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Karo Syrup for Baby Constipation: Is it safe for Infants?

Karo syrup has long been suggested as a remedy to relieve infant constipation. A number of years ago there were concerns raised as to whether corn syrup (Karo) contains spores of bacteria which cause botulism (a gastro-intestinal illness) and can become fatal. It is honey which contains Botulinum spores and should not be given to infants under twelve months. Corn syrup can be safely consumed by infants. An FDA study conducted in 1991 determined corn syrup and other syrups are not identified as food sources of C. botulinum spores for infants.

Start with adding 1 teaspoon of Karo syrup to 4 oz of cooled boiled water. Give to your baby twice a day until a soft stool has passed. Corn syrup draws more fluid into the intestine, making the stool less hard. However be careful that you do not give your child too much because it can cause diarrhea in infants, resulting in water and electrolyte losses.

If you are uncomfortable with giving you child corn syrup, offer brown sugar as an alternative. Add ½ teaspoon of brown sugar (the one used for cooking) to 1 oz of cooled, boiled water. Give three times daily until a soft stool has passed.