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Threadworms - how many have them?

(207 Posts)
Mumof3darlings Fri 19-Oct-12 16:16:02

Dear All,

I feel like I am going mad!

1 week ago I noticed DS (age 4) scratching his bum a couple of times, I immediately thought he might have worms. Checked that night by looking up his bum with a torch and immediately saw a wriggling little blighter which quite honestly made me feel sick to the stomach! My DS is a clean little boy, ie washes his hands after loo, not always before eating though and we have a very clean home but I try not to be too OTT with the kids about not touching mud/sand etc while we are in garden etc as I feel like they have gotta play/get germs etc!!!

So I gave kids and me and DH medicine... Next day checked DS no 2's nappy whilst changing him and noticed a worm in there too!!!! agggrrr!!! This sent me over the edge tbh as I felt like the medication was my only hope!!!

OK so in last week I have checked DSno 2's nappy probably a dozen times and nothing... Also checked up DS1's bum while he sleeps every night and it's clean as a whistle.. I need to give the medication again after 2 weeks but to be sure I gave us all it again yesterday just in case.

I have a doctor who advises both on natural and mainstream medicines and he advised we could all take an aloe vera drink each morning which is preventative.. so we are taking this (which I feel is more for my mind than anything else)..

I have cleaned bedding, hoovered, washed, towels have been washed after every wash - the amount of washing I have done this week is as much as a busy launderette!!! Poor little DS1 is marched home from school and told to wash his hands immediately... I am watching other kids in his class and noticed one of them scratching his bum the other day - I am thinking about this subject 100% of the time - I honestly feel like I have become obsessed with it!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had threadworms as a child quite a few times and I have had them as an adult too - immediately treating the problem. It always freaks me out everytime but this time seems worse as I noticed it in both my kids... what am I doing wrong???

I think the worst thing about this is that I feel so alone with it as nobody has EVER told me that their kids have this... Do people just not realise? or is it just that we are unlucky and get it more than others... Today I decided (after 1 week) to tell my DS's teacher. I found it so difficult to do as I am so embarrased and feel so guilty about it. I was hopeful she would tell me that she had seen it a hundred times before - she's been a teacher for about 15 years - but she didn't!!!!!!!!!! She was very nice, very understanding but said she had never known of a child having it before - OMG made me feel like a freak!!!

Help me - please tell me either what I am doing wrong or why it is that people don't discuss this????

Thanks for reading!!

x x

Mumof3darlings Sun 21-Oct-12 19:21:14

Duchess thank you for your tip on washing so just to confirm you mean you washed towels after first sighting of the worms then after medication given and therefore worms killed you washed weekly towels, bedding and pjs with pants washed every night? My rational for washing towels after every wash is that after a bum wash I might have left some eggs on the skin!!??!!! I need to sort myself out because I feel like I'm developing OCD!!!

Quick question on meds - mine had vermox 20mg (5ml) for 3 consecutive days then after one week I gave them a 1 off 100mg vermox capsule - does this sound similar to the meds u buy in the uk and am I doing it right? I live abroad and bought over the counter this is what it said to to (the medicine for 3 days not the repeat after 1 week - that was me being paranoid)

A final question. On day 2 of the meds (I think it was) DS2 had a live worm in his poo when I changed his nappy - is that normal that the medicine didn't kill them all straight away? It made me think it hadn't worked!!

Thank you again and sorry I keep going over and over this x

Mumof3darlings Sun 21-Oct-12 19:22:04

Wizard - so sorry to hear u have this too :-( x

0liverb0liverbuttface Sun 21-Oct-12 19:35:51

Are there other symptoms other than an itchy bum?

Mumof3darlings Sun 21-Oct-12 19:40:15

I don't know why the rest of my last message didn't post...i've lost it now.. The plot and the message x

Mumof3darlings Sun 21-Oct-12 19:44:41

I would say there are two types of sensations which are symptoms. An itchy bum which is caused by the eggs laid round the anus and then the actual feeling of the worm wriggling in the anus - this is more like a tickling not an itching and is gross!

