Common kids’ conditions – worms

stock sl two boys washing hands sink

Worms are a very common condition in small children, and they tend to make them very irritable and grumpy, particularly at bedtime. They can be tricky to diagnose, but the good news is that treatment is quick and easy.

We’ve teamed up with Children’s Panadol to provide you with lots of quick and helpful information covering many aspects of children’s health and development. We hope you’ll find them a great resource as you take care of your family every day.

How do children catch worms?

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 soiled nightclothes to their fingers, then from fingers to mouth.

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.
  • Worms are sometimes visible while your child is asleep, as they may emerge to hatch their eggs. Examine your child’s bottom with a torch.


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. It’s also a good idea to wash bedding and sleepwear in hot water to kill any worm eggs. The best way to prevent infestation is by reminding your child to wash their hands carefully after going to the toilet and before eating.

This is an excerpt from The First Five Years, which is a handy and easy to navigate book, specifically developed to help parents. It contains a comprehensive collection of practical parenting information and useful tips for your child’s first five years. If you’ve ever wanted a quick guide to refer to in the middle of the night, or to help you decide when it’s time to see a doctor, this is a resource which will help you on your way. You can view it online or download it for free at The First Five Years.

(This is a sponsored post for Children’s Panadol)

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