As a parent, you need to be extra careful about what your baby eats and what she puts into her mouth. As she has a developing immune system, she is highly susceptible to infections. And, what you may not know about is the tapeworm infection – a condition that can affect your little one’s health in terrible ways.
As you care for your baby, you need to know everything about tapeworm infection and how you can protect your baby from it. But, don’t worry! Momjunction is here to help you along the way. Read on to know more about tapeworm in babies.
What Is Tapeworm Infection In Babies?
Tapeworms are intestinal parasites that look like a flat tape measure. The worms are unable to survive without a host, and can lead to many problems for the host. Your baby can easily contract the infection through contaminated food or water and suffer from the infection (1).
[ Read: Bacterial Infections In Babies ]
Causes Of Tapeworm In Babies:
Usually, tapeworm in babies results due to a fish tapeworm, pork tapeworm, dwarf tapeworm, or beef tapeworm. Here are some common causes of tapeworm in babies.
- Poor hygiene practices and lack of cleanliness
- Consumption of infected food and water
- Coming in contact with infected fecal matter
- Consumption of raw or undercooked fish or meat
- Human-to-human transmission due to Dwarf tapeworm (2)
[ Read: Hygiene Tips For Babies ]
Symptoms Of Tapeworm In Babies:
The symptoms of tapeworm in babies are quite apparent, and you can identify the infection easily. Some of the common symptoms of the infection include:
- Irritation in babies
- Sudden weight loss
- Presence of segments or larvae of tapeworm in your baby’s stools
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in abdomen
- Lack of sleep
- Allergic reactions to the larvae (3)
If your little one exhibits any of these symptoms, you need to visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Diagnosing Tapeworm In Babies:
To diagnose the tapeworm infection in your baby, your doctor may suggest following tests.
- Blood Tests: To check for antibodies to the tapeworm infection.
- Imaging Scans: Chest X-ray, computerized tomography (CT) scan, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan.
- Organ Tests: Doctor may recommend organ tests for your baby to check whether all her organs are functioning appropriately (4).
Treating Tapeworm In Babies:
Your doctor may prescribe medications to get rid of tapeworm infection in your baby. Typically, medical treatment lasts for a few days, and it is 95% effective in most cases.
Your doctor may prescribe a liquid drug for your baby since she is too small to swallow a pill. Some of the commonly prescribed drugs are niclosamide or quinacrine hydrochloride. The doctor may also prescribe praziquantel or albendazole, if the embryos of tapeworm occur in the body of your baby and if niclosamide or quinacrine hydrochloride is not effective. Follow your physician’s directions while providing the medication to your baby for effective results (5).
2. Let Your Baby Rest:
Rest speeds up the recovery of your baby. So, let your baby rest when he is down with the infection. Prevent your baby from performing energy consuming activities and encourage her to lie down and sleep (6).
[ Read: How To Treat Pinworms In Babies ]
Preventing Tapeworm In Babies:
Certain hygiene practices can help prevent the risk of development of tapeworm infection in your baby. Here, we list some effective prevention tips to ensure the good health of your dear little one.
- Provide your baby uncontaminated, boiled water to drink.
- Provide your baby uncontaminated, thoroughly cooked food.
- Maintain your home, surrounding of your baby, and her clothes and toys clean.
- Follow appropriate sanitation practices.
- Wash your hands every time before you feed your baby (7).
Did you dear little one suffer from tapeworm infection at any time? How did you treat it effectively? Tell us in the section below. Share your experience with other new moms. We would love to hear from you.
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