I thought worms were just worms…

combantrinI remember, almost religiously, when we were young, Mum would bring home the dreaded packet of Combantrin and we would all have to drink that horrible liquid to be wormed. I am sure Mum thought that we were always infested. We grew up on a farm with lots of animals but still. I also know she would check at night to see if we had worms… how disgusting. I don’t remember ever having worms but the threat was enough.

Now I am a mum, I also worm my kids often. They are pretty lucky as they have the chocolate worming tablets that don’t taste too bad. I do snigger when my husband has to eat 7 of them to match his weight and complains more that the kids. A friend did tell me recently that there are adult worming tablets that would be more friendly for my husband but I still didn’t get them.

When the kids were 5, 3 and 1, we moved to America for a couple of years. I took our medicines in the move and there was some worm tablets in the mix. There was enough to do the whole family so I administered the required dose and didn’t think much more of it.

My daughter was waking up at night and pretty restless going to sleep. I checked all the signs. Temperature? Toilet? Drink? No. Last resort – Worms? I had just wormed them. But apparently on the East Coast of America, they have different worms! They have pin worms and these pin worms are not receptive to Combantrin. Of course they are not – only in America. In Australia, we have thread worms, round worms and hook worms and pin worms are similar to thread worms but not quite the same. Who would have thought?!

Z1800225-Threadworms_342x198So, I go to the chemist and ask for worm treatment. I had to spell W O R M in American and it took all sorts of trouble to explain what I wanted in Australian and not American. Up until that month, you had to go to the doctor and get a script for PinX. While we freely sell them in every chemist around Australia, you had to go to the doctor and pay a small fortune to get worm mixture. Luckily, they were now on the shelf. I had to go to 3 pharmacies at 10pm at night to find PinX. Much to my husband’s disgust, this stuff tasted really bad. No chocolate flavouring here. It almost burnt your lips. He had to practically drink half a cup and it was horrid.

Good to know – worms sorted – peace again reigned in our worm free house. Worse than nits, I completely went frantic on washing, cleaning and deworming everything in sight (and not in sight).

I can’t quite believe I am writing about worms, but every time I bring it up in a group of mums, everyone has a story or idea. So go for it. Have your kids ever had worms? How often do you worm your kids and what do you use?

2 Responses to I thought worms were just worms…

  1. Anna, we had worms continuously for over 6 months at one stage. Unbelievable, but true. The problem? My kids were in day care 3 days a week, and were clearly being reinfected. I spoke to day care on numerous occasions, asking them to notify all the parents that we had had a case of worms. But they wouldn’t.

    In the end, we had to escalate the issue to the CEO of the (not for profit) organisation. Finally, they put a note out.

    I insisted that they tell people the symptoms, because it’s amazing how many people say “oh, we don’t have worms” and then when I’d start explaining the symptoms (particularly trouble sleeping, and kids wetting the bed), they’d say “oh. Maybe we DO have worms”.

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