Infant Botulism Remedies
What is Infant Botulism
Infant botulism is a very serious disease caused by the bacteria, Clostridium Botulinum. When spores of the harmful bacteria enter an infant’s body, they grow in the intestine and create a strong poison. Infant botulism is very serious. If your baby develops this disease, she or he may need to be treated in a hospital for days or weeks. But almost all babies recover fully from this disease with timely intervention.
Symptoms of Botulism
Botulism symptoms usually appear from 3 to 30 days after ingesting the botulism-causing spores. A baby who has botulism may be too weak to cry or suck as usual. Constipation is usually the first sign of botulism, though it may be related to any other health problem. The baby starts eating poorly and cannot swallow with excess drooling. There is muscle weakness resulting in a wobbly head as the neck muscles get weak. The baby develops flat facial expressions, reduced movements, breathing problems. In extreme cases, the baby may not be able to move, may stop breathing, and may die.
Causes of Infant Botulism
1) Avoid Feeding Honey Below 1 year of Age
It is best to avoid giving your baby honey before completing one year. It is important to know that honey often contains spores of the bacteria and infant intestines are not well developed to be immune to them. Thus, honey can cause botulism when fed to infants below one year of age.
Honey is safe for persons over one year old. Babies, children and adults no longer get sick from botulism. The bacteria cannot grow and make poison after the first year of life, except perhaps for some people who have had intestinal surgery or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
2) Raw fruits and vegetables may contain botulism spores. Ensure safe hygienic storage conditions and
Treatment for infant botulism is there, but it’s important to detect the condition and get medical treatment right away. Call your child specialist or family physician if you notice any warning signs of botulism in your baby.
One way to prevent botulism is avoid giving honey before your baby’s first birthday. Honey is a proven to be a source of Clostridium Botulinum bacteria and has resulted in botulism in infants who’ve consumed it. Light and dark corn syrups were believed to be a source of bacterial spores, but so far there are no proven cases of infant botulism after ingesting them.
If your baby develops infant botulism, he or she may need to be treated in a hospital for days or weeks. In the intensive care unit of the hospital, doctors may put the infant on a ventilator if the toxin affects breathing muscles. IV fluids may be necessary if the toxin affects the swallowing muscles and additional nourishment is required.
The treatment of infant botulism with an antitoxin is called Botulism Immune Globulin Intravenous (BIGIV). This should be administered as soon as illness is detected. Babies who receive BIGIV recover faster from botulism and have less hospital stay. Almost all babies recover fully from this disease, with proper medical care and early detection.
Toddler diarrhea may be seen in some cases where antibiotics course administered for an infection might cause antibiotic-associated baby diarrhea.