Symptoms Of Intestinal Worms In Children: How To Treat Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal worms or parasitic infection is a major health problem all over the world, particularly in tropical and sub tropical countries. These worms are called parasites because they depend completely on the host (human) for their survival. Parasitic infection occurs both in adults as well as children. But in children it is more common.

This is because children often are exposed to soil contaminated with fecal matter while playing bare foot. The eggs are passed through feces in an infected person. Improper sanitation and unhygienic conditions can cause seepage of fecal matter in soil, food and water. Children may ingest the larvae accidentally when they get exposed to soil, water or food that is contaminated with fecal matter. The three most common worms found in intestine of children are pinworms, roundworm, tapeworm and hookworm. The symptoms produced in infected child depend on the type of intestinal worm. Intestinal worm infection is not life threatening condition, but it can cause several untoward symptoms that may affect child’s health.

Symptoms of intestinal worms in children:

Roundworm: Roundworm is a large intestinal worm.

Its medical name is Ascaris lumbricoids. Roundworm infection particularly occurs in children between 3 to 8 years. Adult worm passes eggs in feces. They can survive for a long period in the soil. A child’s finger can come in contact with the eggs while playing in contaminated soil. The egg can then transfer into the mouth from child’s hand. The egg then develops in adult worm in the intestine. Common symptoms of roundworm infection in children are:

  • Pain in abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Prolonged cough
  • Breathlessness similar to asthma problem.
  • Fever
  • Loss of weight
  • Poor diet
  • Weak child
  • A big roundworm may sometimes be visible in feces if it passes out through anus.

Pinworms: Pinworms are also called as enterobiasis. Contamination of food, hands and other articles with pinworm eggs spreads this helminthic infection. Pinworms are extremely tiny worms. This infection is most common in children. The striking symptom of pinworm is itching around anus. Intense itching makes sleeping difficult for the child. Itching usually occurs at night when the worm lays eggs around the anus.

Hookworm: There are two species of hookworm namely; Ankylostoma duodenale and Nectar Americanus. Hookworm eggs can hatch into immature worms in soil. When the child’s leg comes in contact with the soil, it can penetrate into the skin. Another type can also spread through contaminated food through oral route. Walking barefoot and poor sanitation is to be blamed for contamination and its spread. The symptoms include:

  • Anemia
  • Itching around the site of skin penetration
  • Weakness
  • Lack of protein
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion and diarrhea
  • Loss of weight

Home remedies for intestinal parasites:

  • Coconut oil is time tested effective home remedy to eliminate intestinal worms. It has strong antiparasitic properties. The child can drink half cup of coconut milk extracted from coconut or one teaspoon of coconut oil once in fifteen days for two to three months.
  • Garlic is another antiparasitic natural remedy. Add garlic in child’s food preparation.
  • Papaya seeds: Ground dried papaya seed till it becomes fine powder. Mix half teaspoon of it in one cup warm milk. Let the child drink this milk when he gets up in the morning.
  • Eat pomegranate or drink freshly prepared pomegranate juice. Pomegranate is effective in eliminating intestinal parasites.
  • Carrot has ingredients that help to destroy eggs of intestinal worms. Give the child half glass of carrot juice in morning two to three time in a week for few week, if the child is suffering from intestinal worms.