Now here’s a thing parents never want to hear: the words “worms” and “your child” right next to each other.
Unfortunately, it happens. And it’s a normal thing.
Dr Elysia Thornton-Benko of Bondi Road Doctors has some great tips for parents who must deal with getting those stubborn little wigglers out of their child’s bum.
One thing’s for sure, it’s not an easy task, nor is it pleasant. But it has to be done.
Here are some suggestions on how to successfully eradicate worms from your child.
1. Have a look, don’t be afraid
The first clue you might be dealing with a worm infestation is an itchy bum.
If your child is complaining of itchiness around their bottom, you might want to have a look and see what’s down there.
As Dr Thornton-Benko recommends, “have a look around the anus and if it doesn’t look like a rash or some other cause, then you do have to start thinking about worms.”
The most common types of worms in children are:
The thin worm
The thread worm
The pin worm
“These worms are like thin little white threads,” Dr Thornton-Benko highlights.
Another clue might be seeing an actual worm in the toilet. In that case, make sure you inform the Child Care Centre and they will give you the proper treatment for your child.
2. Get the right treatment for the infestation
Once you’ve determined the type of worms in your child and possibly your house, find the right treatment for it. If you’re lucky, a trip to your local pharmacy can solve this problem.
Dr Thornton-Benko recommends, “to repeat [the treatment] about two weeks later because obviously you want to kill the worms off but you also want to kill any eggs. Certainly, once you’re given the medication, it’s good to have a shower that night and the morning after to wash away any eggs that might be sitting there.”
3. Time for a house clean-up now
Dr Thornton suggests cleaning up the whole house to make sure you get rid off any remaining eggs:
Wash the sheets and dry them on a hot cycle or in the sun
Vacuum the whole house
Give everything a freshen-up
Why do you need to disinfect the house?
Dr Thornton-Benko explains that the eggs can survive for up to two weeks. She adds, “While worms are not a huge deal health-wise, it is a feco-oral situation, meaning that if eggs go in through the mouth, they hatch in the small intestine and come out through the toosh.”
When it comes to worm infestation issues, eradication is key.
What you can do is to encourage your child to wash their hands regularly and keep their nails cut closely to the skin.
Most of the time, a worm infestation can be handled with a quick trip to the pharmacy and a thorough house clean-up. However, sometimes it’s best to see a specialist and get a medical expert’s opinion and diagnosis.
You should consider seeking medical advice if:
A family member is under two-years-old
“If you ever felt or saw a worm that looks underneath the skin, either wriggling or raised, that’s a different kind of worm,” warns Dr Thornton-Benko. Make sure you go to the doctor and get a proper diagnosis.
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