Worms, or helminths, are a group of parasitic worms. For their “prosperity” they definitely need a master – a living being whose body will become not only a temporary or permanent haven of these microorganisms, but also a source of their nutrition. In our latitudes, roundworms and pinworms are most common.
Such “guests” can cause or exacerbate the well-known and characteristic problems for many children: allergies, digestive disorders, reduced immunity. That is why it is so important to detect and neutralize parasites in time.
Ascaris – round white worms 30–35 cm long and 5 mm in diameter – cause ascariasis. Many of our four-legged friends are carriers of the eggs of these helminths and generously fertilize the soil with them where kids walk.
With dirty hands or unwashed vegetables, fruits and berries, Ascaris eggs enter the digestive tract, where larvae appear from them. The latter travel through the body through the bloodstream and “settle” in the small intestine.
One or more ascarids are harmless and cause no painful symptoms. But if there are a lot of them, the child begins to lose weight, get tired quickly, his temperature rises slightly, he complains of headaches and abdominal pains, nausea.
Sometimes roundworms, traveling around the body, enter the lungs and trachea and can cause bronchitis or pneumonia.
Pinworms – small whitish, slightly curved round worms ranging in length from 2 cm (males) to 12 mm (females) – can cause enterobiosis. They live in the cecum and the appendix and usually do not show themselves.
The baby begins to feel something only after the female crawls out of the anus to lay eggs. At the same time, it releases irritating substances to the skin, which causes itching. Scarce combs the skin in the perineum, the eggs fall under the nails, and from there into the mouth.
And the whole cycle repeats again. The main symptom of enterobiosis is itching in the anus, which interferes with sleep. As a result – weight loss, the child becomes restless, loses appetite.
If pinworms get into the genitals, girls may develop vulvovaginitis, and boys may develop inflammation of the foreskin.
If you suspect infection with worms, contact your pediatrician or infectious disease physician. The doctor will prescribe an analysis of feces on the eggs of worms, and if you suspect enterobiosis, a scraping from the wall of the anus. Consider that a negative result does not mean anything: worms do not lay eggs every day.
Therefore, for reliability, both analyzes should be taken three times at intervals of 1-3 days. If the baby is constantly in contact with a pet, you should undergo an in-depth examination.
In this case, a special blood test is also made to identify antibodies, or immunoglobulins of class E and G (Ig E and G), to helminths.
According to the research results, a course of treatment with antiparasitic drugs is prescribed. Do not try to expel worms yourself. Anthelmintic drugs, their dose and duration of administration should be determined only by a specialist.
This applies to all such remedies, since their dose depends on the age and weight of the child, and the duration of treatment and the multiplicity of drug intake courses differ. And while taking some of them you need to follow a certain diet.
Similar recommendations can also give only a doctor.
In order not to get worms, it is enough to follow the usual rules of hygiene. Enter a rule and make sure that the baby after the games, walks and every visit to the toilet, and before eating wash your hands.
If there is a pet in the house, teach your child to wash his hands and after each contact with him.