Infestation by threadworms is very common in school children and
can easily be treated in the pharmacy. While threadworms are by
far the most common, other worms may occur occasionally, especially
after foreign travel.
The first sign of worm infestation is usually itch around the
anus, (the child can be seen to scratch their bottom), the irritation
is due to the eggs lain around the anus by the female, who emerges
at night to lay eggs and stick them to the skin. The itching may
hence be worst at night. The worms themselves can be easily seen
in the faeces as white or cream-coloured threads, of about 10
mm long, which can be seen moving as they survive for a short
time outside the body. Diarrhoea may be present in severe cases.
Other family members may be affected, even without itch or worms
in the faeces.
A suitable tablet or syrup will quickly treat any worm infestation
by killing the worms in the gut, from which they will be expelled
in the next bowel movement, clearing the problem quickly and effectively.
It is important that all members of the family, whether showing
signs of itching or not (this may take weeks to develop), should
be treated together so that they do not re-infect each other.
Any family pet should also be wormed as a precaution. Preparations
for the treatment of worm infestation are not suitable for use
during pregnancy or breast-feeding.
- Infestation is very common and is not due to lack of care or
- All family members should be treated at the same time, even
if only one member has the symptoms - the others are likely to
have the worms in early stage with no symptoms.
-Treat family pets for worms at the same time as the rest of the
- Fingernails should be cut short as large numbers of eggs may
rest there. Hands should be washed and nails brushed after going
to the toilet and before preparing or eating food.
- Pyjamas or pants are a good idea for children during worm infestation
to prevent scratching during the night, which may lead to a secondary
-Affected family members should have a bath or shower each morning
during treatment to wash away any eggs laid during the night.
-A sufferer from worms may be quite run-down and may benefit from
a good multivitamin.