Worms in Children
Worms in children is quite a serious problem for parents and for a child. This is because worms eat up all the nutrients that a child is supplied with. The child remains malnourished and the worms become healthy! There are lot many reasons that can cause the worms in the child. They require immediate attention and are to be treated as early as possible.
Threadworms, which are also known as pinworms are tiny white worms that are fond very commonly in children. They can be seen around the anal area of a child. They are about one centimeter long, look like threads of white cotton, and hence, are named after.
Threadworms affect most of the children at some stage of their lives. Threadworms or pinworms produce a large number of micro eggs that can be carried in house dust or on clothing, bedding, bread sheet, towels etc. These tiny worms can easily be picked up by fingers and other part of the body. They then travel inside the children by mouth or any openings of the body. They locate into the intestines and develop into threadworms. They stuck to the intestines by their hook like structures and they suck up the blood and nutrients from the child’s intestines.
Contaminated food, water and sand/soil are major transporters for the worms in the children. It is therefore advisable to have freshly cooked and covered food. The water is to be boiled, cooled and then given to children.
The most common sign for worm’s infection in children is itchy bottom that is generally noticed at the time of night or early morning. This is because this is the time, when worms travel downwards and may come out of the anus. The child continuously itches the anal region and easily caught doing it.
Another symptom for having worms is a child does not get proper nourishment even though he or she receives good amount of food. This is because the worms eat up all the nourishment and body is kept malnourished. If this runs long, the child may start losing weight drastically and becomes lean, weak and with less immunity.
Child may also complain about abdominal pain and irritation. Many cases, where the worms have multiplied in a huge number, there will be a ‘ball of worms’ that can easily be felt on palpitation on child’s abdomen.
There are no perfect investigations or laboratory testing that can confirm worms. However, stool examination may contain eggs or live worms. This comes by observing baby’s or child’s feces. In some cases, where worms are many, ultra sonography helps doctor to locate and to visualize the worms in the abdomen.
The best treatment is giving any anthelmintic in the form of syrup or tablet. The dosage and frequency is to be decided by pediatrician for a child. The food and water is to be pure, fresh and should not be contaminated.
The bed sheets, towels and clothes are to be washed with disinfectants. The child or baby is not allowed to play in sands and soils. The anal region is to be washed very thoroughly and any particle of stool should not remain there.
Ayurveda believes that this is a ‘krimi roga’ where krimi stands for worm and roga for disease. They are spread in unhygienic condition, contaminated food, hands and water.
The child is to be given bath with neem’s decoction. There are certain Ayurvedic herbs like palaasha, neem, vidanga and haridra that can give good results in terminating the worms. Weekly once, the neem juice (1-2 tbsp) will be okay for children.
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