Spring worm is a common but harmless intestinal parasite. The most obvious symptom is that it itches in the buttocks, especially at night and at night. The treatment consists of medicines and being careful with hygiene. Spring worms are most common in children, but even adults can have spring worms.
Symptoms of spring worm
Spring worm does not have to give any symptoms if it is a mild infection. It allows you to have a running mask without noticing it. The most common symptoms of running mask in adults and children are otherwise those described below.
It itches intensely in the rectum
It usually itches most in the evening and night. This can make it difficult for children to fall asleep or sleep poorly. It often turns a little red at the rectum opening of the tapeworm.
That it scratches around the rectum opening is due to the running mask laying its eggs just outside the rectum opening. The mask is most active late at night and at night when the child is in bed warmth.
Younger children can show that itching by kicking violently with their legs or sliding around on the buttocks.
It is uncommon to get stomach upset by the tapeworm.
The worms are thin and white
You can see the tapeworms in the rectum and sometimes in the poop. The worms are white, thin as sewing threads and are about half to an inch long. In the baby, you can see the worms by looking around the baby’s rectum. Sometimes you can see the eggs as small white dots, about a millimeter in size.
It is easiest to see the worms late at night, a few hours after the baby has fallen asleep.
Spring mask can irritate the skin in the wear opening
Spring worms can also cause it to itch in the slide opening. The mucosa in the vagina will then become red, irritated and swollen.
How does infectious worm infect?
The worms are spread by getting the eggworm’s eggs through the mouth. The eggs develop into larvae in the stomach and then to adult worms in the gastrointestinal tract. The adult worms reach the rectum where they lay new eggs just outside the rectum.
The eggs can then be spread through fingers, surfaces, toys, underwear, and bedding. This means that you can get the infection back quickly, even if you have been treated with anti-worm drugs. Children can infect themselves with the eggs of their own worms if they put their fingers in their mouths after scratching their buttocks.
The eggs can survive at least a few weeks outside the body.
Frog worms cannot live in animals, but the eggs can be found in animal fur and spread that way.
Spring worms are naturally found in our environment. They are often found in dust and in fabrics, for example in bed and on a sofa.
Treatment of spring worm
Spring worm is treated with the non-prescription drug Vanquin which contains the active substance pyrvin. Vanquin is only available as tablets for adults and children weighing more than 10 kg. Further down in the text you can read what you can do if the drug is not available at a pharmacy.
Spring worm can also be treated with a prescription drug called Vermox which contains the active substance mebendazole. The drug is also available in liquid form and can be good for children who have difficulty swallowing tablets. Children need to be over two years to get Vermox. Sometimes children under the age of two can get the drug, but only if a doctor considers it necessary.
Treat everyone who lives together
It is quite common for many who live together to have a running mask, although not everyone has a problem. It is therefore good to treat everyone living together and weighing more than 10 kg or over two years at the same time. Also, treat everyone at the same time if you get any back problems.
Do not start treatment of spring worm with medication without really seeing worms, as itching of the rectum may have other causes. It is enough to have seen worms in a person to treat everyone living together.
Can crush the tablets
Sometimes it may be difficult to swallow whole tablets. Here are suggestions on what you can do then:
- Crush the tablets in a mortar and mix with file, yogurt or porridge.
- Dissolve the tablets well in a little water and use a dosing syringe to give the child the medicine.
Don’t chew Vanquin. The drug contains a red dye that can discolor teeth.
It takes a few days before the worms and larvae are gone
It takes about one to one and a half days for Vanquin to pass the gastrointestinal tract and the pouch then turns red. Time can vary between different people.
Once the pouch has regained its usual color, the entire dose has passed through the gastrointestinal tract. It usually takes a few days. Then the worms and larvae are gone, but not the eggs.
Treatment with Vermox works in a similar way, but the pouch does not stain red.
Repeat treatment after two weeks
Since neither Vanquin nor Vermox affect the eggs, you need to take the medicine again, after two weeks.
What can I do for myself?
It is important to be careful about the hygiene of the child or you have a running mask, to reduce the spread of the eggs. This is especially true if you cannot be treated with medicines for different reasons.
The following advice applies to both adults and children:
- Wash your hands thoroughly after toilet visits and before eating. Use liquid soap and have your own towel.
- Wash your hands in the morning just after waking up. Then eggs that may have stuck under the nails disappear if you have been scratching at the rectum opening in your sleep.
- Have short cut nails.
- Wash the buttocks and skin around the rectum every day. Wash with soap.
- Sleep in pajamas or tight pants.
- Change lingerie and pajamas every day.
- Change bedding frequently.
- Wash your pajamas, lingerie, and bedding as soon as possible, preferably the same day they change.
- Vacuum or vacuum dry your bathroom and bedroom, preferably every day.
- Clean the toilet and the sink, preferably every day.
- Rinse toy animals several times in water, if needed.
Wash pets if there are, as the eggs may be in the animal’s fur.
Can the child go to preschool or school?
A child with a running mask does not need to be home from pre-school or school, whether the child has been given medication or not. But many municipalities have their own routines and guidelines for what applies to their preschools and schools. Some preschools also have local guidelines. If you are wondering, ask the staff of the preschool or school.
It may be good to tell the preschool staff that the child has a running mask. Then they and other parents can pay attention to symptoms of spring worm.
Be extra careful with the hygiene during the two weeks that the child is treated and goes to preschool or school. Here are some things to do:
- Cut the nails on the baby.
- Make sure the child is thoroughly washing their hands when they come home from preschool or school.
- Have the child change clothes when they get home. Wash your child’s clothes as soon as possible.
When and where should I seek care?
Contact a health care provider if any of the following is true:
- The trouble does not disappear even though you have been treated with a non-prescription drug twice every two weeks.
- It is difficult for the child to take the non-prescription drug.
- The child with running mask and symptoms weighs less than 10 kg.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- The non-prescription drug is not available at the pharmacy.
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Children should also be involved in their care
There is no age limit when a child is allowed to participate in a care situation. The child’s right to decide for himself is related to the child’s maturity. The older the child, the more important it is for them to be involved in their care.
In order to be active in health care and to make decisions, it is important that you understand the information you receive from health care personnel. Ask questions if you don’t understand. You can also ask to have the information printed to read it peacefully.
If interpretation is needed in other languages, you may have the right to have it. You may also have the right to receive interpreting assistance in the event of hearing loss.