FDA issues alert after 4 infants get botulism

The FDA issued a safety alert reminding parents and caregivers not to give honey to infants or children younger than one year of age.

The warning comes after four infants in Texas were hospitalized with botulism. All four infants had used pacifiers containing honey, the FDA said in a news release.

According to the FDA, the pacifiers were purchased in Mexico, but similar products were available in the U.S. through online retailers.

Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves. It can cause difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and death, the FDA reported.

Honey is a known source of the spores that can lead to botulism. Infants are especially at risk due to their immature digestive systems.

The FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend not feeding honey to infants younger than 12 months.

The FDA recommends that parents and caregivers do not give pacifiers filled with or dipped in honey to young children. The FDA has also urged online retailers to discontinue sales of honey-filled pacifiers.