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Digestive health centre

Preventing threadworms

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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Threadworms can be prevented by ensuring that you always maintain high standards of hygiene (see the treatment section).

In particular, children should be taught to wash their hands regularly, particularly after going to the toilet and before meals. You should also ensure that your kitchen and bathroom surfaces are regularly cleaned.

Encouraging children not to scratch the affected area around their anus will help to prevent re-infection. It will also help avoid any secondary infections from occurring as a result of the scratching.

As the itching frequently occurs at night, it may be possible to scratch the area while asleep without realising. This is why you should always wash your hands in the morning, and ideally have a shower or bath.

Should my child still go to school?

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) advises that children should still go to school if they have a threadworm infection. Schools and nurseries should have advice to follow regarding good hygiene practices. This will help limit the spread of infection and will include measures such as:

  • cleaning toys and equipment,
  • encouraging children to wash their hands regularly, and
  • using dedicated laundry facilities.
     

Glossary

  • Anus: The anus is the opening at the end of the digestive system where solid waste leaves the body.
Medical Review: November 11, 2009

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