Helminths in children: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention
Mar 20, 2018
Helminthes( worms), like pathological microorganisms, are invariable companions of the whole human life from the earliest childhood.Whether it is necessary to be afraid of them, how, when and what it is necessary to treat the disease in children, what to do so that the kids do not become infected - let's try to understand these issues.
A few months after birth, the child begins to actively behave, learning the world through all the organs of perception.First of all - hands.He feels all the objects he finds, actively moves on the floor on all fours, then sends his fingers into his mouth.Thus, eggs of almost all types of helminths enter the baby's body.Contents What are helminths How is parasite infectious? Symptoms of worms in children Methods for diagnosing helminthic infections Treatment of helminthiases in children Folk remedies for worms Prevention of helminths in children
What are helminths
Worms are worms,Leading parasitic way of life in the body of its owner - a man.Age does not matter.Both adults and children are equally vulnerable to infection.Classification of helminthiases is very extensive, especially in countries with a hot climate.We will not touch upon all the species, we will touch only on the most widespread parasitic diseases in our latitudes.
- round( nematodes) - pinworms, roundworms;
- tape( cestodes) - pork tapeworm, bovine tapeworm, echinococcus;
- flat worms, flukes( trematodes).
In the habitat, it should be noted:
- intestinal parasite group;
- extraintestinal( living in different organs: liver, lungs, heart, etc.)
Reproduction and migration of the larvae of some helminths can take place outside the human body, or in different phases of the life cycle move in the body.
Note: causes almost 90% of helminth diseases to cause first class - roundworms( nematodes). The most common worms in children are pinworms that cause enterobiasis.These helminths are small in size, on average up to 1 cm, white-gray with a curved body.The site of localization of these parasites is the large intestine, but they can penetrate into the lower parts of the small intestine.Reproduction of pinworms occurs on the skin near the anus. At night, female oysters are selected outside to fix eggs in the folds of the skin, often penetrating the girls into the labia, which ends with infectious diseases of the genitals. All these helminths live about 1-1.5 months.The process of self-infection in the child can lead to the fact that the malaise will last for many years.You can detect parasites with the naked eye in feces.
Another type of worm, most common in children, are ascarids.The characteristic species, reaching a length of 15 cm, these nematodes settle in the lumen of the small intestine loops, advancing towards the moving food lump.In the feces, ascarids fall very rarely.The females periodically release eggs, which can be found in the analysis of feces.But if they were not found during the study, this does not mean that the child is not infected.The duration of the life cycle of the roundworm can last several years.
How parasites infect
The ingress of egg pinworm into the gastrointestinal tract causes infection.In the external environment, they erupt with infected feces.Shells of eggs have high life-sustainability in the external environment and small sizes.Curiosity of the baby is realized by his fingers, the child, knowing the world, actively touches everything that comes to his hand and immediately pulls into his mouth, trying on the strength and taste.Thus, pinworm eggs safely enter the digestive tract of their future small host.
Children's body has weak protective reactions against parasites, which leads to their active reproduction. The child is infected with eggs of worms from the surface of unwashed fruit, when contaminated water is used.Very often infection occurs when communicating with animals, or when playing in the ground, a sandbox, where they like to solve their physiological problems of a cat and a dog.After walking, children often do not wash their hands, and all the dirt, along with parasitic eggs, gets to them in the mouth.Who did not do this, you will say, and you will be right.Therefore, all children suffer from parasitic diseases.From any social strata and with any upbringing.
Naturally, the risk of getting a parasite inside your intestines increases if at home:
- does not comply with hygiene rules;
- wet cleaning is not carried out regularly;
- offers unwashed vegetables and fruits to children;
- live animals;
- the child does not have the hand washing skill after walking, the toilet, especially before eating.
Symptoms of worms in children
Symptoms of helminthic invasion depend on the species of helminth, the number of eggs caught and the state of the child's protective forces.The symptomatic picture can manifest itself in different ways.If the child has been infected with a large number of eggs of parasitic worms, then in a few days there may be a sharp deterioration in the condition.In more mild cases, the first symptoms of invasion are manifested in a few weeks and even months.Much depends on the immunity of the child.He can cope with parasites and restrain their development.But gradually the defenses are reduced, and helminths affect the body, causing serious problems.
The first signs are the symptoms of poisoning( intoxication).The life activity of worms is accompanied by the release of a large number of animal toxins capable of poisoning the child's body.In the intestine, parasitic worms use nutrients, so that the baby gradually develops a deficiency of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. The child appears:
- emaciation, pale skin, weakness, frequent dizziness;
- body temperature rise;
- headache, poor sleep, tearfulness, depressed mood;
- intestinal ailments - constipation, loose stools, rumbling and abdominal pain, attacks of nausea and vomiting, painful sensations in different parts of the abdomen, bloating;
- allergic conditions - itching, rashes, coughing, inflammation of the mucous respiratory tract;
- weakened immunity leads to the attachment of infectious diseases.
These general complaints are peculiar to the clinic of both enterobiasis and ascariasis. Specific additional signs of infection of the child with pinworms:
- nocturnal anal itching, caused by skin irritation at the moment the helminth female crawls to lay eggs;
- scratching the skin around the anus, due to severe itching;
- in girls - signs of inflammation of the external genitalia.
