains spores of the Clostridium botulinum bacterium. Infant botulism results from the ingestion of the C. botulinum spores and the subsequent colonization of these spores in the small intestine. The infant gut may be colonized when the composition of the intestinal micro flora (normal flora) is insufficient to competitively inhibit the growth of C. botulinum. Infant botulism was first discovered in 1976 and a subsequent health campaign was very successful in reducing the number of cases.

How prevalent is infant botulism? Today there are only 80 to 100 diagnosed cases of infant botulism in the US each year. Only 5% of these cases are traced to honey. Most are traced to infants living near construction sites where soil disruption occurs. 90% occur in infants who are 6 months old or younger. In the past 50 years, the proportion of patients with botulism who die has fallen from about 50% to 8% due to improved supportive care. But it doesn’t matter how low the percentage goes (short of zero), never give honey to an infant. We want children to stay as happy as the little guy in the picture above!

For additional information:
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulism
Kids Health http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/botulism.html
American Family Physican http://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0401/p1388.html
Medline Plus http://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0401/p1388.html