I would say that other symptoms are kids waking for no reason in night and also soreness around anus and vagina.

Other might suggest more?


DuchessOfAvon Sun 21-Oct-12 19:49:58

Vermox and Ovex (which is what I use) is Mebendazole - which doesn't kill the worms, it just weakens them so that they can be expelled. After taking the meds, it'll be a few days before it kicks in - and depending on where they are in their life cycle, they may still be laying eggs. Hence the precautions to rid yourself of the eggs even after taking the meds. Hence also taking a second precautionary dose after 2 weeks - to knock off any that might have hatched in the day ot two after the first lot of meds. That's why I always do the second dose even though its technically not necessary.

As for the washing, I do all sheets, towels and PJs immediately. Then I keep them in clean pants at bedtime (followed by morning bottom washing) for at least the next two weeks until after the second dose. As for bedding, I go straight back to weekly but you could use a fresh hand-towel for drying bottoms - at least until the two weeks are up. Pants are clean on every night.

Tbh, keeping fingernails short and good hand washing is your best protection.

DuchessOfAvon Sun 21-Oct-12 19:56:56

In girls, it very often presents as a stabbing pain in the vagina. The worms often crawl in there and they can really aggravate those sensitive tissues. I know of many young girls who have been diagnosed with thrush when it is actually worms.

It generally will wake kids in discomfort or pain in the late evening when the worms are active. With mine its usually between 10-11pm. If untreated, it will pass after a few nights as the worms die, and then reoccur two weeks later as the next batch become active. So it can present intermittently.

I have read that with some kids it can also present as tummy ache but this hasn't happened with mine.

IF it does occur, the little ones will be very uncomfortable until the meds kick in. Removing the active worm(s) is often the only way to stop it hurting so much - or failing that, a good slathering of Sudocreme can lessen the feeling of them crawling. DH refuses to go fishing for worms but I am a dab hand at getting them out. grin Its a lesser-know maternal skill.

Actually, it really helped the DD's to see one. DD2 was actually getting herself wound up convinced that something the size of an earthworm was going to emerge, and was reassured by the reality.

I am pretty experienced with these little feckers........ (worms not kids).

FannyFifer Sun 21-Oct-12 20:42:56

I'm a hardened nurse but I swear I scared myself shitless reading all the google threadworm horror stories. shock

We found dd had them, she did a poo, still in nappies, this was at bedtime and dear god there were hundreds.

I flew down to late night chemist and got Ovex (mebendazole) which we all took, she was literally tortured that whole night, was screaming and didn't sleep were so many, next night the same, bloody nightmare.

The next morning i thought bugger this and went to chemist and bought Piperazine (Prispen) this worked by paralysing them then having a laxative effect which expelled everything. Also if they paralysed then they can't itch or lay eggs.

No sign of anything since.

It's normal to feel stressed about it, especially when u feel you can't talk about it in real life, stop googling, I'm still traumatised.

Have you had the dreaded headlice yet, that's another one to look forward to, children are truly disgusting creatures. grin

CharlotteWasBoth Sun 21-Oct-12 21:00:41

We've had it loads of times. Much sympathy.

First time round I was really scrupulous. Now I'm more relaxed. Meds and basic precautions do work.

Natural cures are raw garlic and pumpkin seeds (eating them rather than anything else btw!!). You can also put Vaseline round the affected bum hole so the worms have nowhere to lay their eggs.

Good luck. It'll be fine.

Takver Sun 21-Oct-12 21:01:48

IME unreasonably bad temper (dd not me) is also a symptom, probably due to lack of sleep.

I really wouldn't stress about it - they're just one of those things like nits which dc pick up now and then. Luckily they're generally easier to get rid of . . .

