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The ins and outs of deworming your child

It’s really important to deworm your child - and everyone in your family – at least once every six months.

The thought of sharing your child with wriggly critters is gross, right? That’s why it’s so important to deworm your child regularly.

What are worms?

Worms are parasites that can live in the human body in the digestive tract. They enter the body as eggs, where they hatch and multiply. While most parents think that their child will never get worms, a whopping 1 out of 2 children will be infected at least once during their childhood years.

Why do I need to deworm my child?

You bath your kids, keep your house pretty clean and you even make them wash their hands before a meal. So how can your child be at risk for a worm infestation? Whilst poor hygiene habits can contribute to the spread of worms once your child has contracted them, catching worms can be as simple as touching an infected surface- it doesn’t matter how clean your child is. Parasitic eggs can be found in contaminated food or water. They can be on utensils or surfaces. They can be found in faeces of humans or animals. Traces can be detected on toilet seats or door handles. So unless you are keeping your child in a bubble, he could be at risk. This risk is increased if you have pets, too.

Common symptoms of worms

Often symptoms can be undetected. More often than not your child will appear well and healthy. For those that do get sick from the infestation, you will notice loose, watery, offensive smelling, and frequent stools. Your child may also be bloated with increased gas and abdominal discomfort. Some children experience an increased appetite with no weight gain. Others can have a dip in appetite. There may also be itching around the anus.

How can I prevent worm infestations in my children?

  • The easiest and best form of prevention is hand washing. This should be done after bathroom trips or nappy changes, before eating meals, arriving home after being out, and after playing outdoors and with pets.
  • Wash all fruit and vegetables before giving them to your child, and cook all meat products thoroughly.
  • Make sure drinking water is clean and preferably boiled and cooled first.
  • Regularly deworm your family, including all members, caregivers, and pets.

How to deworm your child

A prophylactic treatment can prevent or eliminate worm infestations. Deworming your family every six months is advisable, especially if you have pets and small children.

Children can be dewormed from one year of age. Dewormers can be in a liquid form that you give your child every morning for three days. Adults and pets are usually given tablets to take. Chat to your doctor or pharmacist for the best dosage for your child’s age and weight.


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