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Deworming is the first step to take as soon as you notice symptoms of intestinal worms in your kid. There are various ways to deworm your kid. However, the treatment differs depending on the types of infestation your kid is suffering from. You may get rid of the intestinal worm through prescribed medicine for older kids or make use of syrup in case of toddlers as recommended by your doctor.
What Are Intestinal Worms?
Intestinal worms are parasitic worms such as tapeworms, roundworms, pinworms and hookworms, which can cause problems to humans once they begin infesting their body. They fester in the intestinal walls of humans and animals and lead to larger health issues if left untreated. Unhygienic and unsanitary surroundings and consumption of contaminated water or food are the common cause of intestinal worms infestation in the human body. There are few symptoms which can be related to an infestation of these parasitic worms. Early diagnosis can help locate the type of worms your kid is infected with. Once the type of worm is identified, you can easily treat your kid with the help of deworming medication prescribed your doctor.
What is Deworming?
Deworming is the process of expelling intestinal worms or parasitic worms from the body by administering an anthelmintic medicine/drug. In other words, it is a medicated process of getting rid of intestinal worms. The deworming process includes the use of anthelmintics medication.
How Do Kids Get Worms?
There are several causes of worms in children. Below, are some of the common ways through which kids can fall victim to parasitic worms:
- Water is the most common medium of getting an infection. Drinking contaminated water can invite infestation of worms in your kids.
- Poor hygiene is another way these worms can travel into your body.
- Consumption of undercooked meat from an infected animal or undercooked fruits and vegetable infected with worms.
- Soil infested with worms is another culprit behind causing an infestation in your kid.
- Infected pets can also become the messenger of these parasitic worms that can easily travel from your pets to your kid.
- Lack of sanitation is one of the causes of parasitic worm, especially for those who do not wash their hands after using the toilet.
Parasitic worms or intestinal worms breed in an unhygienic environment. Usually, when your kids touch things such as worm-infested toys or play in the dirt, they end up getting worm eggs on their hand, which travel into their body when they touch their mouth or eat something directly without washing their hands.
Symptoms of Worms in Children
Below are few symptoms that can help you identify whether your kid has fallen prey to intestinal worms or not:
- Abdominal pain
- Redness or rash on the buttocks
- Vomiting or diarrhoea
- Weight loss.
- Appetite loss as well.
- Anaemia can be related to parasitic worms.
- Tiredness, weakness or hunger due to worms.
- Blood in the stool
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Urinating frequently
- Pain while urinating
If you are suspecting infestation of worms in your child based on the symptoms, then you should consult your doctor and get your child diagnosed without a second thought.
There are numerous ways of diagnosing worms in children, such as taking samples of stool to examine the presence of worms or take a blood sample to examine the presence of antibodies that our body usually produces when attacked by parasites.
Here are some common methods of diagnosing worms in children:
1. Checking Fingernails
As your hands are the primary mode of transferring worms inside the body through ingestion, worms often leave their eggs under the fingernails. The doctor will examine the area under your child’s fingernails to determine the presence of worms.
2. Sticky Tape Test
This is a common exam to test for the presence of worms. The doctor sticks a piece of tape to the child’s bottom. The tape will collect any worm eggs, if there are any. This is then removed and sent to the lab to test for worm eggs stuck to the tape.
3. Stool Examination
The stool can be examined to check for worms. If positive, it indicates that there are worms in the intestines.
In case there the worm infestation is suspected to be severe, the doctor may conduct an ultrasound.
Dangers of Worm Infections
People with low immunity, especially children, are more susceptible to infestation of intestinal worms. There are various dangers of worm infection one should watch out for. Malnutrition, intestinal blockage, a hindrance to the healthy growth of children, weight loss and anaemia, are few risks resulting from worm infections.
Treatment against parasitic worms depends on the type of worms and symptoms in your kid. Worms like tapeworms will die on their own if you follow a healthy diet and have a strong immune system. However, in most cases, you should consult your doctor and follow an anthelmintic treatment as prescribed by the doctor. Since parasitic worms lay eggs inside their host’s body and keep multiplying if left untreated for long, it makes it even difficult and time-consuming to deworm.
Deworming Medicine for Kids
Deworming medicine for kids varies based on your kid’s age and type of worms they are infected with.
