Threadworms (pinworms) are tiny worms in your poo. They're common in children and spread easily. You can treat them without seeing your GP.
You can spot worms in your poo. They look like pieces of white thread.
See what threadworms look like in poo
You might also see them around your child's bottom (anus). The worms usually come out at night while your child is sleeping.
You can buy medicine for threadworms from pharmacies. This is usually a chewable tablet or liquid you swallow.
Treat everyone in your household, even if they don't have symptoms.
Tell the pharmacist if you need to treat a child under 2, or if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Treatment might not be suitable and you may need to speak to a GP.
Medicine kills the threadworms, but it doesn't kill the eggs. Eggs can live for up to 2 weeks outside the body.
There are things you can do to stop becoming infected again.
You don't need to stay off school, nursery or work with threadworms.
Threadworms spread when their eggs are swallowed. They lay eggs around your anus, which make it itchy. The eggs get stuck on your fingers when you scratch. They can then pass on to anything you touch, including:
Eggs can then pass to other people when they touch these surfaces and touch their mouth. They take around 2 weeks to hatch.
Children can get worms again after they've been treated for them if they get the eggs in their mouth. This is why it's important to encourage children to wash their hands regularly.