When is deworming for kids necessary, is it worth carrying it out prophylactically? How do I know if a parasite infection requires treatment? What does deworming children look like and are there over-the-counter medications for it? Or maybe it’s better not to risk possible side effects and try natural methods of deworming children? To dispel any doubts and choose the best solution to this problem for your child.
Detecting the presence of parasites in the body is not always possible, and infection with them can cause very different symptoms. Therefore, the treatment of parasitic diseases in children is often a difficult topic for parents – especially since there is a lot of controversy around deworming a child, there are supporters and opponents. So let’s consider why we should carry out deworming of a child and what determines the success of such treatment.
Where did the parasites come from in the child?
Parasitic infections, i.e. parasite infection, are the result of non-compliance with hygiene rules on a daily basis. The temperament of a young child and the unrestrained desire to learn everything make the child forget about the rules previously instilled by the parents. The baby’s little hands touch various, not always clean objects, pour sand in the sandbox, stroke the encountered dogs and cats, and then often “wander” to their mouths. It also happens that the toddler simply eats dirt or sand. In this way, first into the oral cavity, and then into the gastrointestinal tract, various developmental forms of parasites or parasites in their mature form.
Symptoms indicating the need for treatment
However, if the infection develops – initially it is usually asymptomatic. Different symptoms develop over time depending on the type of parasite that has entered the body. Lack of appetite is most quickly observed by parents and associated with a parasitic infection. Then there may be abdominal pain, headache, nausea or vomiting, sleep disturbances, stool disorders (diarrhea or constipation), itching around the anus, and migratory rashes. The child may become lethargic, have dark circles under the eyes (dark circles under the eyes), and in some infections a night cough appears.
Deworming children: a troublesome diagnosis
How to diagnose a parasitic infection, i.e. know whether to deworm our child or look for another cause of such symptoms? The diagnosis of most parasitic infections is based on microscopic examination of the faces. However, in order to find a parasite, its cysts or eggs in such a sample – the sample cannot be stored for a long time. After collection, it should be delivered to the laboratory as soon as possible and viewed there under a microscope as quickly. In fact, it is rather unrealistic and the chances of finding a parasite in a stool sample are very small.
The result of such a test – “no parasites found” or “negative result” – is therefore not always correct. Then what? If our child’s disease symptoms are typical symptoms of a parasitic infection, it requires treatment – we commonly say that it is then necessary to deworm the child.
What does deworming children look like?
How to do it, i.e. how to carry out deworming – can we decide for ourselves whether it is better to contact our doctor? The current symptoms of a possible parasitic infection, analysis of the environmental history, i.e. potential sources of infection, and the constant presence of a pet in our home – all these data confirm the need to deworm the child.
It is very important to treat the whole family. All household members should take anti-parasitic drugs at the same time.
What does deworming children look like in practice? It is a 1-, 2- or 3-day treatment that is repeated after 2 or 4 weeks. The anthelmintic drug is a syrup (suspension) for little ones, while older ones are given tablets.
During the treatment with antiparasitic drugs, remember to also change pajamas, bed linen and towels. Some forms of parasites, under the right conditions, can survive in bedding and constitute a secondary source of infection.
Medicines for deworming a child without a prescription
Deworming preparations for children and adults are now available in pharmacies without a prescription. You can get them and carry out such treatment on your own. However, there are antiparasitic drugs that we cannot get without a prescription – an earlier visit to the doctor is necessary, who will decide about it and issue such a prescription. If we have doubts about which preparation to use, let’s talk to your doctor – even if it would be an over-the-counter anthelmintic.
Deworming children: side effects
Can deworming pills harm? What side effects might be associated with their use in children? Like any drug, also anti-parasitic preparations can sometimes cause some minor gastric symptoms (related to the gastrointestinal tract). However, this happens very rarely – drugs are usually well tolerated by children and adults, provided that they are used in the right doses and administered in the correct, prescribed manner.
Deworming children with herbs and other home remedies
Concerns about the side effects of pharmacological deworming, although not necessarily justified, often lead to looking for alternative methods to get rid of parasites. Are there any natural ways to deworm babies? Yes, but they are of limited effectiveness – most natural methods of deworming will not remove parasites from the body, but only stop their reproduction for a while. Home remedies used in anti-parasitic treatments include:
- Pumpkin seeds eaten on an empty stomach
- Silage juice in combination with garlic,
- Some herbs used in cooking.
For deworming with herbs, mugwort, wormwood, milk thistle, thyme, turmeric, black cumin or oregano are used. However, we are not always able to convince our child to use other tastes and consume these products in such quantities as to obtain the desired effect. When de-worming children with herbs or other means, it is advisable to limit the diet of sweets (carbohydrates) and increase the amount of fiber.
Preventive deworming of children
Is it possible to make up for a child preventively? Yes, if there are indications for it. The doses of drugs used in preventive deworming of children and adults are lower than the therapeutic doses. Our pets are an important and frequent source of parasite infection. The dog or cat becomes a “household member” and has its place in our kitchen, children’s playroom or bedroom. And yet parasitic infections among animals are a big problem. The therapeutic or prophylactic use of antiparasitic preparations for our pets protects us against the development of such infections. Medication should be administered to a pet at the same time as the family’s antiparasitic treatment.