Worms in kids are quite common.Deworming should be done as soon as symptoms are noticed.
What causes worms in children?
Kids are more prone to get a worm infection than adults. They may unknowingly be aiding the worms to infect the body through innocent activities such as walking or playing on the grass barefoot. Some of the other common ways the worms can infect the body of a child are as follows:
- Infected soil: Soil is the most common route of entry of worms into children. Damp or wet soil acts as the perfect breeding ground for several types of worms, which includes helminths and parasites and allows them easy access into the body.
- Poor hygienic conditions: Unhygienic conditions and not following proper habits like washing hands after defecating, before eating can lead to entry of worms into the digestive tract, leading to intestinal worms.
- Undercooked food: Raw/undercooked vegetables and fruits, undercooked meat, pork might be infested with worms which can infest and harm even the brain.
- Infected pets: Pets and animals with ticks are prone to worm infestations, and children who play with such a pet could get worms from them.
- From adults and other kids: Adults and kids who have poor hygiene can also pass worms to other kids. The eggs of the worms live in fingernails and can be transmitted to the other kid if proper hygiene is not maintained.
What are the symptoms of worms in children?
The biggest threats of intestinal worms in children is that the symptoms are mild and subtle and can be easily overlooked by parents. Symptoms of a worms in children include:
- Loss of appetite and bouts of hunger pangs
- Stomach ache
- Weight loss
- Always feeling hungry
- Anemia (common if the kid has a hookworm infection)
- In case of pinworms or threadworms, children usually complain of itching or hives in the rectal or anal region.
- Blood in stools
- Trouble in sleeping leading to irritability
- Frequent and painful urination
- Stunted growth
Are there any natural remedies for intestinal worms in children?
Regular treatment of worms depends on the type of worm that has infested the kid’s intestines. The pediatrician prescribes syrups for toddlers and tablets for older children. The deworming treatment period is usually short and lasts no longer than a few days. As a precaution, it is always better to deworm children to protect them from untoward infestations.
Along with medicines, there are a few natural remedies that can help alleviate the discomforting symptoms that the kid may be going through. They may not kill the worms, but will definitely aid the process of treatment, and provide relief from symptoms.
- Garlic: Garlic is considered to be a natural deworming agent. Raw garlic contains sulphur, which kills parasites. Eating even three cloves of garlic can help to eliminate the worms from the body.
- Unripe papaya: Papaya seeds contain papain, an enzyme which acts as an anthelmintic to kill intestinal worms and expel them from the stomach. Get the child to drink a tablespoon of crushed papaya seeds with warm milk and honey in the morning for consecutive 3 days to deworm.
- Carom seeds: More commonly known as ajwain, they help in controlling the growth of bacteria as they are rich in thymol. Mixing carom seeds with jaggery and consuming on an empty stomach will help to eliminate such worm infections.
Also read: Food Allergies In Babies – A Challenge In Child Care