A child’s health is tender and at the most risk of different types of infectious and communicable diseases. It is observed while growing up many children face the presence of worms in their stomach or intestine. It is the most common problem in children and can severely affect a child’s nutrition and growth. The infection caused by these intestinal or stomach worms is called ‘Soil-transmitted helminth’ (STH) infection. About 241 million children in India between ages 1-14 are at the risk of getting these infections.
Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are the most common infections in children caused by a group of parasites known as worms, including roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, etc. These worms live in the intestines and stomach for food and survival where they lay thousands of eggs each day. When children are exposed to unclean surroundings and are directly in contact with soil, animals, dirty toys or food, these worms are transmitted into the skin or mouth and then into the stomach. The symptoms of having parasitic worms in the body are malnutrition, anemia, loss of appetite and fatigue, rashes and itching in the anal region, etc.
It is necessary to get these worms removed because they obstruct a child’s growth and nutrition status, make them more prone to intestinal obstruction and reduce the ability to absorb vitamins properly. To remove these worms from the body, the process of deworming in children is done. In the deworming process, the parasites and infections in the stomach and intestines are killed using certain medications like Mebendazole, Pyrantel, Reese’s pinworm medicine, Zental 400mg, etc.
The Government of India provides and recommends two safe drugs in the form of tablets, namely Albendazole and Mebendazole, for the treatment of intestinal worms. The dosage is prescribed on the bases of a child’s age. Deworming in children is said to improve their health by allowing them to competently absorb proteins and vitamins required for the growth and in combating malnutrition.
A short and quick treatment, the deworming tablets cause no harm to the body. The worms are thrown out of the body through stools and once the child id parasite-free, his/her body becomes healthy again. Parents can also take preventive measures so that their children do not have to bear such trouble. Some tips to prevent worms in children are:
- Keep the surroundings of the child clean.
- Inculcate clean habits in the child, every time he/she comes from playing.
- Instruct the child to not play barefoot in the grass, mud or outdoor areas.
- Ensure that the child only uses clean and hygienic swimming pools.
- Wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly before the child consumes them.
- Before using them, check for any worm infestations.
- Avoid the fruit or vegetable which has even a part that is infested.
- Try not to let the child have raw meats, semi-cooked vegetables that might have the possibility of worms being present in them.
- Let the child not have water from public tanks unless it is safe. Try drinking boiled water.