My child has worms

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Veronica Desvignes (Pediatrician)


In the evening, Milan, 5, wakes up in the night and complains that “it scratches him”? When your child has worms, it is rarely serious for his health, but often very embarrassing. Fortunately, getting rid of this infection is easy. Discover the opinion of our doctor, Dr. Veronica Desvignes, Pediatrician.

The main intestinal worm

In France, for the most part, it’s a pinworm that can infect children. “, Explained Dr. Veronica Desvignes, a pediatrician and member of the French Ambulatory Pediatrics (AFPA) Association. They are small, very fine white intestinal worms, 5 to 10 mm, that live in the digestive tract. “This is a problem that affects many children between the ages of 3 and 8, because at this age they keep their hands, not always very clean, on their face. Babies can also be affected by pinworms. Other insects (Ascaris and Tenia, the famous solitary insect) have become very rare in France, where they often attack children in tropical countries..

If parents see something strange in their child’s stool, they should take a picture of a potential parasitic infection to show to their pharmacist or local parasitologist for medical advice.

Pinworm contamination mode

The female pinworm lays her eggs -10,000! – at the level of the anus. The baby scratches and the egg gets stuck under the nail. Then by inserting a finger in his mouth, sucking his thumb or biting his nails, he re-infected himself without realizing it. “Contamination can occur within the same family members, in the nursery, at school … and always by hand. Dr. Desvignes says.

The eggs of this parasite are hard, outside the human body, in pajamas, sheets can survive for two to three weeks … “Dogs and cats are innocent, pinworms are only transmitted from person to person. ” Our expert says. Tania contamination is caused by eating less cooked meat.

Symptoms of pinworm

According to Dr. Desvignes, “The main symptom is pruritus ani, i.e. itching. Responsible females, who come down to the anus at the end of the day and especially at night to lay eggs. It can tingle and scratch. Some children even wake up in the middle of the night and be very embarrassed, they shake and they say it scratches them. That fact must be taken into account. ”

Dr. Desvignes noted that: “In little girls, the symptoms sometimes make parents think – incorrectly – it’s a urinary tract infection because they complain about valvula. In fact, sometimes worms can pass from the anus to valvula because the two holes are quite close together. The baby is sometimes itchy.” It’s a frequent cause of valvovaginitis in young girls. ”

Presence of worms Parents can detect the presence of worms when they observe the stools of their children, sometimes even in lingerie or around the anus. Keep in mind that some babies may not have any symptoms. The pinworms then go unnoticed without any itching or pain.

Deworming treatment

It is based on taking Fluvermal®, a drug whose active ingredient is flubendazole. This vermifuse can be used to eliminate large numbers of parasitic worms from the gut: pinworms, but also roundworms, whipworms or hookworms. It is taken in tablet form or in drinkable suspension (syrup with a measuring spoon and the specified dose in the instructions). “Remember that when a child is infected, the same adult and all the people living under the child’s roof – parents, brothers and sisters – who need to be treated at the same time., The doctor insisted. Pinworms are really highly contagious, and can infect adults as well.

It is then necessary to take one tablet or one teaspoon of flubendazole. The catch needs to be renewed after 15 days so that the eggs not destroyed by the drug can avoid re-infection. “When it seems to be recurring, or the child is very embarrassed, we can give him a tablet or a teaspoon, in the morning and evening, for three days, to renew after 15 days..

These drugs have very few side effects. When treating, all textiles must be washed at 60º (sheets, towels, comforters, clothes, etc.). Worms do not survive the effects of temperature.

When should you see a doctor?

When parents can recognize the intruder, for example when their child goes to the toilet, they can go directly to the pharmacist to buy fluormal in oral solution or tablet, from the counter, and start treatment immediately. It may even be helpful to have a bottle of Flowermall in stock …

If they have any doubts, they should make an appointment with the attending physician.

Pinworm: Prevention

Pinworm prevention involves a number of hygiene measures, including regular hand washing, especially after going to the toilet and before going to the table. Underwear should be changed daily. Avoid sharing towels among family members. Trimming your child’s fingernails is another good way to prevent self-infection.

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