Worms, how yucky!
Wriggling creatures in your little one’s potty? Luckily they’re easy to treat.
An itchy bum or a few wriggling white threads in your toddler’s poo could be signs of an infestation of pinworms. There are different kinds of worms but the pinworm is most commonly found in children (and adults). It could be upsetting to discover that your baby has worms, but luckily they can easily be dealt with.
The main symptoms of pinworms include itching around the anus, irritability and restlessness, insomnia, weight loss and poor appetite, nail biting and grinding of teeth.
Your baby probably swallowed pinworm eggs after he got them on his hands — possibly from touching a toy handled by a child with pinworms. Worms aren’t a sign of poor hygiene and if treated don’t pose a health risk.
What are pinworms?
- Pinworms are small, white worms that infest the intestines.
- Pinworms look like short strings of dental floss and are sometimes seen around the anus and in your toddler’s poo.
- When your little one sleeps, the worms leave the intestines through the anus and deposit eggs on the surrounding skin.
- The eggs can survive up to two weeks on clothing, bedding and other objects.
- Your toddler can become infected if he touches a contaminated surface and then swallow the eggs.
- These eggs then hatch in the small intestine, and develop into the adult worms after 40 – 50 days.
- To be sure that worms are the problem, press a bit of sticky tape to the anal area early in the morning, and examine it for eggs. By doing this a few times, up to 99% of infections can be diagnosed.
How are worms treated?
- Treatment consists of a two-dose course of medication.
- The second dose must be given two weeks after the first.
- Close family members should also be treated.