Four infants from Texas were hospitalized with botulism between August and October after reportedly using pacifiers filled with honey.
Officials with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services say that the honey-containing pacifiers were purchased in Mexico. Children under 12 months are susceptible to injury from toxins produced by botulism bacteria sometimes found in honey, according to State Health Services.
An alert was issued by Texas health officials asking healthcare providers to be on the lookout for infant botulism and to remind parents not to feed their babies honey. A serious illness, Botulism attacks the body’s nerves and can cause difficulty breathing, paralysis and death.
While the honey-filled pacifiers are not common in the United States, officials in Texas say that they may be available through specialty stores and online retailers. Most are not designed for consumption, but the potential for an infant to ingest honey is possible. Parents are also warned to avoid purchasing pacifiers are filled with food items at the risk they may contain botulism bacteria.
Ten confirmed cases of infant botulism have already been reported in Texas this year. Four of those cases have been connected to the honey-filled pacifiers.