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Old 31.05.2011, 22:58
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Honey and babies

Hi guys,

I work in a kindergaden and we have just been told by our new manager that our children cannot have honey anymore, i am aware that children under 1 years of age cannot have honey but cannot find any evidence that says children up to 3 years of age can not eat the stuff. Also that when a child has a fever (38.1 and above) thast its ok as they are only teething, i am a nurse by profession but they will not have it any other way, any comments or suggestions please
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Old 31.05.2011, 23:03
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Re: Honey and babies

Honey and milk are pre digested and should be fairly safe and good for young people. What exactly are the grounds for his refusal? Possible mess? Woriies about quality of the food?
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Old 31.05.2011, 23:09
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Re: Honey and babies

if you give honey to babies under 1 years of age it is bad for thier degestive system this is a fact, but she is saying that it is the same reason for not giving it too all under 3 years of age. i personally think she is crazy,
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Old 31.05.2011, 23:14
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Re: Honey and babies

Have you never read Roald Dahl's Royal Jelly?
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Old 31.05.2011, 23:14
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Re: Honey and babies

Well you are the nurse, you need to Google for the "Facts"
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Old 31.05.2011, 23:20
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Re: Honey and babies

thanky dougal i will, i have googled the facts adn have read it many a time that it is under 1 years of age, i was just wondering of any new research that has been conducted before i go in waving the facts around.
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Old 31.05.2011, 23:44
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Re: Honey and babies

She is crazy, I am with you on this one. I didn't even do the under one year rule, since I believe in old school exposure (actually as a prevention measure, as docs in my family told me, something about cell maps and how the info settles before the child is one and then it is harder to get used to new stuff, plus we are biased beekeepers) . The only thing is, parents could be sure about allergies, but not sure about creche staff. I think honey is one of the best thing on earth, right after breast milk.

I think she is afraid of severe allergy reaction, which is a true concern. It's not like you can go against your creche rules on this, though. I tested, at 8-9mo, first on skin, then a tiny bit on a lip, then in mouth, then 1/4 teaspoon, then half, I spaced it, it took a couple of weeks.

The fever rule might be because chemicals that keep fever down, if overdone, or done too frequently, might not good in the long span (I stayed away from ibuprofen only used it in real emergencies, since it's harsh for little tummies, ours didn't take it too well, and gave paracethamol rarely, only if the fever was over 38,5 and concentrated on bringing the fever down other ways if it wasn't serious, ice in groins and armpits, cold sheet, wiping with cold towel - forehead, face, arms, legs and blow air on my child, it always worked, unless we had a really ugly virus with long high fevers, then I gave meds). Usually took me 20mins to knock down fever from 38 to 37 this way. Keeping hydrated and all the rest.

A child of 38,1 will be puny, tired and cranky, I would hate to work in creches since I think a baby with fever of 38 should be at home, calm and soothed by parents, and not being fatigued at creche by kids being around, noise, commotion, program, etc. But I am old school. When people have to work, you gota do what you gota do to pay the bills, so I also understand. I think we aren't allowed in our creche over 37,5 , but if our child happens to get a fever in the creche and it is up to 38,5, they keep our child. If the child is over 38,5, we gota pick her up.
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Old 31.05.2011, 23:56
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if you give honey to babies under 1 years of age it is bad for thier degestive system this is a fact, but she is saying that it is the same reason for not giving it too all under 3 years of age. i personally think she is crazy,
The honey advice is based on the small chance of botulism which in small infants can be fatal. It's not, I believe, due to concern over allergies or the digestive system and so testing it out on skin etc is not going to make much difference. Allergies tend to develop in subsequent exposures to an allergen rather than the first time anyway as it's an overreaction of the immune system. I caveat everything I've said by saying I'm not a scientist or doctor though!
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Old 01.06.2011, 00:00
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Re: Honey and babies

Botulism, jaysus. Even from your own honey? Good one? I need to brush up on this one, we seem to have been just fine, knock on wood, no allergies, no nutin.
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Old 01.06.2011, 00:20
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Re: Honey and babies

My understanding is that botulism is the risk with honey, and it's definitely a risk for under 12 months. It's not really a 'habit for life' either - it's just pure sugar...

Allergy risk is possible, but unusual. Being allergic to bees doesn't mean you are allergic to honey.

And the fever over 38 thing, under the 'swine flu' regulations any kid with a fever over 38 has to go home for a period of time (it was 24 hours 'fever free') - I don't know if that's relaxed recently.. I worked in a childcare through winter 2009-10 and we had the regulations plastered on our walls and circulated to all staff and parents..

I also am of the belief that teething does not cause fever. Yes, teething babies seem to get sick with colds and things, and teething babies are also grumpy, but I'm more into the 'germ theory' of illness, rather than old wives' tales...

I wouldn't freak out about removing honey from the kids. But the fever thing you can definitely get the guidelines from the relevant swiss department, I am quite sure they have guidelines about kids...

In my training, we send them home for:

Fever over 38.
Unexplained 'spots' (expected to take them to the Paed and get an opinion)
Not being able to eat/drink normally
Vomiting/Diarrhoea unless the Paed has said it's OK (eg. reflux babies spit up a lot or babies with allergies or on meds which cause diarrhoea).

I also discourage parents from sending their children if they have given them cough/cold medicine or painkillers. Usually after about 2 hours I have to call them back because the medication wears off, the fever has gone back up or they are really lethargic or in pain, or because the spots/vomiting have begun
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Old 01.06.2011, 16:48
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Botulism, jaysus. Even from your own honey?
I don't know, but having your own honey sounds so delicious I would be tempted to risk it! I can't help feeling it's a similar situation to being told not to eat deli counter food or smoked meats when pregnant, I.e. that the risk is actually very very small but if you did happen to get food poisoning (or botulism etc) then it could potentially be very serious for the baby so we all get told to avoid these things. [repeat - I'm no expert, just my view]
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Old 01.06.2011, 16:57
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Re: Honey and babies

The issue - I think - is probably related to needing one rule for all.

