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Lets talk about worms!

Lets talk about worms!

Let’s talk about worms……not the garden variety but the embarrassing ones!   

What are they?   

Worms are parasites that live in the human gut. In New Zealand, threadworm (pinworm) is the most common. They spread from person to person, and are prevalent in primary aged children. Why? Because they play and come into contact with each other more often.

Myths and handy hints:

It’s important to realise that having threadworms in your family is no indication that your hygiene standards have slipped. However, you will need to de-worm the entire household. Washing sheets, pyjamas, underwear and towels in hot water will help to kill any eggs.

Symptoms:

The most obvious sign is an itchy bottom, especially at night, but only one third of children have this. So watch your child for:

  • Itching around the bottom, typically at night. (this is caused by a reaction to the glue used by the worm to attach eggs to the skin)
  • Teeth grinding or bed-wetting
  • Broken, infected skin around the bottom from persistent scratching (refer to Pharmacist)
  • An observation of a pinworm in stools (see diagram on next page)
  • Abdominal pain is not usually a symptom

Treatment:

If your child does have threadworm, it’s easy to treat with the medicines listed in the table above. As it is contagious you will need to treat the whole family and repeat the treatment in two weeks time.

Advice:

  • Treat the whole family
  • Wash hands thoroughly to prevent re-infection and use a hand sanitiser before eating
  • Scrub fingernails and keep them short as eggs can lodge under nails
  • While undergoing treatment for worms, shower at night and again the next morning to remove eggs
  • Undress children in the shower so that the eggs wash away
  • Change underwear daily
  • Disinfect toilet seat daily for 1 week after treatment
  • Wash bed linen and towels in hot water
  • Vacuum carpet and furniture

Products:

De-worm is available in our pharmacies and on line store at www.unichempharmacy.co.nz if you enter De-worm in the search bar then click on the product for full instructions on how to use.


For further information on worm treatments and medications to rid you and your family of this I strongly recommend you get more expert advice from this website:  www.healthinfo.org.nz

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