This guide is designed to give you help and information about worms in the stool of children. Summer has come to the country. Gardens and fields green and ripen. We are happy to be able to give our children our own fruit and vegetables and do not think about the dangers that children can incur from eating a single raw carrot or even from playing in the garden soil.
Signs & Symptoms
Worm infestation in children often goes unnoticed. This applies in particular to the worm diseases occurring in Germany. The organism is usually capable of completely fighting the worms itself. Nevertheless, symptoms and even complications can occur. Typical symptoms are pain in the upper abdomen, loss of appetite alternating with ravenous hunger, ravenous hunger attacks even after eating, constant tiredness or restlessness. For meaning of hip dysplasia (hip dislocation) in English, please visit sportingology.com.
The most important indication of worm infestation in children is severe itching in the anal area at night. The tormenting itching of the buttocks can lead to sleep problems and therefore to concentration problems in the long term. Other symptoms are rare in Germany. However, in warmer regions there are worm species that can also cause flu-like symptoms.
These include fever, cough, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Worm infestations in children are usually very treatable. As already mentioned, the organism can fight the worm infestation in most cases without therapy. However, there are also complications in individual cases. In this way, the worms can get into various organs and sometimes cause life-threatening damage.
The occurrence of appendicitis, lung diseases or even intestinal blockages is possible under certain circumstances. Due to these residual risks and the fact that children can get infected again with the worm eggs by scratching their buttocks, worm treatment should always be carried out in the event of worm infestation.
From this precise description, the pediatrician can easily see that this is an infection with roundworms. He now has the task of explaining the biologically very interesting connections to the parents. Wherever there is insufficient sewage disposal in the houses, where human excreta (septic tanks) are used to fertilize the meadows and gardens in the immediate vicinity of the dwellings, children run the risk of becoming infected with roundworms while playing.
Because with the human excreta, fertilized roundworms got into the soil, but also onto the top-fertilized vegetables. Just eating a garden carrot that is eaten raw and unwashed will bring the roundworm eggs into the child’s gastrointestinal tract. There, within 4 days, small larvae of ¼ mm in length hatch from the eggs, which very soon pierce the intestinal wall and thus enter the human bloodstream.
The larvae reach the heart and lungs via the blood route, in turn pierce the smallest blood vessels and then migrate up the airways of the lungs to the pharynx. The larvae are then swallowed again after their long migration and now develop into sexually mature roundworms in the small intestine of humans. Their females grow up to 40 cm long and lay around 20 million eggs, which are then passed out with the stool.
This biological event, in which our children are usually involved through the carelessness of their parents or through unhygienic living conditions, causes severe stomach ache not only in sensitive children.
Paralysis of the intestines or an intestinal blockage can also occur as a result of the worms forming balls. In rare cases, the adult animals not only migrate with the stool, but also out of the child’s mouth.
However, the pediatrician is also able to determine whether a child has worms if the roundworms have not been observed with certainty. The infection is detected with the help of the X-ray method and by examining the child’s stool for worm eggs. The worming treatment that then becomes necessary is best carried out in a hospital in order to ensure success. More important is the requirement that no child eat unwashed raw fruit or vegetables, especially in rural areas where contact with animal and human excrement is more likely.
Pinworms are much more harmless than roundworms, but are much more common. They are small, mobile, white threads about 10 mm long that are very often found in the excretions of children, but also in adults. School and kindergarten children, but preferably children in institutions, are often affected, while infants are usually spared. Pinworms live in the lower parts of the small intestine in humans.
If they are not excreted with the stool, the females migrate out of the anus during the child’s first hour of sleep under the influence of the warmth of the bed, in order to lay their eggs there, around 11,000 in number. In the presence of oxygen, these eggs mature and become viable within a few hours. The crawling around of the worms causes severe and annoying itching, the children then scratch their buttocks and thus bring the worm eggs under their fingernails. The worm eggs are smeared further by the fingers and finally get back into the mouth and thus into the child’s gastrointestinal tract.
In this way, the child itself ensures that it is reinfected again and again, because new pinworms develop from the swallowed eggs. Other children or adults can be infected through linen and bedclothes, through room dust and toys, but also through children shaking hands with each other.
A mother or father must always think of the presence of pinworms when their children appear pale, fidgety, over-irritable and have trouble falling asleep. Wide eye rims and above all the nightly itching that tempts the child to scratch are important clues. If the worms themselves are then observed in the stool, in the laundry or directly on the anus, then the child belongs in the hands of the doctor, who today can eliminate these intestinal parasites without great difficulty using extremely effective medication.
However, in order for this success to be maintained and new infections to be avoided, ongoing personal hygiene must be paid the greatest attention. The children’s fingernails should be cleaned several times a day with a hand brush and cut very short with nail scissors or clippers. In addition, wearing small, tight-fitting linen pants, which should be boiled every day, prevents scratching during the night and thus prevents reinfection.
Furthermore, if a child has worms, the siblings must always be examined as well, so that all family members can be treated at the same time, if necessary, so that the siblings do not infect each other again.
Finally, the tapeworm must be mentioned, which can also infect children, usually as beef tapeworm, after eating raw or undercooked beef. This intestinal parasite is very feared because of its length of 4-10 cm and because of its rapid growth. Within 70 days the tapeworm reaches a length of 6 meters. The mother or father becomes suspicious when a child loses weight despite having a good appetite with the best nutrition.
