Overview of Worms in Children
Worms are parasitic organisms that live inside the bodies of other animals. In children, the most common types of worms are roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. Roundworms are very common in children, and they can affect any age group. Hookworms are less common in children, but they can often be found in young people living in the tropics. Tapeworms are very rare in children, but they are more common in people who eat raw meat or fish. Unfortunately, worms are extremely common in children. It is estimated that around 38% of kids worldwide have worms. Worms are more likely to affect younger children, as their immune systems are not developed enough to fight them off. The most common way that children get worms is from the soil. When a child plays in the dirt, they can easily transfer the worms from the soil to their bodies. Sometimes, worms get transferred from one child to another when kids play together.
Types of Worms That Can Affect Children
These are the most common worms that affect children, and they can be found in every part of the world. Roundworms typically live in the intestines, where they feed off of the nutrients in the person’s food. Roundworms are usually as long as a finger, and they can cause a number of different symptoms in children. These symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Worm infestations are usually diagnosed by testing a faecal sample. If a child is diagnosed with roundworms, they will need to take medications that can kill the worms inside of their bodies. These worms are a bit more rare, but they are very common in young people who live in areas with warm climates. Hookworms can attach to the small intestine and suck the blood from the person’s body. Hookworms can be deadly in large numbers, and they can often cause severe anaemia in children. Hookworm infestations are diagnosed by examining the child’s faeces. If a child is diagnosed with hookworms, they will need to take medications that can kill the worms inside their bodies. These are the least common worms that affect children, but they are more common in people who eat raw meat or fish. Tapeworms typically live in the small intestine, where they feed on proteins and carbohydrates. Tapeworms can be found in humans all over the world, but they are most common in Asia. Tapeworm infestations are usually diagnosed by examining the child’s faeces. If a child is diagnosed with tapeworms, they will most likely need to take medication to kill the worms inside their bodies.
Symptoms of worms in children
When worms infest a child’s body, they can cause abdominal pain and cramping. This pain is usually mild, but it can become severe in some cases. When hookworms suck blood from the child’s body, they can cause anaemia. Anaemia is a condition where the child has too few red blood cells in the body, which can cause fatigue and headaches. Roundworms can cause diarrhoea when they live in a child’s digestive system. This is often a sign that the child has too many worms in their body. If a child has anaemia due to hookworm infestations, they may experience headaches. Roundworms can cause vomiting when they live in a child’s digestive system.
Diagnosis of worms in children
Doctors will typically diagnose worms by examining a faecal sample. For example, they can test a stool sample to see if it contains eggs or larvae. A doctor can test for roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms using a single sample. If a doctor finds eggs or larvae in the sample, they can identify the type of worm using a microscope. If a child has an extreme case of worms, their doctor may use blood tests to diagnose the infestation. In most cases, however, faecal samples are sufficient.
Treatment options for worms in children
- Antibiotics - If a child has an extreme case of worms and they do not respond to deworming medication, antibiotics may be necessary. This is most common in children with tapeworm infestations. - Deworming medication - There are a variety of deworming medications that can kill the worms inside a child’s body, including: Albendazole, Mebendazole, Praziquantel, Levamisole, Pyrantel pamoate, and Niclosamide. It is important to take the full course of medication, even if the child’s symptoms go away before the end of the treatment. Failing to take the full course of medication can result in the child getting reinfected with worms.
Prevention of worms in children
- Wash hands regularly - One of the best ways to prevent worms in children is by washing their hands regularly. Parents should encourage children to wash their hands after using the bathroom, after changing a diaper, after playing outside, and before eating. Parents should also be sure to wash their hands regularly. - Avoid eating raw vegetables - Parents may want to avoid feeding their children raw vegetables, as this can increase the risk of worms. - Avoid eating raw meat - It is also important to avoid eating raw meat, as this can increase the risk of worms. - Stay indoors - Kids should stay indoors as much as possible to reduce their risk of worms. When they are playing outside, they should avoid areas with dirt and grass. - Avoid changing diapers - Kids should avoid changing diapers as much as possible to reduce their risk of worms.