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Parasitic Disease Prevention in Children: Education, Hygiene, and Immunization

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This article discusses children's most common parasitic diseases with causes, symptoms, treatment, and some tips for preventing them.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Bhaisara Baraturam Bhagrati

Published At October 13, 2023
Reviewed AtOctober 13, 2023


It is good to be aware of the dangers parasitic diseases pose to children and take the necessary precautions to prevent them. These diseases can be serious and even deadly if not treated properly, so learning about these parasitic infections and taking steps to protect families and children are necessary. Several parasitic diseases can affect children, but some are more common than others. Timely vaccination and good habits like washing hands help prevent parasitic diseases. Ensure that the children are up to date on their vaccinations. This is the best way to protect them against diseases like Malaria, toxoplasmosis, and schistosomiasis. Teach the children the importance of hygiene and how to avoid infection. By following these simple steps, people can help their children to be safe and healthy from parasitic diseases.

What Is a Parasitic Infection?

Parasitic diseases are a serious threat to children. A parasitic infection is an illness caused by parasites that live in the body and feed off their host. Different types of parasites are present, and they can invade any part of the body. Some of the most common parasites that infect children are:

  • Pinworms - Pinworms, also known as threadworms, are small parasitic worms that infect the human intestines. Most commonly found in children, but people of all ages can get infected. Pinworm infections are highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person, especially in environments such as schools, daycares, and households.

  • Hookworm - Hookworms are a type of parasitic worm that can infect humans. They are named for their hook-like mouthparts, which help them to e intestinal wall and feed on the blood of their hosts. Hookworm infections are most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions with poor sanitation and hygiene practices.

  • Tapeworms - These long ribbon parasites can grow up to 20 feet long and live in the intestine. They lay eggs released in the feces and can be contracted by eating undercooked meat or fish.

  • Ascaris - Infection caused by Ascaris is known as ascariasis. It occurs due to eating or drinking contaminated food and water. These worms live in the small intestine and Lay eggs of more than two lakhs daily. These eggs are passed in the stool and spread infection.

What Are the Causes of Parasitic Infections in Children?

The causes of parasitic infection in children are listed below -

  • Exposure to contaminated water is a big reason for parasitic infection. This is because it is important to ensure that every child washes their hands properly, especially after using the bathroom.

  • Animal contact is also a common cause of parasitic infection. So please ensure that children always wash their hands after playing with pets.

  • Eating uncooked or unwashed food causes parasitic infection. Ensure children do not get any contaminated, uncooked, or unwashed food.

  • Be sure to keep the child's environment clean. Regularly cleaning surfaces, life loss, and countertops will help reduce the number of parasites that can make the child sick.

What Are the Symptoms of Parasitic Infections in Children?

Parasitic diseases are a huge problem for children around the world. In fact, according to the World Health Organisation, one child dies every two minutes from a parasitic disease. Awareness about the symptoms of parasitic diseases is important so that people can get their children the help they need as soon as possible. Most parasitic diseases are preventable. Following are some common symptoms of parasitic diseases -

  • Fever.

  • Diarrhea.

  • Vomiting.

  • Weight loss.

  • Rashes.

  • Abdominal pain.

What Are the Treatments for the Parasitic Infection?

If any children contract a parasitic infection, Early diagnosis and treatment help completely cure the infection. Most cases of parasitic infections are easily treatable. As there are various treatments available, every parent must be aware of these treatments so that they can help their child get better as quickly as possible. The healthcare provider will start the most appropriate treatment for the child-specific infection. Some of the most common treatments for parasitic infections include:

  • Enter parasitic drugs.

  • Antibiotics.

  • Antifungal.

  • Surgery (in case of multiple parasites causing organ blockage).

  • During treatment, the child requires plenty of rest and should drink plenty of fluids.

What Are the Complications of Parasitic Infection?

Most parasitic infections are treatable and do not cause complications, but some can cause serious health complications, especially in children. For example, malaria can cause anemia, seizures, and even death. Another serious complication is cerebral Malaria which is a type of malaria that affects the brain. It can cause coma, brain damage, and death.

How to Prevent Parasitic Infection in Children?

Being proactive in preventing parasitic infections in children is essential. Following are some tips for keeping children safe:

  • Teach children about handwashing and proper hygiene. It helps the most in the prevention of infections.

  • Ensure that the children get vaccinated on time.

  • Ensure they eat a balanced diet and get enough vitamins and minerals.

  • Make sure they do not eat contaminated, unwashed, or uncooked food.

  • Make sure they do not drink contaminated water or any fluid.

  • Keep the children's surroundings clean and free of pests.

  • Keep them away from sick people as much as possible.

  • Make sure they do not put anything in their mouth that is lying around on the ground.

  • Take children for regular checkups and screens so that any potential problems can be caught and treated early. Parasitic infections can be severe, so it is essential to take these precautions to protect children.


Parasitic infections are common in children worldwide. It causes serious health issues for children and adults also. It occurs due to contact with contaminated food, soil, or water. Several treatments are present for parasitic infections. Parasitic infections are easily treatable. If parasitic infections get ignored or left untreated, they can result in severe complications and even death. Prevention of parasitic infection is essential and can be done with the help of good habits like washing hands and eating cooked food. Preventing parasitic diseases in children is essential, and getting them vaccinated on time is crucial. If they are old enough, teach them to wash their hands properly and often. If children get parasitic infections, take them to the doctor right away and follow their treatment plan.

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Dr. Bhaisara Baraturam Bhagrati
Dr. Bhaisara Baraturam Bhagrati



parasitic disease prevention in children
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