Treatment of worms in children

Children are often infected with worms

Helminths or worms is the general name for parasitic worms that live in the human body. Most of them live in the intestinal tract, however, some of them extend beyond it. Children are particularly vulnerable to worm infection. Due to insufficiently strong immunity, which is not able to kill parasites, and a long latent period of infection, worms can cause serious harm to a child. This is mainly due to severe poisoning, allergic reactions and, in some cases, organ damage.

In this material we will consider the main causes of helminth infection, their types, as well as methods of their treatment. This applies to both conventional and traditional medicine.

Causes of infection

First of all, it is worth noting that protecting a child from worm infection seems to be an almost impossible task. This applies to geohelminthiasis and is due to their method of infection. However, there are other types of worms, with different infection mechanisms. We will discuss geohelminths and other types of worms in more detail below.

The worms growin soil and water, after which they enter the human body and lay their eggs there. Then, along with the feces, they return to the soil or water and the cycle repeats. When you eat dirty fruits and vegetables, there is a very real possibility that you will contract a helminthic infection. Infection is also possible through dirty hands or through the skin of the feet.

Infection throughcontact with animals- it's not a myth. During contact, play and joint activities with an already infected animal, there is a non-illusory chance of becoming infected with worms. Their eggs land on the skin or clothing, where they continue to mature and sooner or later can enter the body.

Infection with biohelminths occurs due toconsumption of underprocessed meat and fish products.Particularly dangerous are undercooked kebabs, poorly salted lard, sushi, unprocessed milk and undercooked fish. In addition to worms, when you consume these products, there is also a chance of contracting an intestinal infection.

Contaminationthrough insect bites- happens quite rarely, since in most cases the insects put their larvae under the victim's skin. However, some types of worms are spread by insects.

With a strong immune system, worm infection is much less likely. In addition, over time, a person simply develops resistance to worms in their area. They don't have time to hatch or simply die shortly after hatching. However, when you move to a new area or when the immune system is weakened, protection against worms weakens.

Types of worms

There are about 300 species of worms, but 70 species are common. These types can be divided into three broad categories:

  • Nematodes or roundworms.Most often, children are infected by this type of worms. This species includes pinworms, whipworms, trichinella and roundworms.
  • Tapes or tapes.Infection with this species occurs through poorly processed meat. This species includes tapeworms, tapeworms and echinococci.
  • Freckles or accident pests.Most often, worms of this species cause opisthorchiasis, fascioliasis, schistosomiasis and paragonimiasis.

In the vast majority of cases, worms parasitize in the intestines, however, their eggs, along with the bloodstream, can spread throughout the body. As a result, the worms can begin to multiply in the liver, gall bladder, muscle tissue, lungs and even the brain.


Considering that worms are parasitic organisms, infection with them does not appear immediately. After all, the parasite's goal is to avoid the host's attention for as long as possible. That is why symptoms appear either in the case of multiple infections or after a long latent period.

Usually, the first symptoms appear only 2-4 weeks after the worm eggs enter the body. All symptoms are usually caused by poisoning by waste products of helminthiasis. In some cases, that is, when the child's immunity is reduced, infection with helminthiasis can appear earlier.

Amongmain signs of worms in childrencan be distinguished:

  • Increased appetite without weight gain.
  • Increased salivation.
  • Painful feeling in the stomach, nausea and loose stools.
  • Dizziness and headaches;
  • The appearance of allergic reactions.
  • Sleep disturbances, worsening of sleep and increased irritability.
  • Increased hair loss and splitting of nails.
  • Frequent inflammatory processes of the nasopharynx and genitourinary system.

With prolonged infection, developmental delays, dysfunction of internal organs and neurological abnormalities are observed.

It is important to note that a strange smell from the child's mouth, abdominal pain, frequent hiccups and grinding of teeth at night in no way indicate a worm infection. These symptoms are just a myth.

Diagnostic features

Diagnosis of helminthiasis in a child using a blood test

Given the variety of symptoms of infection with this parasite, accurate diagnosis is not the easiest task. First of all, you have to dostool analysisfor the presence of parasitic nests. However, this is not the most reliable method. The point is that in some cases, in the body of the carrier there can be many individuals of the same sex who are not capable of reproduction. In addition, some species lay extremely rare eggs, which makes it difficult to establish a clear diagnosis. That is why stool tests for worms are done three times at intervals of several days, since it is necessary to capture the exact moment of reproduction of the parasite.

Infection with the parasite may also be indicated by a high level of eosinophils combined with low hemoglobin withgeneral blood test.A scraping for enterobiasis and an examination of the abdominal cavity with ultrasound or X-ray are also used for diagnosis. To clarify the diagnosis, doctors can resort to biological analysis of urine and feces, as well as immunological studies.

Once the exact type of parasite is determined, as well as the level of damage caused to the body, treatment can begin.