Certainly all my friends dc have had them too, never noticed anyone being that embarrassed about it.

girlsyearapart Sun 21-Oct-12 21:02:51

Two of mine had them this summer and I too suffered from total plot loss!

Dd1 had a worm wriggling in her poo and I called the doctor got a prescription we all took it.
Dd2 had it two nights later so guess the med doesn't work straight away?

Dd3 and ds both in nappies and didn't get them although I was opening their nappies with serious trepidation!

I was looking out for them as my niece had them and we had been staying with her. (my sister said they were falling out of her- (vom..))

I washed all their bedding every other day for two weeks, clean pjs and knickers in bed every night for two weeks. Chucked out the toothbrushes boiling water on all the cutlery.

Cleaned both loos about 3 times a day if not more for those two weeks.

Stayed up every night from about 7-11 hoovering and dusting.

As I said I did also lose the plot wrt worms grin

Don't blame you in the least op!

crazy88 Sun 21-Oct-12 21:27:23

I think we have them again - will be 4th time in 2 years. Am amazed mine don't get them more often tbh as they are both constant thumb and finger suckers so all the the laundry washing in the world probably wouldn't stop them getting them!

sittinginthesun Sun 21-Oct-12 21:36:23

I think I must be fairly laid back about threadworms, as our pharmacist told me that 40% of all primary school children have them AT ANY ONE TIME. That is a lot of children!

We've had them about three times in three years, to my knowledge, the last time being three weeks ago.

I just give Ovex, including the follow up dose, wash the bed linen, pyjamas etc, and have a nag about washing hands.

My eldest is the worst. He always has his hand down his pants, and sucks his fingers when he is reading. I'm sure he spreads it to us.

expansivegirth Sun 21-Oct-12 21:48:18

my kids got them too. i only know as we were at a friends house and she was telling me how her daughter had been undiagnosed for weeks with an itchy vagina - apparently the worms migrate from the anus to the vagina...the doctor had initially prescribed thrush medicine.
lucky she told me this as two weeks after visiting this friend one of my children woke up screaming in agony and ripping at her body... I stripped the beds, boiled sheets etc on high heat, vacuumed the floor, washed all the night clothes, and gave us all pills. I didn't itch but I assume I also had worms (you can have them and be symptomless). I warned a friend we'd been playing with that her daughter might get them soon - sure enough, two weeks later she also woke up itching.
I think it's very common. many of friends talk about it in relation to their kids. it's just a real pain in the arse (hur hur hur). but at least easier to treat than nits. and very fast. one dose of ovex and the itching is gone.
you are doing everything right. certainly don't blame yourself!

expansivegirth Sun 21-Oct-12 21:56:55

my aunt once described the worm my cousin picked up when living in india as a toddler. she said it was massive, like an earth worm, and came out in her poo one day and she just could not believe that such a big worm could come out of such a little girl. that's proper gross. thread worms are just like tiny bits of ... thread. i used to worry that they'd been thinking inside me - i'm not sure why i found thinking worms so particularly disgusting - but really threadworms are just one step up in size from a virus.. that's how i try and think of them anyway... solid, thoughtless, building blocks. if i start thinking them of something actual from the animal kingdom i feel properly sick...

Bienchen Sun 21-Oct-12 21:58:11

We had them about half a dozen times both when DS and DD were first at primary school. We took our advise from a GP friend.

Always treated everyone with Ovex as soon as spotted.

Kids wore clean cotton pants at night time under their pj's so they can't scratch themselves so easily in their sleep and then transfer the eggs when touching their mouth.

Thorough handwashing after toilet and before meals.

Raw carrot is supposed to help and we all had carrot salad or similar as a starter every night.

Raw garlic and pumpkin seed is recommended in Turkey. Best for slightly older children (taste/risk of choking).

I washed and ironed our bedding and we had a separate handtowel for everyone that got changed every day.

I never did any extra cleaning.

It is unpleasant but if tackled straightaway I think you should be fine very quickly.