Similarly, our son's kindergarten has a no "nuts" policy, because one of the children has a severe nut allergy.
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Old 01.06.2011, 17:01
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Re: Honey and babies

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Similarly, our son's kindergarten has a no "nuts" policy
We could do with such a policy for our staff room.
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Old 01.06.2011, 17:04
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Re: Honey and babies

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We could do with such a policy for our staff room.
I said nuts not nutters...
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Old 01.06.2011, 17:10
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Re: Honey and babies

It might be because of the anti biotics in the honey, there was a report out by the Beobachter that many of the bee keepers feed this to the bees to keep them healthy. Sorry, I couldn't tell you when that was, it could be some time ago.
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Old 01.06.2011, 17:18
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Re: Honey and babies

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I don't know, but having your own honey sounds so delicious I would be tempted to risk it! I can't help feeling it's a similar situation to being told not to eat deli counter food or smoked meats when pregnant, I.e. that the risk is actually very very small but if you did happen to get food poisoning (or botulism etc) then it could potentially be very serious for the baby so we all get told to avoid these things. [repeat - I'm no expert, just my view]
Yeah, I mean I do have a personal view on this risk thing. Say, you know your own supplier, have trusted him/her, there is very little chance of being sick, so you make your own judgment call. Can people write that in the smart book? No, not really. They say, stay away from whatever raw stuff you find that could cause harm, because it is safer that way, because there have been instances of harm.

I wouldn't have a raw egg when preggo, if it came from godknowswhere. I did, however, have smoked salmon and loved it. I wouldn't say to all people go and eat your raw fish when preggo, either. I never have been expert on these things, but do not want to fall into the complete and clinical paranoia (well, I do in other things so this one will I will have to slack on, I guess) over pregnancy and all raw fish, or babies and some foods.

Same goes for honey - I think (excluding botulism and honey from unknown sources, sure), this thing with allergies is sometimes overblown also in cases babes could possibly benefit. I know why, safety, we can never know.... I do understand there are many many instances where people have to be cautious, but I think people should estimate their own risk a little bit in some instances. I understand the warnings have to be there, the people who have allergies in family, or kiddo shows some kind of overreaction of immune system in some other way, it's fair deal. But, in cases like ours, no allergies, nobody, (aside of the contact allergy reaction to a total irritant, like anyone else), not me nor hb, none of our relatives to very distant ones, I decided to take the risk and did give peanut butter, strawberries, kiwies, oranges, honey, etc. Because, according to an old theory the docs around me have, if you have no predisposition for allergies, and the baby stays clear of certain foods for too long, they may actually become allergic because these things are completely unknown to the system for too long and body will rebel later on when they encounter it. So, to have a kiddo possibly allergic, I would stay away. To have a kiddo with zero allergy predispositions and not exposed to environmental triggers, either (or those we are aware of, at least), I opted for exposure. Once mom who is an MD told me about how flexible baby's system is, that certain babies with mild lactose intolerance can get over it, just by mere consistent exposure to it, it just needs time. When I found out our child's guts are too sensitive to yoghurts, I never stopped them since the body would rebel completely and reject, say in 1-2yr, when I finally felt comfortable giving them. My child wouldn't eat a lot of it, just a spoon first, then a tiny pot, now she can have a yoghurt a week, not much, but at least something.

Creche, however, is a completely different situation, it seems to me. A bit of something here and there, probably no harm, or the the damage is somewhat managed ( I worry more about what they mop the floors with and bisphenol tupperware pots and cups they use there). But, I do think creche people wouldn't know so much about baby's preferences, reactions, etc., don't know fully the family's history, either.

So, that's my take on it. I will not post any links for those who desire them, since academia is my life and I am totally tired of it. When I am done with PhD, I will start providing scientific format. Maybe, hahahah. But now, I enjoy debating with people sharing their personal opinions on this, because that's the best and most reasonable advice in parenting I ever got, friends, old midwives, family, a bit of reading with a lot of trusting my own gut feeling.
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Old 01.06.2011, 19:02
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Re: Honey and babies

Thanks for the replies guys, the honey thing will be dorted and soon, as i am a nurse teh parents trust me fully adn i have made great friends with them, if thier child has a fever i will phone them and then it is thier decision to whether they want to pick them up, i always give paracetamol if the parents asked me too just so as the temp does not get any higher before they get there. If the parents can not come for any reason i moniter the child and if things get worse i call back otherwise i wait till they pick them up in the evening. Most often or not they will come. If a temp is below 38 i will normally just moniter the child and see what happens if nothing appears i just tell the parents in the evening that the child had a slight temp and that they should watch them at home to see if anything further occurs. I always write down what time i did the temp and what time i gave the medication, (old habits die fast, i guess)
Anyway today the new boss finally guessed that she is making enemies and quickly, she has no respect for us as far as we are concerned and when she is having a go at us she shouts and waves her finger in our face, if that is not being respectful of the employees i dont know what is. thankyou for letting me have a moan, there are a lot more issues with this topic, if you would like to hear them then i would put them here, but i have to be a bit careful as i know some of my parents are members on here.
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Old 01.06.2011, 19:49
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Re: Honey and babies

Oh, I'm in the wrong thread. Reading on my phone, without glasses I thought it said Honeys and Babes.

Sorry, please carry on.
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