10+ Signs A Child Has Worms

By Sarah M 7 months ago

Itching

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This might be an embarrassing thing for your child to confide in you, but if they are feeling itchy around the genital or anal area, be sure to take them for a check-up. If you notice your kid is itching in that zone, especially at night, it may be due to worms.

Visible Worms

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This is certainly the most obvious clue, but not necessarily the most common. In some cases these parasitic intestinal worms are actually visible - gross, I know. You may see teeny tiny white worms that look almost thread-like on their bottom or in their stool.

Irritability

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You know how it is, everything else in your life might be going great but that earache or headache or even just the itchy label in your top makes you so irritated! Our children might not have the language yet to explain their irritation, but the discomfort from worms could be to blame.

Restlessness

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Does your child usually sleep peacefully through the night but just recently is up and down like a yo-yo? Do you hear them tossing and turning all evening and wandering to and from the toilet? Restlessness during the night is a common symptom of worms due to itchiness.

Loss of Appetite

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It's one of the main symptoms for many childhood illnesses and luckily it is quite easy to spot. If your child has suddenly lost all enjoyment in eating, is getting full very quickly and could easily skip meals, take them to the doctors... it could be worms.

Weight Loss

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If your child has completely lost their appetite, you will be unsurprised to hear that they will also lose weight. However, even with their appetite still intact, worms can cause rapid weight loss. If you notice your kid has dropped a few pounds, get them checked out.

Stomach Pain

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If you notice your child is holding their stomach a lot or frequently complaining about tummy aches, it could be a sign of worms. Abdominal discomfort or pain, especially radiating from the navel area, is a common symptom of a parasitic infection in the intestine.

Nausea

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It's one of the most frustrating symptoms in the world; when we feel constantly nauseous it is impossible to concentrate on anything and can leave us curled up on the bathroom floor all night. If your little one is feeling horribly nauseous and it just won't go away, it may be worms.

Redness In That Area

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This is another more obvious symptom, but again may be a difficult one for your child to confide in you about. Be gentle and respectful when examining your little one, but if they have significant redness in their anal or genital areas this could be another sign.

Diarrhoea

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We've all had it and we all dread it, diarrhoea can be a completely debilitating and frankly, disgusting affliction. For children, diarrhoea can be incredibly distressing and confusing; be sure to let them know that it will pass... and consider getting them checked for worms!

Constipation

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Have you noticed that your child is reluctant to use the toilet and only stays in there for the briefest moment when they do? You may need to kindly and respectfully ask them about their bowel movements. If you do discover that your kid is constipated, it could be another sign of worms.

Bloating

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As a grown woman, I am all too familiar with bloating and its various causes! It can leave you feeling pretty awful. If you notice that your child's belly has suddenly bloated out and they are complaining about a feeling of fullness, take them to the doctor.

Fatigue

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Is your usually sprightly child now perpetually sleepy and worn out? Fatigue can be a symptom of many childhood illnesses (as well as not getting enough sleep of course) but it is also a sign of worms. If your child is exhibiting a sudden lack of energy, get them checked out.

Allergic Reactions

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If your child has worms it might actually make their allergies flare up too ... does the fun never end?! The parasitic infection can stimulate your child's allergic inflammatory responses and make them flare up. If your kid is experiencing unusual bouts of allergies, worms could be the cause.

Anaemia

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If your child's worms have developed into a more severe infection, your kid may develop anaemia. Signs of a low red blood cell count are weakness, pale skin, irregular heartbeat and dizziness. If your kid appears to be anaemic, book an appointment with your doctor.

Malnutrition

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This is one of the many reasons you should treat childhood worms immediately. A prolonged worm infection can eventually lead to malnutrition. If you believe that a child you teach or care for is becoming malnourished, report this immediately - it is your duty.

Blood In Stool

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If your child confides in you that they are experiencing a difference in bowel habits or a painful stomach, you need to be checking their stool for blood. Worms can occasionally be the cause of blood in the toilet but be sure to get them checked out, as it could be something more serious.

UTIs

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There is nothing quite like the stinging sensation of a UTI, it is enough to make you dread using the bathroom. If your child is needing to constantly urinate and is having discomfort when they do, they may have a UTI, which is another symptom of worms.

Prolapse

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This is a particularly nasty symptom of more severe cases of worms. If the infection has become chronic, it can lead to rectal prolapse. If your child notices a reddish lump that protrudes out of the anus when passing a stool, you need to get this looked at immediately.

Coughing

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This is something we probably don't want to think about, but worms do have the ability to migrate up to the lungs. If you notice that your child is coughing more than normal and it hasn't passed like a cold or viral infection would, they may need to be tested for worms.

Fever

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It's often the number one sign that something is up with our child's health - nothing makes us parents worry more than realizing our kid is burning up. Once you have deduced that it's not the usual suspects (flu, COVID, a virus etc.), start considering that it may be worms...

Nodules Under The Skin

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Now here's a very specific one to look out for! Certain types of worms will cause something called 'subcutaneous nodules' which appear beneath the skin. This sounds scarier than it is - you want to look for small swellings and lumps that look a bit like cysts.

Itchy Rash

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Have you noticed that your child has developed an itchy rash on their skin? It could be due to something called (prepare yourself) 'creeping eruption' (I did warn you). It can cause a red winding rash, blisters and SEVERE itching. As if the toilet problems weren't enough!

Painful Joints

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We might slowly be getting used to daily joint pain but this isn't normal for a child. If your kid confides in you that their joints have become sore and inflamed, or you can see that they are struggling to bend their knees, it would be wise to get this looked into.

Teeth Grinding

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As one of life's teeth-grinders, I know that it is at its worst then I am stressed or in pain. If you have noticed that your child has developed the habit of grinding their teeth whilst sleeping, this could be due to the new and persistent discomfort of worms.

Craving Weird Stuff!

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We have all heard of this bizarre symptom affecting pregnant women, but it can also be a side effect of worms. 'Pica' is the medical name for when our bodies crave non-food items like chalk or dirt. If your child expresses this to you don't laugh it off!

Bad Breath

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This can be a sensitive subject but foul-smelling breath is actually a common symptom for many health conditions. Halitosis may be a sign of worms in children but the scientists can't quite agree on why! It is thought that the excess saliva stimulated by the parasites might be to blame.

Bad Sleep

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It's no wonder that with all these horribly painful and uncomfortable symptoms, that your child will likely struggle to sleep. Getting a good night's kip is vital for childhood development, so if you notice that your child is struggling to get a decent night's sleep, it's time to act!

Discomfort

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If your child is displaying a general sense of discomfort or unhappiness, a good chat is needed. Worms can completely alter the way your child moves through the day; when sitting down is uncomfortable and moving about only aggravates the itchiness, it's no wonder they may appear sad.

Can't Concentrate

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Have you received reports from your child's teachers that they have started to fall behind and appear distracted and aggravated in class? Before you rush to reprimand them, consider what could be causing this struggle to concentrate... could it be worms?