Deworming tablets, such as Albendazole and Mebendazole, can be taken at any time of year, and without the imposition of any dietary restrictions.
By Naveed Ahmad Najar
A popular old wives’ tale in many parts of India claims that children should be given deworming medication only when the temperatures are moderate. That is, when the weather conditions are neither too cold nor too hot. Moreover, specific dietary restrictions need to be followed for the process of killing the intestinal worms through medication to be successful.
There’s no scientific basis to the claim though. Deworming tablets, such as Albendazole and Mebendazole, can be taken at any time of year, and without the imposition of any dietary restrictions, say health experts.
First Check reached out to Dr Bhavesh Hiralal Thakkar, a gastroenterologist at Marengo CIMS Hospital in Ahmedabad, India, to verify the claim. “There is currently no scientific evidence supporting the avoidance of certain vegetables, such as tomatoes or pickles, during deworming. Also, the medicine can be taken at any time of year, as needed,” he says.
Deworming is recommended for all children over one year of age. Studies show that regular deworming (twice in a year) has considerable advantages, such as decreasing the frequency of parasitic infections, anemia, and malnutrition. Researchers have found that deworming treatments significantly reduce the prevalence of parasitic infection.
Worms are parasites, which live in human intestines for food and survival. The worms consume nutrients meant for the human body and cause blood loss, poor nutrition, and stunted growth in children. While the effects may not be seen immediately, they can cause long-term harm to the child’s mental and physical development.
Intestinal worm infestation, typically, results from the consumption of undercooked meat from infected animals, including cows, fish, and other livestock, ingestion of contaminated water or soil, contact with contaminated feces, as well as inadequate sanitation and hygiene practices.
Don’t fall for unscientific narratives. Trust facts. Deworming is important for your child’s health and well-being.