Worms in children: symptoms and treatment

Helminthic infestation in children is one of the most widespread and underestimated of the risk of disease. Worms in children, provokes not only insufficient intake of nutrients in the body, but also cause allergic reactions, chronic intoxication, low immunity, diseases and injuries of the gastrointestinal tract. Signs of parasitosis develop immediately, for a long period of time, the disease may be asymptomatic or unexpressed clinical picture and determined only in laboratory analyses.

Worms in children

The prevalence and types of worms

It is considered that the helminthiasis, infection with worms is a disease, are more related to people from social backgrounds is below average, living in unsanitary conditions, often contacting with infected animals or soil. However, according to statistics, only in European countries, the helminths found in the survey in every third patient.

In nature, there are more than 300 species of helminths, more than 70 species distributed in Russia, the rest can enter the human body during travel to exotic countries. Among all types of parasitic worms that can exist in the human body, there are three groups:

  • nematodes belonging to round helminths, some of the most common parasites in kids (pinworm, whipworm, Trichinella, roundworm);
  • ribbon (flat) worms related to cestode (tapeworm, tapeworms and Echinococcus);
  • parasites-flukes or trematodes, becoming a cause of opisthorchiasis, fascioliasis, chistosos, paragonimoz etc.

In most cases helminths parasitize and multiply in the intestine, but eggs and larvae can spread through the bloodstream on various organs of the body. Most often it affects the nearby organs of the gastrointestinal tract: liver, gallbladder, however, the parasites can inhabit muscle tissue, the lungs, brain.

The causes of worms

Helminthiasis: the path of infection

Methods of infection by worms depend on the characteristics of their development cycle. For some groups of helminths of man is the main "owner", in whose body they live and breed, for others – intermediate. In some cases, the parasites of the necessary maturation of eggs in the soil or other conditions. But the basic rule of protection against infection is hygiene, a condition that in childhood is not always.

Childhood is a period when sustained immunity has not yet been formed, which significantly increases the likelihood of Contracting parasitosis. The desire to try all the flavor, multiple contacts with soil, sand, any objects increase the probability of penetration of helminth eggs in the body of the child.

The most common worms – pinworms and roundworm is transferred on unwashed hands can remain on household items (door handles), to get inside the body with food (poorly washed berries, greens, vegetables). There is also the possibility of the spread of worms through contact with an infected person or animal or exist in close proximity with them.

Pinworms are one of the worms causing reinvasion by itching, which is caused by the female pinworms in the process of laying eggs outside the anus, causes the patient to touch, to RUB, to scratch the irritated surface and spread the parasite eggs on the bottom, bed linen, clothes, objects, surfaces. With repeated ingestion of eggs, remaining in the hands or bed, reinvasion occurs, self-infection of the patient. Primary infection of children usually takes place in institutions, on the playgrounds, in places of a mass congestion of children.

What factors increase the risk of infection with helminths?

  • Failure to comply with hand hygiene: skip washing your hands after returning from the street of the guests from the bathroom, before any food intake.
  • Biting nails, sucking fingers, hold in mouth various objects (pencils, pens, toys, etc.).
  • Pets visiting the street: even with timely anthelmintic treatment of dogs and cats can spread worm eggs, brought from the street on the feet, wool.
  • Improper treatment of vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs before serving.
  • The low level of hygiene in the house: wearing street shoes, untimely washing of floors, etc.

Worms in children: different the symptoms and treatment of helminthiasis

Many species of parasites for a long time do not contribute to the formation of a clear clinical picture eliminare: the goal of the parasite is to exist so as not to be noticed by the owner of the vehicle. So bright symptoms of helminthiasis can be noted only in those cases when the infection is multiple (initially or due to a long latent period) and/or the child has reduced immunity, there is a concomitant diseases, against which the bot is more pronounced. Individual situation – infestation of exotic species of parasites, causing a strong reaction from the body.

Common signs of helminthiasis in children:

  • increased appetite without increasing body weight;
  • increased flow of saliva;
  • symptoms of intestinal dyspepsia, flatulence, unstable stool, nausea, pain in the stomach, right hypochondrium, spasm of the intestine;
  • dizziness, headache, fatigue;
  • the tendency to allergic reactions, which were not observed earlier, or more severe allergies;
  • sensitivity, irritability, sleep disturbance, attention and memory associated with intoxication by the waste products of helminths;
  • breakage, hair loss, nail exfoliation with the development of vitamin deficiency and iron deficiency;
  • frequent inflammation in the nasopharynx (sinusitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, etc.), the genitals, especially in girls because of the anatomic proximity of the vagina and the anus.

