October 20, 2020

Botulism Can Occur in Infants, Parents Must Know

Botulism is a serious poisoning caused by Clostridium Botulinum type bacteria . This condition will disrupt the nervous system such as the brain , spine, and other nerves, causing muscle paralysis. Although quite rare, botulism can also affect babies and can have quite dangerous effects, causing muscle weakness and breathing problems.

Botulism in infants can occur when a child inhales the spores of the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum , which can be found in feces, dust and some foods such as honey. That is why honey is not recommended to be given to babies under 1 year of age.

Symptoms that arise

Botulism symptoms usually appear within 12-36 hours after the baby is exposed to the bacteria that causes botulism. However, in some cases it can also occur earlier or even later, depending on the immune system of each baby.

Babies who are exposed to botulism, will show the following symptoms:

1. Weak body movements.

2. Difficulty controlling the head.

3. Restless.

4. Weeping.

5. Saliva constantly.

6. Constipation.

7. Difficulty sucking and eating.

8. Paralyzed.

If not treated immediately, infant botulism will cause some serious complications, such as respiratory problems, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, constant weakness, and death. For this reason, if the baby experiences some of the symptoms mentioned earlier, immediately take them to the hospital for medical assistance.

Prevent Infant Botulism this Way

As the saying goes, “it is better to prevent, than to cure”. Preventing botulism in babies is also an important thing to do. Some of the following ways mothers can do to reduce the risk of exposure of the baby to the bacteria that cause botulism.

1. Don’t Give Honey to Babies

Even in small amounts, honey has the potential to contain a source of spores that cause botulism. For that, avoid giving honey to babies under 1 year of age. Then, what about breastfeeding mothers, is it okay to eat honey?

The answer is fine. This is because the bacteria that cause botulism will not be transmitted through breast milk . So, keep breastfeeding the baby. Because in addition to having complete nutrition, breast milk can also make the baby’s immune system strong.

2. Avoid exposure to dust

The bacteria that cause botulism can spread and enter the body through dust or polluted air. That is why, try not to take the baby to places with potentially a lot of dust such as construction or agricultural areas.

3. Pay attention to feeding

If the mother often provides canned, fast food, or containing preservatives to the baby, you should start reducing it. Always try to give babies natural foods that are properly cooked. Avoid giving food that is still half cooked, because it will put the baby at risk of infection with various bacteria.