People generally know that pure honey is good for health. But is it also good for kids? Experts say it is, as long as your kid is a year and a half old or 18 months old. Alan Rosenbloom, MD, of Baldwin New York said, “Never give honey to a kid under the age of 1.”
Clostridium in honey may prove harmful to kids 1-year-old and below. This dormant endospore may cause botulism in kids this young by turning toxic later and harming their lower digestive system which sometimes results in death. But other than this, honey has been proven to give older kids energy that lasts longer plus vitamins and minerals. Honey also helps heal their wounds faster, provides liver health and cough control.
A study in 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 2 teaspoons of honey before bed may help alleviate kids’ coughing.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) also released a study by medical scientists about the effect of honey on children’s cough: “For children older than one year with a viral URI, we can now recommend 1.5 teaspoons of honey to be given prior to bedtime as a cough remedy. This may reduce the use of potentially harmful and often ineffective OTC cough and cold remedies.”
More than Just a Sweetener
Some people think honey is just plain sugar syrup. It does have sugars in it—sucrose and fructose—but there are other healthful substances besides them.
But honey is very different from your ordinary table sugar. Ordinary sugar has sucrose and glucose that are easily digested by the body and immediately enter the bloodstream. Then after a short while, you’d feel the need for energy again.
But with sucrose and fructose in honey, it takes longer to digest honey. Thus, you are provided with energy for a longer period of time.
With Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are present in honey, making it doubly good for children, plus certain amino acids needed for physical development. Although merely in small amounts, it has Vitamin B6, riboflavin, zinc, potassium, calcium, and protein. This was according to the National Database of the US Department of Agriculture.
Honey helps protect liver particularly from liver disease derived from taking too much paracetamol. When kids have lingering fevers, paracetamol overdose becomes possible due to prolonged intake of the medicine. But honey has been found in experiments to provide protection for the liver. To lessen the bad effects of prolonged paracetamol medication, kids may be given honey.
“Honey can be used as an effective hepatoprotective agent against paracetamol-induced liver damage,” concluded a study published by the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health on NCBI.
Faster Wound Healing
The same publication also released the result of a pilot study about honey’s healing activity. In its findings, it noted how “There was significant improvement in the healing process as Madhu possesses antibacterial, wound cleansing, wound healing properties and showed beneficiary effects.”
A Little Caution, Though
Watch out for pollen allergy. Aside from infant botulism, be careful about pollen allergy, too. People allergic to pollen should ask their doctors about taking honey. Babies below one-year-old should not be given honey because infants this young are more susceptible to allergens.
Buy only certified pure honey. Commercial honey may contain chemical pesticides applied on plants where honeybees extract nectar from flowers. Also, choose honey contained in jars or bottles with labels and where the contents are indicated.