With long-term helminth infections in children have lagged behind age norms in height, weight, development, disorders of and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, symptoms of severe intoxication, anemia, allergies, frequent respiratory infections bacterial and viral etiology, neurological abnormalities.

The first symptoms typically appear after 2-4 weeks after exposure of eggs of worms in the body. They vary depending on the number of parasites, the level of protective strength and health of the child, as well as the types of worms. So, pinworm night cause itching in the anus, which contributes to sleep disorders. At toxocarosis distinctive features are cough with no signs of respiratory disease, fever, probable asthma and allergic reactions.

The widespread belief that bruxism, grinding the teeth in sleep is a sign of the presence of worms in the body, is refuted by medical scientists. The phenomenon of bruxism is connected with the peculiarities of the human nervous system. Although the worms, especially pinworms, can disrupt sleep and contribute to the neurotic child, bruxism, is not evidence of worm infestation. The treatment of this phenomenon involved neurologists and dentists.

With prolonged helminths all develop the clinical picture of intoxication.

How to understand that the child has worms

Diagnostics of helminthiasis

In most cases helminthiasis in children diagnosed due to the annual preventive medical examinations of the feces for worm eggs. However, this is not the most reliable method: in the presence of symptoms and negative analysis it must be remembered that not all types of worms can be defined in a similar way. Those species that lay their eggs, also can avoid detection during laboratory tests, as the frequency of breeding may not coincide with the time of analysis. There were also cases when the body has one or several same-sex individuals are not capable of reproduction, but harmful for the entire life cycle.

Negative fecal tests it is recommended to conduct re-survey in 2-3 weeks. In the list of preventive studies included analysis for the presence of helminth eggs and scraping on enterobiasis. To suspect the presence of worms can also according to the results of blood tests: high levels of eosinophils in combination with reduced haemoglobin in most cases means the presence of parasites in the body.

For diagnosis can be applied to biological studies of sputum, bile, urine, coprogram stool.

To clarify the diagnosis in cases of suspected Echinococcus examine the organs of the peritoneum ultrasonic and/or radiographic method. Opisthorchiasis is diagnosed through analyses of gut contents and duodenal sounding.

Specify the type of the parasite and caused them harm to the body help the immunological studies. After an accurate diagnosis is chosen method of therapy.

Medicamentous methods for the treatment of helminthiasis in children

Therapy of helminthiasis is based on two directions: getting rid of parasites and detoxifying the body, lowering or levelling of the damage from existing worms.

To reduce the severity of signs of intoxication are appointed by vitamin preparations (b, C), iron, vitamin-mineral complexes, glucose, rate of infusion gemodeza, etc. In some cases, shows the use of diuretics, antihistamines. With the defeat of the heart muscle, liver tissue can be applied hormonal agents.

As maintenance therapy administered chelators, deducing from the blood the waste products of the parasites, the enzymes that help improve digestion and the functioning of the organs, etc.

When all helminth infections is not highly recommended the use of broad-spectrum preparations in children. Medicines, causing the death of the parasites affect the human body, so the selection of the drug and its dosage must be approached with caution.

Homemade and traditional methods of getting rid of worms is strictly not recommended due to lack of evidence and the ability to accurately measure the dosage and the likely impact on the child's body.

Principles of therapy of helminthiasis

In most cases, in the treatment of helminthiasis have one family member treatment should be available to all, living in the area for adults and children. This not only applies to highly contagious askaridoza, but also to other types of helminthiasis. Medicines for every member of the family also selected by the doctor depending on age and health status.

If you have animals, they are mandatory performed anthelmintic treatment regardless of time after the prevention.

In the room where the sick child, need to make a daily hygienic cleaning, preferably at the time of treatment to remove all the carpets, soft toys, blankets. Bedding and underwear, personal towels to be changed as often as possible (pants – twice a day), after washing all linen should be carefully ironed.


It is necessary to monitor compliance with the rules of hygiene: wash hands after each visit to the toilet, returning in from the street, use only personal towels, short shaved nails. Without observance of rules of therapy may be ineffective due to the constant presence of sources of infection in the environment of the patient.

Prevention of infection with worms

The preventive measures primarily include the rules of personal hygiene. Most of the worm eggs are transferred to the mouth with hands, and washing your hands helps prevent the majority of cases.

Other preventive measures also include:

  • a thorough (at least 2-3 minutes under running water) wash berries, vegetables, leafy greens before eating, if you are going to be eaten raw;
  • long cooking river fish (40-60 minutes) before eating;
  • timely prophylactic anthelmintic therapy in domestic animals;
  • General cleanliness in the house in accordance with sanitary-hygienic norms.