Are Parasites Dangerous To Infants?

by Lucy

Are Parasites Dangerous To Infants?

I have a 5 month old son. My sister, who has two children of her own, takes care of him.

This morning when her son (9 yrs old) went to the restroom, he found a long white worm in his poop. I knew it was a parasite and had heard they was very contagious.

I immediately called my son's doctor and asked him if it was safe to leave him at my sister's house since her son had parasites.

He said I shouldn't worry because parasites weren't contagious.

I'm worried because a lot of information given on this web site makes sense, and it just confirms what I had heard before of parasites but yet the doctor is a doctor and one hopes he studied these things.

Could you please advise on how to take precautions with my son?

Hi Lucy,

Thank you for your question, "Are parasites dangerous to infants?"

First I have to say, Unbelievable! One WOULD hope that doctors would study these things, but far too many of them do not. Truly amazing!

Of course parasites are contagious! How in the world does he think we get them? Grow them ourselves?

There's a huge media blitz on at the moment surrounding all the hype over the swine flu epidemic. The influenza is a virus. Viruses are parasites. Parasites are contagious. You can't get much more basic than that.

Of course, the worm in your nephew's stool is not the same parasite as the swine flu virus, but it is still able to be passed from one person to another unless proper care is taken.

I need a little better description of the worm your nephew discovered to help you figure out what type of parasite it is. Does he have an itching backside? Any other symptoms?

The most common parasite worms found in poop are roundworms, pinworms, and tapeworms. It doesn't mean your sister's family is "dirty" or anything like that.

These can easily have been picked up at school, day care, a park, even the yard if you have pets around.

The basic rule of thumb is that someone infected with parasites needs to be very careful to wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet.

If he does have an itchy bum and scratches at night, he needs to be careful to scrub his hands, particular under his fingernails. Some worms come to the exterior of the anus at night to lay eggs causing severe itching.

These eggs then are deposited under his fingernails and passed onto the
next thing he touches - his mouth, his breakfast, etc.

There are some basic guidelines for dealing with parasites in children, but here's a summary...

Your sister needs to wash and change his bedding and give the toys that he has touched a gentle wash, too. This is particularly so if they are things your own son will be touching or playing with.

I have an 8 month old niece at the moment and EVERYTHING goes straight to her mouth. The mouth and nose and eyes are the easiest ways that parasites are passed.

I wouldn't be overly stressed out over this, just ask your sister to be a little extra careful until she is able to help her son get rid of the worms.

If she is diligent in treating the problem from all angles she should be able to eliminate the parasites without any lasting harm done.

He needs some probiotics (good bacteria) like Florafood and a cleansing agent to get rid of the worms, like Herbal Fiberblend. To be honest, if he is able to see the worms in his stool, there's a pretty good chance the rest of the family may already have them, too.

They should all treat themselves for parasite worms to be on the safe side. These natural remedies won't do them any harm if they don't happen to be infected.

If they are infected, though, and go untreated, they'll most likely just keep passing them around again and again.

Are parasites dangerous to infants? Only if left uncared for. I'm guessing you may not be breast feeding since your sister is babysitting for you.

Breast milk has special antibodies that would be helpful in strengthening your sons immune system, but if you aren't nursing, you'll have to improvise.

I don't recommend you give your baby any Herbal Fiberblend at this point. Just watch his bowel movements and see if you notice anything unusual.

If he's old enough to eat some yogurt, you may want to try to feed him some good organic yogurt (without added sugar). If it's fresh, it will contain some natural probiotics to help his system fight off any worms he may have picked up.

Again, I don't think there's any cause for panic, Lucy. But, I'm glad to see that your own motherly common sense has made you seek further information. Good for you!

I hope you and your sister are able to tackle this problem together and get everyone sorted out and back in good health again soon.

To your good health!

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