Threadworm in Children
Threadworms are tiny parasites that infect the large intestine. They are mostly common in children under the age of ten. A common symptom in includes intense itching around the anus, especially at night. If you suspect your child to have threadworms the entire family should be treated, as sometimes they can be asymptomatic.
Threadworm are usually passed on through poor hygiene. The female worms lay eggs around the anus. When a child scratches, the threadworms can be transferred from their fingers to their mouth and different surfaces. If another person touches these contaminated surfaces and then their mouth, they become infected with threadworms. Therefore, the prevention of threadworms includes keeping a high standard of hygiene. I.e. frequent hand washing and avoid scratching the area.
Hygiene method- This can be used to stop the threadworm infection. These methods should be followed for 6 weeks. Everyone in the house must follow the strict methods. Some of this method includes; wash all bed linen, clothes, thoroughly hoover and dust the house, disinfect bathrooms and kitchen, keep fingernails short, no nail biting, wash hands frequently, clean toothbrushes thoroughly before use, shower regularly and avoid towel sharing
Medication- There is a 75% chance that everyone in the family will be infected with threadworms if one person has it.
The most common medications are mebendazole and piperazine. Mebendazole (Vermox®) is the preferred treatment for those over 2 years of age. It is available over the counter at pharmacies. It prevents the threadworms from absorbing glucose. They kill the worms in the gut, but not the eggs that have been laid around the anus. These can stay on underwear and bed linen, so it is important to have good hygiene standards in the house.
Re- infection can be common so another dose can be common after two weeks of the initial treatment.
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).