Why Kids Get Worms

Despite what most parents believe, worms – particularly pinworms don’t come from the saliva of pets and other animals.

Kids get worms by accidentally swallowing them when they put their hands in their mouths after interacting with infected surfaces. So why do kids get worms? When kids touch surfaces that others with pinworms have interacted with such as tables, chairs, clothing or towels to name a few, they can accidentally swallow these worms when their put their fingers in their mouths.

These worms are really small, so small in fact that you can only see them through a telescope. Once swallowed they pass into the child’s digestive system where they hatch in the small intestine. After a few weeks the female worms travel down to the large intestine. Thereafter they exit the child’s body and lay eggs around their anus. If kids scratch and touch their anus thereafter, they can potentially swallow newer worms and eggs thus continuing the cycle of infection.

As ghastly as all this sounds these worms are actually harmless to children. The most prevalent sign to check for is if your kids are itchy around their anus and uncomfortable, particularly at night time.

If in doubt, visit the doctor. He or she will likely put your child on deworming medication and all worms and related nasties should be clear within a week or two.

Although this all sounds rather horrid, it can be a very good learning experience for your kids. It may teach your children the importance of hygiene, to wash their hands regularly and not put their fingers in their mouths.

Worms in child's hand

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