Worm infection is a common occurrence in children. It is the condition wherein worms are present in the child’s intestine. It may have occurred due to the child consuming unhygienic food, contaminated water or by playing barefoot in soil. The worms within the body lay eggs that give birth to more worms in the intestine. As common as they may be, it is also relatively easy to get your child rid of worm infestation.

Symptoms Of Worm Infection

Most of the times the symptoms of worm infestation are so mild that they are overlooked. The most common symptoms however are sore tummy, irritability and weight loss. Threadworms are the most common occurrence. Typically, worms can also be seen in the baby’s stool if the infestation is severe. If the child shows any of these symptoms, consult an experienced pediatrician.

Other symptoms that may point towards a condition of worm infestation are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Anaemia (Due to hookworms)
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Itchiness or pain around the anus
  • Troubled sleep
  • Frequent and painful urination (Due to urinary tract infection)
  • Blood in the stool
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea (rarely seen)
  • Vomiting (rarely seen but the baby may vomit worms if the infestation is severe)

Diagnosis Of Worm Infection

Worm infestations if left untreated may have an adverse effect on the child’s health. It is best to take the child to the paediatrician if any of the above-mentioned symptoms persist. The doctor will check the fingernails of the baby or run a cotton swab around the baby’s bottom to look for any worm eggs present.

The doctor may also conduct a sticky tape test that involves sticking a tape around the baby’s bottom which is then sent to the lab for testing. This test is effective in diagnosing a threadworm infestation.

In case of a severe infestation, the pediatrician will conduct an ultrasound test to determine the exact location of the worm infection.

Treating Worm Infection

Based on the type of worm infection, the pediatrician will direct de-worming treatments for the baby. Almost all type of worm infestations can be treated with the administration of oral medication.

Do not administer any medication without consulting with the pediatrician. It is also possible that the baby gets re-infected with worms. In such a scenario, the doctor may advise treatment to the entire family even though they are not infected.

Preventing Worm Infection

According to a top pediatrician in Chennai,

Once the baby starts to crawl and move around on its own, it is more prone to worm infestation.

The following measures should be undertaken:

  • Ensure hygiene in and around the house
  • Change the baby’s diapers regularly
  • Prevent the child from playing around sand and puddles
  • Wash hands before and after meals and after visiting the toilet
  • Keep the baby’s nails short and clean
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly

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