No one ever wants to think about worms, right? They’re nasty parasites that feed off our bodies and don’t go away unless you actively get rid of them. As the new year has started, it is important to know the facts and make deworming a necessity for all children attending school.
Worms are, unfortunately, a very common and normal issue for children and adults alike. It is our responsibility to ensure that our children are free of this parasite. Worms are everywhere and contaminate public areas such as schools and playgrounds. They affect more than a billion people worldwide.
How often should we deworm?
From the age of two years old, children and adults should be dewormed once every 6 months. It would be ideal to do it as a family and to have a set date to do so twice a year. The consequences of not deworming often lead to uncomfortable instances of stomach pain and vomiting.
Repeat treatments are done twice a year because it is only the adult worm that gets killed off by medication while unfortunately; the eggs stay on in the system.
Make sure to deworm your pets as well. Not only are worms uncomfortable for our live-in animals, but they can be passed on to humans too. Regular deworming of cats and dogs should be done in 3 – 6 month intervals.
Why is it important to deworm your children?
•Good health increases school attendance and increased educational enrichment. Children that suffer from chronic worm infestations suffer as they miss school on days when they feel ill. Absenteeism easily becomes an issue when they miss out on school work and activities.
•By deworming your children, you effectively reduce the overall spread of worm infestations in the community. Treated and untreated children benefit from this, by improving the health and participation of school going children. As a result, treating school age children can reduce the total burden of disease due to intestinal worm infections by 70% in the community as a whole.
•In informal regions especially, worm infestations have been the lead reason that young children are admitted to hospitals due to abdominal emergencies in South Africa.
Deworming medication can easily be bought over the counter. Use a broad spectrum anthelmintic treatment (the worm killing agents) which not only treats but prevents the re-infection of the parasite.