Worm Infection Damages Immune System and Affects Baby’s Growth

April 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Baby Problems

worm infection damages immune system and affects baby's growthWorm infections can be serious for babies as the worms will consume all the essential nutrients and vitamins in their bodies. Symptoms of Worm infections are not seen immediately or are at times overlooked. Worm infections can lead to malnutrition, low weight and anemia. Such young children will fall sick often as the immune systems are damaged and the baby’s growth gets affected.

The different type of worms that are normally infested in babies are: Threadworms / Pinworms, Roundworms, Hookworm, Tapeworms and Whipworms. Ringworm is also mentioned in the same lines but these lead to fungal infection of the skin.

Symptoms of a worm infection:

  • loss of appetite due to the pain or discomfort in the tummy
  • trouble sleeping, because of the itchiness
  • itching or pain around the anus, where the worms entered – this is true particularly for thread or pin worms.
  • anemia
  • a rash
  • nausea
  • constant coughs
  • painful and frequent urination due to urinary tract infection ( more common in girls)
  • blood in the stool
  • vomiting – this is rare but children can vomit out round worms.
  • diarrhea

How will baby get worms infection:

Babies can get worms from the following sources:

1)    Infected soil

This is the most common way children get worms, as worms thrive in any soil that is dirty and damp. Children can get infected from walking barefoot on infected soil, from unclean hands or from food.

2) Infected water

Some types of worms breed in water. Playing, bathing and swimming in standing waters like lakes, dams and puddles, or drinking and eating food contaminated by the water, can cause a worm infection. These days with severe water shortages the source and environmental conditions of water being procured is not known.

Children tend to be affected the most as their immune systems are weaker than those of adults.

3) Infected food or Undercooked food
Worm eggs stay on plants and vegetables that have not been thoroughly washed. We can get infected by eating these vegetables. Animals that live along water areas, such as fish and cattle, can also be sick. So meat and fish that are raw, or not well cooked, can carry worms and infections.

4) Contact with an infected person
If someone your baby is in contact with has worms, they can pass the infection on to your baby if they do not have proper hygiene. Worm eggs can remain under fingernails or on badly washed hands and can pass on from there to your baby’s toys or directly into her mouth.

How serious are worm infections? Will worm infection affect my baby’s growth?

Worm infections can lead to malnutrition, low weight and anemia. Such young children will often fall sick as the immune systems are damaged and the baby’s growth gets affected.

Roundworm infections can be serious. If the worms aren’t treated, they can migrate to the lungs or to the liver, where they can damage these vital organs.

The worm infection also harms infected children’s future physical and intellectual development especially if it results in iron deficiency anemia. Fortunately, timely treatment can prevent this.

Role of parents in avoiding worm infection:

Parents have a major role to safeguard child from worm infections. The oral intake is the major contributing factor for worms. The food should be cooked adequately and avoid children playing in damp soil.

  • Follow good sanitation program at home and ensure your surroundings are also maintained.worm infection damages immune system and affects baby's growth
  • Teach your children good hygiene practices to protect them from worm infections.
  • Consume filtered water or pre boiled  water.
  • Identify the symptoms and consult a Pediatrician for further diagnosis. Doctor examines baby and recommends as per status. ( Stool test is commonly done to identify the type of worm infection.)
  • Maintain short nails and make sure baby is not putting fingers into his mouth.
  • Disinfect clothes, nappies to avoid re-occurrence of worm infection.
  • Once the baby is over 2 years you can maintain a schedule and de-worm baby once every six months.

To avoid itchiness application of baby oil on the anus will be relieving for the baby. Be alert to identify the symptoms and adopt Healthy hygiene practices to make sure your baby is bubbly and is not affected by worm infection which affects baby’s growth.

Related posts:

  1. Ear infection in a newborn baby

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