Rosh HaShanah is upon us. And with the holiday, we look forward to our children and grandchildren singing, “Dip the apple in the honey, Make a bracha loud and clear, L’Shanah Tova U’Matuka, Have a Happy Sweet New Year.”

Jews worldwide dip the apple in the honey to usher in the Jewish New Year. And how wonderful it is to sit down and let the sweetness coat our throats.

However, it must be done smartly with children 1 Year or YOUNGER – Babies under 12 months.

Please read further.

NOT giving your infant – a child under one year of age –honey is the rule.

It is non-negotiable. Why?

Honey may contain spores which can lead to botulism poisoning. Of the 145 cases of botulism reported annually in the United States, about 94 cases (65%) are infant botulism. Experts estimate 250 cases annually. 90% of babies diagnosed with infant botulism in the United States are under the age of 6 months. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) both advise that honey should not be added to food, water, or formula that is fed to infants younger than 12 months of age. The AAP’s statement emphasizes that infants under one year of age should avoid raw or unpasteurized honey.

The following are signs of infant botulism – constipation along with muscle weakness, trouble sucking, slack jaw, crying, and lethargy. If your baby displays these symptoms, call your pediatrician immediately.

Save the apple dipped in honey for your children and grandchildren who are a minimum of year old.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year.

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