We have all complained of stomachache in the morning just before going to school and our parents would have wondered if it was another excuse we’d come up with to skip school. But we were sent to school, returning home after, with the stomachache aggravating further. Suddenly when our parents found out that our lunchboxes are untouched, the stomachache was taken seriously. A quick visit to the Family Physician and the parents are informed that their child needs to be dewormed.
Children are more vulnerable than adults to intestinal worms. They may unwittingly allow the worms to enter their bodies through:
- Infected soil is the most common cause of worms in children. Soil that is damp and wet is breeding ground for various worms
- Unhygienic surroundings and habits such as not washing hands after defecation
- Consuming contaminated water
- Undercooked food and fruits or vegetables, raw or undercooked meat, especially pork, may have worms that can infest even the brain
- From infected animals, pets with ticks and worms, cattle and fish that live in the same premises as the child
- Worms can be acquired from other kids and adults, if they are unhygienic. Worm eggs can live under fingernails, and can be easily passed on to another person if not washed off.
Here are few quick effective home remedies for deworming kids that will easy your tensions about the common problem faced everywhere:
- Avoid brushing with tap water as children tend to swallow water. Keep a bottle of filtered water at the wash basin.
Water is one of the main carriers of worms, because sometimes the water that we use for drinking isn’t as filtered as it should be. While brushingour teeth, water is another component we use inorder to gargle. As adults, we avoid swallowing the water while we gargle our mouth. But the same isn’t the case with kids. They are still new to the process and might as well take more time to learn the routine habit of spitting the water out while brushing. Tap watercontains a good amount of worms which can easily cause harm when entered inside a kid’s body while brushing. In such a situation, filtered water is what is recommended to be used.
- Children to be supervised while bathing as they tend to drink water while showering:
Ground wateris used for bathing in some homes, this water can be contaminated. While bathing, children always drink a little water as a part of their fulfilling part of the bathing sessions. But they don’t realize that this can also have damaging effect on them. Preventing children from consuming this water can prevent worms to grow inside their bodies, hence preventing them from drinking water while taking a shower will only help the cause.
- Importance of hand washing before eating:
Washing hands is a healthy habit, because a child’s hands are most dirty due to the activity they are involved in on a daily basis. Washing hands is one of the most important habit you could inculcate in your child to avert spread of illnesses. Good hand sanitation will cut the hazard of flu and food poisoning
- Cutting your child’s nails regularly& discouraging nail biting:
Fingertips and under nail skin are thriving grounds for different types of bacteria, fungus, and yeast. One mainly widespread germ found below nails is Staphlococcus Aureus, which can cause skin infections like boils, abscesses and is breeding ground for worm breeding.Also while having food, nails open doors for infections to enter a kid’s mouth.Cutting their nails regularly will help; also urge them to avoid chewing their nails.
5.Domestic help to maintain hygiene:
While most of us are busy with a lot of other work, we sometimes need a domestic helpto take care of our children. It is in this case our responsibility to ensure that the domestic help is washing her hands frequently and that hygienic approach is maintained towards the child.
- Raw sugar to be avoided in children.
No wonder why our parents tell us to not eat sugar.Sugar kept open attracts flies which can leave behind eggs of worms. These eggs come from open defections from our surroundings.Preventing sugar can prevent kids from risking another stomach infection.
7.Avoid street food:
Street food over the time can be infectious and harmful for children. They are exposed to different kind of contaminations and eating them can only do more damage to their health. If you are still craving for some street food make sure that its cooked and heated properly, that will reduce infection, keeping your child’s stomach healthy.
- Wash raw vegetables, specifically before making salads!
“Always wash fruits before eating”, this phrase is commonly mouthed by parents who very well know how contaminated unwashed fruits & vegetables can be.
Article by Dr Ashok Gowdi, Paediatrician& Neonatologist, Fortis Hiranandi Hospital,Vashi