A Practical Insight: Worms in Children
A threadworm infection is rarely something serious. Also known as pinworms, these are little white parasitic worms that infect the gut (intestines) and lay their eggs around the anus causing itchiness. However, these do not always cause symptoms.
It is the most common type of worm infection and it is particularly common among young children. This means that a great percentage of children will have parasites at a time in their lives.
There is no need to get worried if your kid has worms, but you to take good hygiene measures.
How to Treat Worms in Children
A good worm treatment usually includes medication and hygienic measures that avoid worm spread. It is known that medication kills the living worms, but eggs can be latent for two weeks. It is because of this that as a parent you need strict hygiene measures, specially when treating your kid with medication in order to avoid a new infection.
Treatment involves taking a dose of medication available at pharmacies during two weeks. During these two weeks you should:
- Keep your child’s nails short
- Regularly wash your kid’s hands meticulously. Encourage your child to wash his hands regularly.
- Clean all the toys
- Proper disposal of feces (specially diapers)
- Bathing at morning at night is most effective. Remove eggs from the perineal region.
Other family members should also be treated (including those without symptoms) since anyone could have caught the infection.
There is nothing to worry about, just measures that should be taken.
What Causes Worms in Children
Threadworm or pinworm infection is a result of poor hygiene. This is common to happen among children, specially if they are in contact with other kids and normally walk barefoot.
Normally, female threadworms lay their eggs at night around the perianal region. This is what causes the symptoms of intense itching. Because of this scratching, your child may get the eggs on his fingers and between his nails infecting himself when he gets his hands in his mouth.
Food or toy sharing may spread the infection to other children.
Is it necessary to drop school some days?
Not at all. A threadworm infection needs to be treated as soon as it is identified, but the worst symptom it brings is discomfort brought up by constant scratching.
However, it is important to inform the school nursery about your kid’s infection in order for them to follow good hygiene practices. This will limit the spread of infection.