Most families with young children will have to deal with the problem of worms from time to time. Anyone can get them, but children seem to catch worms more often, probably from mixing with a lot of other children at school. Worms are passed on by people, not animals - meaning you can’t blame them on the cat or dog!

They’re nasty little creatures, but the good news about worms is that they’re pretty harmless. Actually, they’re probably more embarrassing than anything else because they can make the urge to scratch your bottom irresistible.

It’s also comforting to know that there are treatments that you can get to make those wriggling little creatures go away.

What do they look like?

The only type of worm that commonly infects humans in Australia is the pinworm. These worms look just like short threads of white cotton (about 5-10mm long). That’s why they’re usually called threadworm.

How do they end up inside us?

We usually get worms by unknowingly eating their eggs. Once swallowed, the egg begins its long journey through our body, usually taking 2-4 weeks to complete. The egg hatches in our intestines and slowly makes its way to the anus. If it’s female, the worm will then lay thousands of tiny invisible eggs in or just on the outside of the anus.