Methods of treating worms in children

The main method of treating helminths, of course, is medication. However, in some cases, the use of traditional medicine is also allowed. It is important to remember that in most cases, folk remedies are not strong enough to deal with moderate, let alone severe, infection. They should be used as aids. Of course, traditional medicine also has a number of limitations. These and other means will be discussed in more detail below.


The doctor prescribes medication for worms in children

Drug treatment for helminth infection aims to destroy the worms and reduce the level of toxins released by them. When treating worms, especially in children, it is extremely undesirable to use broad-spectrum drugs. The fact is that they have a very strong effect and their use, even with the correct dosage, can lead to serious problems. In addition, the wrong drug can cause more damage than the parasites themselves. That is why it is important to make an accurate diagnosis and determine which type of parasites the child is infected with.

To remove toxins, vitamin complexes containing vitamins B and C, glucose solutions and infusions of water-salt solution are used. In some cases, antihistamines and diuretics are also used. And if the heart and liver are damaged, hormone therapy may be required. To enhance the results, enzyme preparations are often used that improve digestion, as well as enterosorbents that remove parasite waste from the body.

Will folk remedies help?

Treatment of parasites in children with folk remedies

In general, doctors do not recommend using folk remedies to treat worms. This is mainly due to the fact that the power of folk remedies is often not enough to completely destroy the parasites. However, despite the fact that folk remedies cannot become an alternative to traditional means, this does not mean that they should not be used. Instead, it will be an excellent addition to drug therapy. Among the most effective and safe folk remedies are the following.

Vegetable oilsis an effective method of combating almost all types of helminths. The most effective are apricot, cedar and sea buckthorn oils; however, a safer choice for children would be linseed or hemp oil. The oil should be consumed in its pure form, one teaspoon three times a day before meals. If your child refuses to eat it, add it to porridge or soak bread in butter. The course of oil treatment is one week, after which you should take a break for two weeks.

Another effective remedy for helminths isPumpkin seeds. This is mainly due to the presence of cucurbitin in them, a rare amino acid that kills worms. Pumpkin seeds can be eaten either raw or made into milk. In their raw form, they are consumed in 120 grams for children aged three to seven years, 200 grams for children aged seven to eleven and 300 grams for children under thirteen years of age. Milk from seeds can be prepared by passing 200 grams of seeds through a meat grinder, pouring two glasses of boiling water over them and infusing the drink for a quarter of an hour in a water bath. Then we filter the broth and feed it to the child throughout the day, before meals.

GarlicIt is also a common treatment for helminthiasis. It is often used to prevent infection by parasites, as well as as an adjuvant for enterobiasis and ascariasis. It is used as follows: chop two cloves of garlic and pour a glass of milk over them. The resulting drink is consumed twice a day, a quarter of a glass, for four days.

For treatment purposes, pharmaceutical drugs are often usedenemaswith herbal teas. This is done to flush the parasites out of the intestinal lumen. Decoctions of wormwood, chamomile and other herbs are suitable for these purposes. You can also use a milk-garlic enema, the recipe of which was given above. When using an enema, it is important that its temperature is not lower than room temperature and its volume does not exceed 100 milliliters. It is also important to increase the amount of fluid consumed in the form of mineral water or fruit juices.

Barrier methodOften used for helminthiasis caused by pinworms. Its essence is to block the lumen of the large intestine using special tampons moistened with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly. This is done so that the adult worms do not migrate to the surface of the anus and continue to reproduce. The child's anal passage is blocked with a tampon for one month. It is important to note that this method is not effective for extraintestinal forms of helminthiasis or in cases of severe enterobiasis.

Before using any of the above methods, you should always consult and obtain the approval of your pediatrician.

In addition to the means directly aimed at combating pests, auxiliary means can also be used. Any recipes that help improve digestion and remove toxins from the body will do. Substances high in vitamin B and C are also beneficial. You should consult your doctor before use.

Prevention of helminthiasis in children

Prevention will save a child from worm infection

As we have already discovered, the vast majority of cases of worm infection occur through the oral region. Therefore, the prevention of parasite infection mainly includesobservance of personal hygiene rules. In addition, you should wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly before eating and also make sure that fish, meat and dairy products have undergone adequate heat treatment. If you have pets, you should have preventive anthelmintic treatment. And finally, you should keep your house clean.

In addition, there is the opinion that to prevent helminthiasis one should take regular anthelmintic drugs. This view is very controversial in the medical field. Some doctors believe that the prophylactic use of such drugs does not guarantee re-infection and causes additional stress on the body. This group of doctors maintains that basic hygiene is sufficient to reduce the chance of infection. The second group of doctors believes that it is simply impossible to do without prophylactic use of such drugs, given the neglect of hygiene rules by children. The issue of prevention is even more pronounced if the child is constantly in contact with animals that visit the street.

Either way, only you can decide if it's worth using worming drugs for prevention. However, it is worth considering if:

  • Are you planning a trip to southern countries?
  • The child goes to kindergarten.
  • There are animals in the house that visit the street.
  • Children play in the sand or have frequent contact with the ground.
  • Children spend a lot of time in nature.