Symptoms & Signs of Worms in Children
Children who have intestinal worms inside their body may manifest the following signs and symptoms:
When a child is able to ingest worms, after a month or two it will mature in her or his intestines. When they become mature, the worms will then go to other areas to place its eggs. For instance, the worms will migrate towards your child’s rectum; he or she finds the presence of the worm, very itchy. He or she will begin to scratch and by scratching the worm’s eggs will migrate to other areas.
Studies shows that worms are active at night when everyone is asleep. Hence, it will really interfere in the sleeping habits of the child. He or she will become restless or irritable because of the lack of sleep or the interference of sleep.
Tummy Ache or Abdominal Pain
This kind of pain in the abdomen may be due to roundworm, infection or ascaris. Worms that are mature are known to live in the child’s intestines until it is killed by pharmacological intervention.
When there is a worm inside a child’s body, either in the digestive system or other systems of the body, the worm gets nourished whenever a child eats. It basically steals the nutrients that are needed by the child to grow hence hampering the growth of the child and the slow weight gain is also evident.
Lack of interest in Eating
Since the worms have stolen the child’s nourishment, she or he will manifest the disinterest in eating.
Types of Worms in Children
There are a lot worms that can potentially harbor in the child’s body, such of these worms may include:
This kind of worm is nematode type of worm that basically feeds on the person’s blood. It is the common parasitic infection. It can enter the body when a person or a child for that matter, walks barefoot in a soil that is contaminated with worms. Once that happens, it penetrates the person’s skin, enters the person’s bloodstream and works its ways up to the person’s lungs.
Pin Worm or Threadworm
This kind of worms goes out of the person’s anus or anal opening and it lays its eggs at night time. It can transfer to other persons through air or by physical contact with food that is infected. It can also pass through sharing of food, toys or by direct physical contact.
It is caused by a round worm. It can be a cause of infection if children will swallow soil that is contaminated with its worms. When this happen, the egg will eventually hatch inside the child’s body and will eventually stick in his or her large intestine. It is another common human parasite. It reaches to 3-5 centimeters in length and has 1-3 years lifespan.
This kind of worms lives in the person’s intestines. Its length is 1 millimeter to 1 meter. This kind of worm enters to the person’s body when he or she will come in contact with it by mere touching contaminated objects or soil and then transferring it to its mouth, which children often do.
Tape Worm or Flat Worm
It is a ribbon like worm. It can be found in undercooked meat or fish. Potential carriers are pets. It is also known as cestodes. It survives in a person’s intestines.
It is found in tropical climates. It is common to children and there are reports that many persons has died having this kind of worms living in their body. It enters in the intestines and travels to the person’s bloodstream all the way to its lungs and go back again to the intestines.
It is a parasitic roundworm that is transmitted when a person ingest undercook pork. It lives in the person’s muscular system.
What Causes Worms in Children?
When considering about how the worms lived inside the person’s body, one of the following may be the etiology:
Swallow worm’s eggs unconsciously
Children with their naïve nature, according to studies, will put anything into their mouth. Most especially when it comes to babies in the eighteen months and below, who are orally fixated which is according to Sigmund Freud.
Touching contaminated things
Aside from swallowing, children are also touching unknown things unconsciously. Hence, without knowledge, the things that they have touched are already contaminated with parasitic worms and might even enter their body through their skin pores.
Children, who are not taught to wash their hands before and after meals or before and after going to the comfort room, are much more prone of having parasitic worms inside their body.
Eating Uncooked Food
Some worms can be transmitted to others upon digesting a raw or undercooked meat or fish. So you need to really cook the food properly to prevent this from happening.
Walking Barefoot in a contaminated soil
Children are usually seen barefoot playing. With little knowledge of the non-safety of walking or running barefoot in a contaminated soil will place a greater risk for worms to enter the child’s body.
Diagnosis of Worms in Children
A child who is suspected of having worms in their body can be diagnosed with the following method:
What is done here is that a transparent tape is stick in the child’s anus and afterwards, it is sealed in a bag, preferably a plastic bag. Then, you take the tape in a plastic bag to a qualified professional and he or she will look at the tape under a microscope. Through such, the identification of the worms can be made possible.
What is done here is that a stool sample is taken from a child and placed in a clean container and sent through a laboratory for identification and diagnosis.
Some parasitic worms are found in the blood stream. Hence, it is necessary to take blood test to be able to rule out any possibilities or to diagnose if there is really a worm living inside the child’s body.
Treatment for Worms in Children
In treating a child with worms, there are actually two categories:
Medications will be able to kill the worms that are found inside the body.
The most common prescription medications in treating children with worms are:
It is used as an antihelmintic medication. It is used in the treatment of intestinal roundworm. It can be taken safely with three month-old and above.
It is the most common drug prescribed to treat worms that are inside the child’s body. It is a preferred treatment of children over six month-old.
There is a need to have hygienic measures to prevent the further spread of parasitic worms and also to break the re-infection cycle. It can be done through:
- Cleaning your house
- Taking a bath everyday
- Washing hands before and after meals and going to the comfort room.
- Wash all dirty linens, toys, towels, sleepwear
- Wash and change the children’s nightwear
- Keeping your children’s nails short
Home Remedies for Worms in Children
In treating worms in children, you can also prefer doing simple home remedies such as:
Carrots, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, beet roots and raw garlic with milk:
Eating any of this food will help eliminate parasitic worms.
Fibrous Food with Lots of water:
It is necessary that the child must eat fiber rich food and lots of water to excrete the unnecessary parasitic worms.
It is considered as a home remedy for de-worming. It can be mixed with boiled milk.
This kind of home remedy is effective in removal of worms however this gives pout an unpleasant taste which children dislike. You can only use one teaspoon of castor oil. If given more than that, your child will suffer diarrhea.
These are just some of the home remedies that are effective in removing worms found inside a person’s body.
Worms in Children Complications
With regards to the complication brought about the worms found in children, it includes:
The worms, when inside a person’s body, can secrete fluid which may cause allergic reaction resulting to symptoms like rashes, eye pain, insomnia and asthma.
Intestinal Perforation and Obstruction:
When inside the person’s body, the worms can grow longer and most often grow in number. When this happens, there is a possibility that they entangle with each other. Thus, forming a ball of worms and blocking the intestines resulting to appendicitis and hemorrhage.
It is the most common complication of children with worms. When inside the child’s body, it tends to eat up the nutritional value of the food that the child ingests. Because of this, it leaves the child deficient of nutrients.
Worms in Children Prevention
You can prevent children to be infested with worms by doing the following:
- Wash hands before and after eating or going to the comfort room
- Clean the house everyday
- Clean and wash regularly the bedding, toys, clothes, towels, bed sheets etc.
- Cut the nails of your children and keep them short
- Cook properly the food prior to eating
- De-worming child every 6 months as much as possible
- Avoid letting the child play barefoot
- When travelling you must inject care. You must not eat raw vegetables and drink any water without boiling or assuring yourself that it comes from a clean source
With this, you are able to prevent your child to be harbored with parasitic worms.