Worm infestation is very common in children. Let us first understand the common worms that can infect children and adults:
|Tapeworms: These are flat, ribbon-like worms that can grow up to 15-30 ft and live in the intestine|
|Roundworms: They resemble earthworms and can grow up to the size of 30-35 cm|
|Pinworms or thread-worms: These worms appear to be fine white cottony threads and live in intestine and around anus.|
|Hookworms: These are commonly contracted when children walk barefoot on the contaminated soil and later enter intestine|
Symptoms of Worm Infections in Children
In most of the cases children have no symptoms. Parents discover worms in stool and know that their child has worm infestation. However some of the signs and symptoms associated with worm infestation are as follows-
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Sometimes weight loss despite eating too frequently
- Itching around anus and painful urination- These are commonly seen in thread worm infection. These worms creep out and lay eggs near anus especially at night. This leads to itching and poor quality of sleep.
- Diarrhea and passing worms with stools
- Fever and dry cough is associated with roundworm infection.
- Coughing, wheezing (breathing difficulty) is seen with hookworm infection when it reaches lungs.
- Anemia and fatigue is also associated with severe hookworm infection.
- In severe cases a bunch of worms can also block the intestine and cause intestinal obstruction.
- Hookworm can give skin lesions at its site of entry through human feet.