How do I tell if my child has worms?

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How do I tell if my child has worms?

Enterobiasis, commonly known as 'having threadworms', is a parasitic infection that is very common in children under the age of 10. Although they don't cause too much harm, it is important to be able to recognise this condition in order to completely cure it with an anti-parasitic drug treatment. Threadworms are white, thread-like parasites that live in the large intestine. They can be caught through inadvertently eating their microscopic eggs. These eggs can be found on the hands of people who have this infection, especially under their nails, or on any objects that the infected person has touched. To detect these parasites in children it is important to pay attention to see if your child displays any of the symptoms that we will show you in the following OneHowto article how do I tell if my child has worms.

Steps to follow:

In general, the symptoms of threadworms usually appear four weeks after having been infected. This is the time when these intestinal parasites have become adults and now start to reproduce, which take places in the entrance to the anus and the surrounding area.


The main symptoms that will tell you if your child has worms are burning, itching, stinging sensations and dermatitis around their anal area. These symptoms appear, usually overnight while your child is sleeping, as this is when the worms descend into the anus to lay their eggs. These symptoms can cause irritability and nervousness in children, resulting in restless sleep, nightmares and even sleepwalking.


Now you know the symptoms, in order to tell if your child has worms use the following guide. Wait two or three hours after your little one has fallen asleep and carefully check the area around their anus. To do so, part their buttocks with your hand and use a torch to shine some light on their rectal area and check for traces of these parasites, they are visible to the naked eye.


Threadworms can also be visible in their stool, so if your child has this parasitic infection, their faeces may have whitish threads in them.


Another symptom that appears and will tell you if your child has worms is stinging or itching in the genital area, causing irritation and inflammation due to frequent scratching. Therefore, if you see your child continually scratching or suffering from any discomfort this should act as an alarm to you to figure out what it is.


For girls, the infection can reach the vagina or urethra, causing vaginal irritation, itching and possible discomfort when urinating.


Stay alert for all these signs that tell if your child has worms and if you notice any of them, take your child to their paediatrician so they can examine them and prescribe the best treatment to cure the infection. Don't be alarmed, worms are hardly ever serious, and they are very easy to get rid of with medication.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How do I tell if my child has worms?, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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1 comment
Karen Moran
Can I treat my Childs warms at home or does he need a Doctors appointment?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Karen,

You will need to go to a doctor to both provide accurate diagnosis and prescribe the correct deworming agent. This may require lab tests.

How do I tell if my child has worms?
How do I tell if my child has worms?

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