This suspicion is confirmed by the loss of about 2 cm long white tapeworm segments that look like noodles and that must be shown to the doctor because the very strenuous tapeworm cure, preferably in a hospital, can only be expected of a child under certain conditions that the detection of a tapeworm is completely certain. Even if finnish meat is discarded by veterinary meat inspection, only those who never eat raw or undercooked meat can protect themselves from tapeworms with certainty.
Many parents worry about getting a dog for their small children to play with because they are afraid of contracting the deadly dog tapeworm. However, such a dog tapeworm is very rare. It is therefore safe to say that with a clean and healthy dog that is regularly dewormed and examined by a veterinarian, the advantages of educating children to love animals and to care for those in need are significantly greater than the very rare risk of infection through the eggs of the dog dog tapeworm.
Hygienic lifestyle, proper care of children and meticulous cleaning of fruit and vegetables are largely able to prevent human infestation with worms. In this respect too, the health of the children is primarily in the hands of their parents.
When worms are observed in children’s stools, they are usually harmless pinworms. There are usually no complications. However, there are very rare exceptions where this does occur. Pinworm infection, known as oxyuriasis, mostly affects small children. The only symptom of this worm infection is often an unbearable itching of the anus at night, because female pinworms then crawl out of the anus and lay their eggs there.
The child will scratch and often re-infect the eggs if they put unwashed fingers in their mouths or do not wash their hands before eating. In this way, an initially successful treatment with anti-worm agents can be thwarted again and again. Small children suffer from massive sleep disorders due to the tormenting itching of the anus.
As a result, it can lead to concentration and behavioral disorders. Some children are therefore dependent on psychological treatment in addition to worm treatment. The children should also learn behaviors that prevent re-infection.
Serious complications are extremely rare. If the worm eggs get into the vagina in girls, there can be a painful inflammation with a discharge. Furthermore, in extremely rare cases, severe intestinal infestation can result in life-threatening intestinal perforation.
When should you go to the doctor?
A doctor should be consulted as soon as activity is observed in the child’s bowel movements. Movements in the faeces are considered warning signs of the organism and should be discussed with a doctor. If the child complains of itching in the anus, if bleeding or spotting is noticed at the outlet of the intestine, or if other irregularities appear when going to the toilet, the cause should be investigated.
In case of inner restlessness, behavioral problems, an aggressive appearance or mood swings, a doctor should be consulted. If participation in social life decreases, changes in the child’s play instinct are noticed or if sleep disorders occur, the abnormalities should be investigated. If symptoms increase or new irregularities arise, a doctor’s visit is necessary. A reduced performance level, inner irritability as well as diarrhea or constipation are signs of a health impairment.
Symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor so that a diagnosis can be made and a treatment plan can be developed. A doctor should be consulted in the event of loss of appetite, pain in the upper abdomen, concentration disorders, nausea, vomiting, fever and coughing. A changed complexion, tiredness or a continuous decrease in well-being are other complaints that need to be clarified. Changes in weight, painful inflammation or flu-like symptoms should be discussed with a doctor. The child needs medical care to relieve the symptoms.
A vermifuge works against adult worms in the stool. Eggs and larvae are not removed in the process. For this reason, a repeated microscopic examination of the stool must be carried out three to four weeks after the end of therapy. If worms are discovered during the check, the treating doctor will administer a wormer again.
The prescribed duration of the medication must be adhered to for successful therapy. A follow-up examination of all family members is also essential. Furthermore, thorough hygiene must be observed at all times. To prevent the disease from coming back, you should make sure that the child does not put their hands or toys in their mouths.
The child’s hands should be washed thoroughly with soap after each visit to the toilet, after playing outside and before meals. The fingernails are continuously kept short so that no dirt can get stuck under the nails. Keeping the child’s anal area clean is of great importance.
Lukewarm water with a mild detergent has proven itself. The child’s bedding, underwear and pajamas are changed daily for a long period of time. Washing in the washing machine at at least 60 degrees makes sense to specifically kill pathogens. We also recommend disinfecting toys and door handles.
You can do that yourself
Basically, hygiene should be checked and optimized if there are worms in the stool. Worn clothing and bed linen must be exchanged and should also be disinfected. Children should be thoroughly washed and nails cleaned.
In the case of a worm infestation, it has been shown that the intake of garlic and onions can lead to an alleviation of the symptoms. Parents can give raw garlic cloves to their offspring as a direct food feed. Alternatively, garlic and onions can be boiled and added to meals.
Also helpful in fighting worms are crushed pumpkin seeds. These should be mixed with some honey and eaten in the morning before the first food intake. Carrots have proven effective in combating worm eggs. When consuming the vegetables, the organism is supplied with more vitamin A. This vitamin fights the eggs of the pathogens and prevents the germs from multiplying.
Tapeworms and the eggs of the worm genus can be prevented from spreading in the organism by cloves. The cloves are ground into powder and poured with hot water. This creates a tea. After about 10-20 minutes, the tea made from cloves can be drunk. Taking the tea three times a day over a period of one week has proven effective.