Specific signs of infection of the child with ascarids:
- dry cough, bronchitis, pneumonia, pleura;
- increased parenchymal organs and lymph nodes.
These conditions are caused by the fact that eggs and larvae of ascarids in the first phase of their life cycle most often penetrate into the lungs, liver, spleen, heart.Migrating them lasts three months, and then they get by swallowing into the intestines.To the specified specific features common are added.
Methods for the diagnosis of helminthic invasions
After the appearance of complaints and the first clinical symptoms that allow you to suspect infection of the child, it is necessary to:
- threefold analyzes of feces for helminths with an interval of several days;
- blood tests for helminths and giardiasis;
- a clinical blood test;
- scraping on pinwheels.
Additional diagnostic methods include:
- Ultrasound of internal organs;
- computed tomography and MRI.
These methods allow the identification of parasites in different organs. Important: assays for worms do not always show their presence in the body.
Treatment of helminthiases in children
Preparations with antihelminthic effect have toxic properties, so when taking them, you must be careful not to harm the child.It is important to observe a moderate dosage.The most important thing is not to self-medicate.Medicines should be taken only as directed by a doctor.Sometimes a combination of several drugs can be prescribed, which are taken in several stages.
Important : be sure to pay attention to the contraindications of tablets from worms.
One of the old, tested and low-toxic drugs is piperazine .It has a narrow spectrum of action, it acts only on nematodes.Its effect is to cause paralysis of adult helminths.Eggs and larvae do not suffer at the same time.The glistes are excreted with feces without releasing toxins.With a large number of helminths - ineffective.Side effects may manifest in the form of abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, tremors in the body, visual impairment, hallucinatory phenomena, mood swings, etc. Pirantel can be administered to children from the second half of life.This medicine is considered one of the best used in pediatric practice.It is applied once, with the possibility of repeated admission in 2-3 weeks.It is important to monitor the hygiene of the child.Side effects are similar to those of piperazine.The drug is used in children under 3 years. Vermox ( mebendazole) is prescribed for children over 2 years of age.Effective against a large number and variety of helminths.Also used for mixed helminthic infections.But it has more severe side effects.Often observed abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, allergic reactions, hair loss.On the part of the blood, a reduction in the number of erythrocytes and leukocytes may occur.Increases the content of eosinophils( a sign of allergy).In pregnancy and lactation is contraindicated.
Albendazole. This medication is also prescribed for children over 2 years of age.The action is analogous to the vermox, but even more pronounced.It is used for severe helminthic invasions.Its appointment should be performed exclusively by a doctor and preferably in a hospital setting.This need is called for by side effects similar to previous drugs.They appear much more often and more strongly.This must be remembered. Decaris ( levamisole) is recommended to children after 3 years of age.Has a wide anthelmintic spectrum of action. Note : the usual side effects are added possible cramps, joint pain, can give a violation of liver function.The action of the drug causes mass death of helminths and a powerful intoxication reaction.When it appears, it is necessary to conduct therapy with adsorbents. A brief overview of worm medications is presented in this video review:
Folk remedies for worms
Traditional medicine has collected a large number of methods for getting rid of parasites.Whether it is possible to get rid of worms at home or not, and how to do it - let's try to answer this question.Some folk remedies from worms from the point of view of official medicine can bring certain benefits in expelling parasites.But we must remember that these methods do not provide a guarantee of cure.All of them should be applied on the advice of a doctor. Recipes of traditional medicine for treatment of worms:
- immature, chopped kernels of nuts should be poured a glass of boiling water with the addition of half a teaspoon of salt.Steep mixture for half an hour, strain.Drink a drink during the day, then you need to take a laxative;
- teaspoon wormwood pour 0.5 liters of boiling water, allow to cool, then strain and give the baby half an hour before eating 2 dessert spoons, 3 times a day;
- three tablespoons tansy pour a glass of boiling water, insist one hour.Infusion should be given to drink the baby for 1 dessert spoon three times a day;
- 5 kg of sorrel fill with a liter of boiling water, then in a water bath for about 2 hours.The resulting broth cool and take before meals two sips;
- a tablespoon of buckthorn bark pour a glass of boiling water and insist for 3 hours tightly wrapped with a towel.It is recommended that children take 1 dessert spoon 3 times a day;
- clean one grenade, peel the crust, boil for half an hour in 0.5 liters of water over low heat.Then give the sick child three times, every half hour.After the last dose, wait 3 hours and drink a laxative.
Important: should be aware that these methods can only be used in addition to the basic medication.
Prevention of worms in childrenRecommended to read:
Measures to prevent infection with helminths are very simple and effective.The main thing that is required is compliance. In order not to become infected with parasites the child needs:
- before meals, obligatory two-fold washing of hands with soap and hot water;
- ensure regular nail cutting;
- carry out a permanent change of clothes for a small child;
- do a wet cleaning of the premises in which the child is playing;
- in a house with a baby it is not necessary to start a pet, from which the infection with worms will definitely occur;
- once a year to provide the whole family with preventive treatment against helminthic invasions;
- on a walk to ensure that the baby does not put his fingers in his mouth.
About infection with helminths in this video review tells the pediatrician, Dr. Komarovsky:
Lotin Vladimir, medical reviewer