Yes to advising school/nursery and always encourage children to tell you straight away, there's no shame to catch them but they need dealing with pronto.

IsItMeOr Sun 21-Oct-12 22:03:59

Ugh, wish I hadn't read some of your stories, as I think DS (and I) have them again. The last time when we took ovex, both of us came out in hives, which is one of the side effects. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but presumably that doesn't stop us taking it again??

Is there an alternative treatment we could try which might not have the same side effect?

Perhaps I should ask the chemist, but a bit embarrassed!

BeehavingBaby Sun 21-Oct-12 22:06:08

PS. We have a scheme whereby you can get treatment free from your chemist by filling in a form, no prescription required.

exexpat Sun 21-Oct-12 22:12:35

We've had them several times. They are yucky but not a big deal. I comfort myself with the fact that there is a growing body of research saying that relatively minor parasites like that can actually be good for the immune system.

midseasonsale Sun 21-Oct-12 22:16:36

I only have one word to say to you - garlic

Ohhmydaze Sun 21-Oct-12 22:20:33

oh gawd-we get them loads! blush

we did as kids too....loads of people i know get/have had worms...dont think its 'abnormal' at all is it?!

SeymoreInOz Sun 21-Oct-12 22:22:26

They are much more common than people realise. I would need to look it up but the estimate is around one third of school age kids infected at any one time. Many children (and adults) just don't get the symptoms so are unaware that they are infected. They spread like wildfire at school. For example a child with threadworms may not wash their hands after using the loo (or have scratched their bum) and then picks up a pencil, your DC then comes along and puts the pencil in their mouth.... etc! If your DC is infected it's important that they wash their hands and bum (and put on clean pants) first thing in the morning to remove any eggs, since the worms come out at night to lay eggs on the skin. As well as changing all the sheets and towels and damp dusting and hovering when you discover infection. It helps to keep toothbrushes in a cupboard too. Also keep reminding them that only washed hands and food go near/in the mouth, nothing else!

DD has had 2 bouts that have really bothered her, the last went on for a week and took 3 doses of medication to clear, she hardly slept and developed cystitis. I give the whole family a dose of mebendazole every few months now, just because I don't want a repeat episode like that!

ReshapeWhileDamp Sun 21-Oct-12 22:24:31

Oh OP, you're really having a hard time over this, aren't you? sad Please try to relax about it - sounds like you're doing more than enough. I certainly don't remember my mum doing loads more laundry when we had them as children, but maybe advice was different then. I had them twice, in fact - the second time, I was 14 and my mum trusted me to take the dreaded Pripsen drink myself. I didn't. blush It made me gag and I couldn't face taking it again two weeks later, so I pretended to - and then had the buggers for about a year. blush Stupid mare I was! (I did get rid of them eventually.)

I know it's horrible - there's just something intrinsically revolting and skin-creeping about knowing you, or your children, are populated by parasites. Of course, worms and headlice aside, most of us have smaller critters that we're unaware of, like mites living in our eyelash follicles, or dustmites in our beds. And we're all still ok. smile Try not to sweat it too much, and maybe try distracting yourself every time you feel yourself worrying into overdrive. They'll go soon, and I bet if your DC get them again, you'll have been through the worst of it and will be more laid-back. smile

Yardarm Sun 21-Oct-12 22:26:51

We've had them and I just treat with ovex + changing bed linen and towels on day of treatment, don't find lots of extra cleaning or more frequent linen changes necessary. Don't stress, it's very common and the medication works very quickly. How do those of you who say you wash bottoms first thing every morning find the time for this, anyway?!

eurycantha Sun 21-Oct-12 22:28:16

I always think that threadworms are as common as headlice and a lot easier to get rid of .Ovex does work very quickly and effectively, compared to the nightmare of headlice.when I worked in a nursery we did regularly change the playdo which we made as this is a possible way to transfer when a child is infected.

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