Worms in Kids

Hookworm and roundworm are rare in Australia, but threadworm (also known as pinworm) is common and often found in children. Threadworms live and breed in the digestive system, but don’t cause any serious medical problems. They are passed on by infected children transferring eggs from their bottom or from solied nightclothes to their fingers, then from fingers to mouth.

Your child may be irritable or restless.

Signs and symptoms

  • An itchy bottom, especially at night.
  • Your child may be irritable or restless.
  • Poor appetite.
  • Worms are sometimes visible in bowel motions if the infestation is heavy.
  • They are sometimes visible while your child is asleep, as they may emerge to hatch their eggs. Examine your child’s bottom with a torch.
Young father playing with his daughter inside with toys

Treating worms

If you suspect worms, an easy one-dose oral treatment is available from your pharmacist. Treat the whole family to avoid re-infection, following the instructions on the packet carefully.

Preventing spread of worms at home

  • Wash beding and sleepwear in hot water to kill any worm eggs
  • Remind your child to wash their hands carefully after going to the toilet and before eating

Related articles