By Dr Suresh Birajdar
Deworming can boost your child’s immunity, help control infections and increase nutritional uptake. Worms are a common problem not only occurring in kids but adults too. Worms are known as parasites that tend to feed off one’s bodies and refuse to go away unless you come out with solutions to deal with them. Did you know? Several types of worms such as tapeworms, roundworms, pinworms, and hookworms are found in the body.
Moreover, these worms can invite many infections after they infest the body. They tend to multiply in the walls of one’s intestine and can cause several health issues if not tackled at the right time. Medicines or syrup can help your child deworm. Hence, early diagnosis is essential to help children get back on track. It is the responsibility of parents to help children get rid of parasites.
The potential sources of these infections are contaminated food and water, having undercooked meat, poor hygiene, and when soil from the playground comes in direct contact with the kids. The symptoms that indicate the presence of the worms are poor appetite, unintentional weight loss, rashes on the buttocks, stomach pain, constipation or diarrhoea, frequent urination and fatigue.
Why is it essential to deworm your child?
Deworming can help your child boost his/her immunity and provide that much-needed protection from chronic illnesses that take place due to worms. Your child will be more productive at school as it can improve his/her attention and concentration. Thus, your child will be able to perform better. Deworming can help increase your little one’s nutritional uptake and manage infections like anaemia or even loose bowels. Moreover, it also helps reduce worm infection that occurs in the community. Deworming will also lower the chances of hospital admission of kids owing to abdominal pain.
How often should one deworm the kids?
Right from the age of two, a child should be dewormed regularly. Children with recurrent worm infestations need repeated deworming. In addition, children living in endemic areas need en mass (community-level) deworming.
Consequences of not deworming
Deworming is important for your child’s overall well-being. This habit of deworming should be encouraged in parents. Not doing so can lead to serious health problems in children. Children will often encounter unbearable abdominal pain, vomiting, and even other health issues like diarrhoea. Remember those deworming medicines are safe to use in children.
Parents, take these precautions
See to it that your kids wash hands after touching the pets or coming in from the playground. Do not eat contaminated food or water to avoid infection. Wash fruits and vegetables properly before giving them to children, avoid eating outside, and don’t eat uncooked meat.
(The writer is Consultant, Pediatrics & Neonatology, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar)