Worm infestation in children is one of the most common disease conditions found around the world. Usually, worm infestation gets transmitted due to frequent contact of kids’ hands with poor soil or contaminated water and other poor hygienic conditions. In areas where sanitation is poor, the soil can have high a level of bacteria which can result in worm infestation.
The most common species that affect children are roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Normally, these infections are identified with symptoms, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, general weakness, etc., and, if the infection is not taken seriously, it can lead to intestinal blood loss leading to anemia.
Before we go into the management aspects of the worm infestation, it would be prudent to know how the disease gets transmitted. General awareness of the same can help in curbing such condition in kids to a greater extent.
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Mode of Transmission:
Soil-transmitted worms or helminths once ingested can live inside the kids’ abdomen for long periods. They further hatch eggs inside the bowel and are passed out with the feces. These eggs hatch into worms once they come in contact with the soil, which is usually seen in an unhygienic environment. Further, when a person’s (in this case children’s) hands or utensils used for the food preparation or water used for cleaning, drinking, etc. comes in contact with such contaminated soil, the parasites get an easy path to enter into the human body. If left unnoticed, this can become like a closed-loop wherein the cause and effect get repeated again and again like a vicious circle.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Worm Infestation in Children:
The common symptoms observed in children suffering from the worm infestation are:
- Abdominal pain
- General weakness
- Itching around the anus during the night time etc.
An easy method to diagnose this condition is to do a stool test to identify the presence of eggs. Examining the area near the anus at the time of severe itching can also help us in identifying sticky worms if any. However, it is important to understand that these symptoms do not appear immediately once a child is infected. Normally, intestinal worms have got a high incubation period and one may get the initial symptoms maybe after 4 to 5 months from the first infection.
Treatment for Worm Infestation in Children:
The treatment can be seen as two sides of the same coin. One is to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene, and the other is recommended drug medication by a medical practitioner. Before we discuss homeopathic remedies, let us have a look at good hygiene practices that we can teach children to keep themselves healthy and safe from Worm Infestation related issues:
- Habitual cleaning of the hands after using the toilet and before eating. Encourage handwash after coming back from the school, playground, and markets for shopping, etc.
- Cut the fingernails regularly or try to maintain them as short as possible.
- Regular cleaning or disinfecting of toilets by parents.
- Encourage children to use warm water for sanitary needs.
- Regularly change school uniform and household dresses to keep your child clean.
- Clean food items, such as fruits and vegetables, thoroughly.
- Try using boiled water or purified water if we can’t trust the water source.
Homeopathic Remedies for Worm Infestation in Children
The easiest way to minimize the ill-effects of worm infestation in the intestine is to approach and follow homeopathy. The reason being that as the kids like the medicated sugar tablets, they won’t fuss while having homeopathic medicines. Well, that is not the only reason. Homeopathy itself has got some excellent remedies for Worm Infestation. A few of the suggested medicines based on symptoms are:
- Cina and Spigelia: When your kid suffers from repetitive pain in the abdomen along with cramping or pinching, Cina the most commonly recommended homeopathic remedy. Spigelia is another homeopathic remedy recommended in the case of pinching pain centered around the umbilical region.
- Teucrium: Teucrium is identified as an effective remedy when the child complaints repetitive anal itching at around evening, at night, or in the bed.
- Cina and Santonium: Normally, these homeopathic remedies are prescribed when the kids develop teeth-grinding habit while asleep.
- Natrum Mur and Cina: Infestation of the worm inside the abdomen can lead to excessive hunger. The hunger may repeat immediately after a heavy breakfast, dinner, etc. In such cases, Natrum Mur and Cina can give excellent relief by curbing the worms inside the abdomen.
Now that you know these good hygiene practices and the effectiveness of homeopathy in treating worm infestation in children, make sure you follow them and count on homeopathic treatment for worm infestation if any time your child happens to suffer from the infection.
- Written by Dr. Ashitha, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah