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Threadworms!


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Need Advice,

 

Had a parent come to me week b4 half term and said her daughter had worms but is now clear. We sent out the routine letter to all parents and heard nothing. Cleaned and antibacterialed everything, wiped down books etc and stepped up on all aspects of hygiene. Last week had another parent come up yo me and said her son has worms but will keep off til tratment finished. I thanked her for letting me know and sent out another letter. Today I have had 2 more parents saying that there children had worms last half term. So have sent out a letter asking all parents to notify me if there child has had worms this term.

Problem is the damage has already been done.

The first case must have spread the worms round for at least a week b4 her mum told us.

What do I do. Luckily, as of yet all staff are clear.

HELP !!!!

:oxD:(:(

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Hi Poor you, it is very difficult to get rid of especially as the advice is that children to not need to be absent from school when they have worms!

 

Here is some info I found on the web - hope it helps

 

The life cycle of threadworms

 

Threadworms live about 5-6 weeks in the gut, and then die. However, before they die the female worms lay tiny eggs around the anus (back passage). This tends to occur at night when you are warm and still in bed. The eggs are too small to see without a microscope, but cause itch around the anus. You then scratch around the anus to relieve the itch. You often do this without realising when you are asleep. When you scratch, eggs get onto fingers and under nails. You may then swallow some eggs if you put a finger into your mouth.

 

Also, threadworm eggs can survive for up to two weeks outside the body. They fall off the skin around the anus and can fall onto bedding, clothes, etc. They can then get 'wafted' in the air as you change clothes, bedding etc, and become part of the dust in a home. Some eggs may settle on food or toothbrushes. So, children may swallow some eggs at first by playing with other children who have eggs on their fingers, or from food, drink, toothbrushes, or dust that has been contaminated with threadworm eggs.

 

Any eggs that you swallow then hatch and grow into adult worms in the gut. So a 'cycle' of threadworm infection can go on and on.

 

Are threadworms harmful?

 

Not usually. Often, the worst thing about them is the itch and discomfort around the anus. This sometimes wakes children from sleep. Scratching may make the anus sore. Large numbers of threadworms may possibly cause mild abdominal (tummy) pains and make a child irritable. In girls, threadworms can wander forwards and lay their eggs in the vagina or urethra (the tube that passes urine). A doctor may check for threadworms in young girls with a vaginal discharge, bedwetting, or problems with passing urine. Rarely, threadworms can cause other problems.

 

How can I tell if my child has threadworms?

 

Threadworms look like thin, white, cotton threads. Sometimes you can see them in faeces (stools or motions) in the toilet. If you cannot see threadworms in the faeces, but suspect your child has threadworms (if they have an itchy bottom), try looking at the child's anus. You can do this with a torch in the late evening after the child has gone to sleep. Part the child's buttocks and look at the opening of the anus. If the child has threadworms you can often see one or two coming out of the anus. Do not be alarmed! Ask a pharmacist for advice on treatment in the next day or so.

 

Your doctor may ask you to do a 'sticky tape test' to confirm the presence of threadworms. To do this you press some clear see-through tape onto the skin around the anus first thing in the morning, before wiping or bathing. You then place the tape on a glass slide or put it in a specimen container. The tape is then sent to the 'lab' to be looked at under a microscope to see if any threadworm eggs are stuck to the tape.

 

What is the treatment for threadworms?

 

The common treatment is to take a medicine to kill the worms in your gut AND hygiene measures to clear eggs which may be around your anus or in your home.

 

Medication

You can buy the following medicines from pharmacies. You can also get them on prescription. (The medicines below are not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Hygiene measures alone may be sufficient.)

 

Mebendazole is the usual treatment for people aged over two years. All household members, including adults and those without symptoms, should take a dose at the same time. This is because it is common to have worms in the gut with little or no symptoms. Just one dose kills the worms. A second dose two weeks after the first is sometimes needed if the infection has not cleared (which may occur if you swallow some eggs after taking the medication).

 

Piperazine is an alternative medicine, and can be used in children under two years (but over three months). You need to take two doses, 14 days apart.

Hygiene measures

Medicine will kill the worms in the gut, but not the eggs that have been laid around the anus. These can survive for up to two weeks outside the body on underwear, bedding, in the dust, etc (as described above). So, hygiene measures aim to clear any eggs from the body and the home, and to prevent any eggs from being swallowed. This will then break the cycle of 're-infection'. Every member of the household should do the following for two weeks after the first dose of medicine.

 

Wear underpants or knickers at night. This is so that if you scratch in your sleep, you will not touch the skin near the anus.

Keep fingernails short. Wash hands and scrub nails each morning. Wash hands before meals or snacks, before preparing food, and after going to the toilet or changing nappies.

Every morning have a bath, or wash around the anus, to get rid of any eggs laid overnight. You must do this straight away after getting up from bed.

Change and wash underwear, nightwear (and bed linen if possible) each day. Avoid shaking clothes and linen as any eggs on them may be wafted into the air and become part of the dust.

Keep toothbrushes in a closed cupboard. Rinse well before use.

Also, on the day when you take the medicine, it is best to have a 'blitz' around the home which aims to clear any eggs which may be part of the dust. This should include:

 

Vacuum and dust all household carpets, particularly those where children play.

Damp-dust smooth surfaces with a cloth rinsed in hot water. Again, particularly in places where children play, and in bedrooms and the bathroom. Throw out the cloth after use.

After an initial thorough cleaning blitz, some people suggest that you vacuum and damp-dust every day for 14 days.

 

However, it may not be your home which is a main source of threadworm eggs. Your children may come into contact with eggs in schools or nurseries, particularly in the toilets if they are not cleaned properly. If your child has recurring threadworms, it may be worth checking that toilet facilities at schools, nurseries, etc, are regularly cleaned in a way that will remove any threadworm eggs which may be present.

 

If you are pregnant you should not take medicines which kill worms. The worms die after about 6 weeks. Provided that you do not swallow any new eggs, then no new worms will grow to replace them. So, if you continue the hygiene measures described above for 6 weeks, then this should break the cycle of 're-infection', and clear your gut of threadworms.

 

Can a child with threadworms go to school?

 

Yes. There is no need to keep a child with threadworms off school, nursery, etc. The hygiene measures described above will mean that children will not have any eggs on their fingers when they go out from the home each day and so cannot infect others.

 

 

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Thanks geraldine for all that.

How on earth am I going to get rid of it. The pre school room is cleaned at the end of every day. The toilet area is cleaned thouroughly th the end of every session. we promote independent toileting but are very vigilant on hygiene. Every day we are wiping down everything that goes out and cleaning it before we put it away but if these worms can stay alive for upto 2weeks and parents are not telling us what on earth can I do.

This term i have sent out 5 nit letters, 2 worm letter and a chicken pox letter.

 

Net x

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Threadworms are much more common than you think. Apparently one in ten members of the population have threadworms living in their intestine at any one time and most never know about it. So you probably have always had children with them.

 

We just need to keep re-enforcing the hand-washing with the children. We frequently have sessions in our Nursery where we take small groups into the bathroom and demonstrate how to wash your hands properly. Putting soap on, washing back and front of the hands, the nails and between fingers. It's amazing how many just pop their hands under a tap for a second and think that is sufficient. Communal towels are also a very bad idea - use either paper towels or electric hand-dryers.

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we have included the need for handwashing etc as regular topic and use

 

Clean Crusaders Campaign

you can buy a 10 minute video for 4-7 year olds (we got ours free in a promotion they did when it started ages ago) and order free leaflet packs with posters etc for parents. web site also has factsheet downloads.

 

also to teach hand washing and how 'germs' travel we do a glitter game. I put a small amount of glitter on my hand to represent the germs and then touch a child by holding thier hand who then touches another. They then have to go and wash hands to try and remove it. They come back..usually still with glitter on hands and then touch another child etc. we then have a session on thorough hand washing to get rid of the germs. All children want a go and it can take most of a session to cover all children but it is a way if illustrating the 'problem' in a way they can understand. If you use a bowl of water it also shows how they stay in the water and how running water is better at removing the glitter as it does not return to the hands and not to share a hand basin.

 

 

Inge

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Gosh thanks everyone for the useful information - I have yet again learnt lots of new things - love the idea about the glitter - what a good way of explaining something you cannot see.

Nikki

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Thank you all, as usual your advice is worth its weight in gold.

We use paper towels and every morning talk about handwashing but love the glitter idea. Can we supply nail brushes. Suppose still got the cross contamination prob. Well just have to work through it.

 

Thanks again.

 

net x

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i find that if you keep reminding parents to keep looking and take medication the out break wears off. i think head lice can be worse cos if you get one child with it continously you can never get rid of it. i always give my parents a bit of a talk at the beginning of the new year on what things you pick up at pre-school at what to do about it. i always tell them that thats the horrible bit over with and that things can only get better.

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we have  included the need for handwashing etc as regular topic and use

 

Clean Crusaders Campaign

you can buy a 10 minute video for 4-7 year olds (we got ours free in a promotion they did when it started ages ago) and order free leaflet packs with posters etc for parents. web site also has factsheet downloads.

 

also to teach hand washing and how 'germs' travel we do a glitter game.  I put a small amount of glitter on my hand to represent the germs and then touch a child by holding thier hand who then touches another.  They then have to go and wash hands to try and remove it.  They come back..usually still with glitter on hands and then touch another child etc.  we then have a session on thorough hand washing to get rid of the germs.  All children want a go and it can take most of a session to cover all children but it is a way if illustrating the 'problem' in a way they can understand.  If you use a bowl of water it also shows how they stay in the water and how running water is better at removing the glitter as it does not return to the hands and not to share a hand basin.

Inge

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Your school or local nurse may be able to help with handwashing, our school nurse came in with some special soap, the children put it on their hands then put their hands under ultraviolet light, and all the dirt is shown up - it was very revealing!!!!!

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