- Treatment for tapeworms is dealt with using oral medication such as such as praziquantel (Biltricide). This medicine paralyses and dissolves the tapeworm, which is later on passed through stool.
- Infection by roundworm is treated using mebendazole (Vermox, Emverm) and albendazole (Albenza). Results of effective treatment become visible after a few weeks, and it is recommended to visit your doctor for another diagnosis after the completion of treatment to make sure that deworming is done thoroughly.
Home Remedies for Deworming
You may combine modern medicine with home remedies for deworming and to ease the discomfort.
- Garlic has long been used by mankind as traditional medicine for worms. Raw garlic is charged with amino acids containing sulphur, which act as natural deworm for children by killing parasites and expelling them out of your body for good.
- Carom seeds are a rich source of thymol, which hinders the growth of intestinal worms. Start your day with a dose of a teaspoonful of jaggery, and after 15 minutes, have a ¼ spoonful of carom seeds with water. Repeat this for about two weeks to flush out worms.
- Pumpkin seeds are rich in cucurbitacin, which can paralyze worms and make it impossible for them to survive inside the body.
- Raw Papaya is known for its medicinal properties due an enzyme Papain found in it. This enzyme works as an anthelmintic which kills intestinal worms whereas papaya seeds help to expel worms out of the body.
- Bitter Gourd surely lives up to its name and treats worms bitterly enough to help you ease your discomfort. Drink bitter gourd juice mixed with honey for at least twice a day for better results.
- Indian Lilac, colloquially known as Neem, has anti-parasitic medicinal properties and works magic against intestinal worms.
- Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, known for immune boosting properties which help your body to fight against intestinal worms.
- Turmeric is famous for its amazing medicinal and antiseptic properties since long. It helps to eliminate parasitic worms from your body and also in healing internally.
- Coconuts are rich in lauric acid, which forms into monolaurin, a compound known for enhancing immunity. A strong immune system helps your body ward off or eradicate parasitic worms from your body.
- Cloves provide double protection to your body, not only does it eliminate intestinal worms, but it can also protect your kid from any future infestation.
Now, we will discuss how to deworm a child naturally. Of course, the best treatment is to fight infection naturally. Our immune system naturally takes care of eliminating infections from our body. Stronger the immune system, lesser are the chances for you to fall victim to infections. The strength of our immune system depends on our diet and lifestyle, a healthy diet and lifestyle will result in stronger immune system and capacity to fight against internal infections such as worm infestation. You can enhance the immunity of your child by including immune enhancer like Nutmeg, asafoetida (hing), Carrom seeds, honey, etc., in their daily diet.
How to Prevent Your Kids From Getting Worms?
Prevention is always better than treatment. There are several ways through which your kid can get infected by intestinal worms such as playing in infested dirt, grass, and sand or by consuming food from unhygienic places or by coming in contact with people who are already infested with worms. Below are few points of prevention against worms:
- Make sure that your kids wash their hands properly with soap before consuming anything.
- Wash fruits or vegetables properly before eating, and also make sure that whatever you consume is not infested with worms.
- Prevent your kids from playing barefoot in mud, sand, grass or other outdoor places.
- Prevent your kids from eating uncooked meat, especially pork and fish, which are known to carry worms in them.
- Make sure that the swimming pool you use for your kids is in line with hygienic standards.
- Avoid drinking water from public places. Always drink purified water.
1. How Frequently Should I Deworm My Child?
As per WHO’s recommendation, deworming once every six months is enough.
2. What Do Worms in Kids Look Like?
Threadworms, also known as pinworms in kids, and are the most common type of worms, and seem similar to pieces of white thread.
3. What Are the Side Effects Of Deworming Children?
Usually, deworming medicines are mild enough to be easily tolerated by kids, but in some rare cases, there may be light side-effects of deworming, such as nausea, mild headache, and vomiting.
5.Can Babies Get Worms?
Yes, everyone is susceptible to intestinal worms, regardless of their age.
6. Is There a Particular Age for Deworming?
Kids above the age of 2 can be dewormed.
However, as we all know, prevention is the best treatment, and necessary steps should be taken to prevent your kids from coming in contact with these parasites, as much as possible.