While a child contracting worms is something parents don't want to hear, the condition is a relatively common one, especially with pinworms (also known as threadworms). Other worms that affect children and adults alike are roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. While this is a common problem, especially in children, they are more uncomfortable than they are harmful.
Keep an eye out for excessive itching on your child's bottom. Pinworms in the intestine emerge from the anus---usually when your child sleeps---to lay eggs. Then, the worm covers them with mucus, which causes excessive itchiness.
Look for the presence of pinworms around the anus when your child is sleeping. They are difficult to see but can resemble tiny strings of cotton.
Perform a tape test for pinworm. Apply a wide piece of hypoallergenic clear tape or ordinary translucent adhesive tape to the skin around the anus first thing in the morning. If they exist, the worms will stick to the tape.
Take note if your child has frequent abdominal pain and bloating---this could be a sign of being infected with worms. The pain may also be due to the penetration of the larvae into the skin.
Notice if your child has a chronic problem with gas and diarrhoea. Sometimes it can be bloody, and your child may have a mild fever. Diarrhoea is nature's way of disposing toxic substances from the body.
Monitor if the opposite happens in your child---worms can sometimes block organs in kids' little bodies, like the liver, bile ducts and the colon. This can cause constipation.
Worms are not only uncomfortable in your child, they can weaken the immune system of natural antibodies that are necessary to fight off germs, infections and diseases.
Heavy infestation of the worms can also cause loss of appetite, weight loss and insomnia.
In little girls, the pinworms may lay their eggs in the vaginal area, which can be linked to vaginal discharge, trouble urinating and bed-wetting.
- As soon as worms are detected, call your doctor for specific recommendations of treatment.
- Treatment will include treating the home and family. Worms spread easily through their egg larvae.
- Personal hygiene and constant hand-washing is essential to ward off the infestation of the worms.