Our September Topic | Intestinal Worms | What Children Can Do?

Our September topic is Intestinal Worms.

Our 100 Health Messages for Children to Learn and Share are simple, reliable health education messages aimed at children aged 8-14, this includes young adolescents aged 10-14. We feel that it is especially useful and important to make sure that young adolescents are informed as this age group often cares for young children in their families. Also, it’s important to recognise and praise the work they are doing to help their families in this way.

The messages are arranged as 10 messages in 10 key health topics: Malaria, Diarrhoea, Nutrition, Coughs, Colds & Pneumonia, Intestinal Worms, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Immunisation, HIV & Aids, Accidents & Preventing Injuries and Caring for Babies & Young Children. The simple health messages are for parents and health educators to use with children at home and in schools, clubs and clinics.

Our messages on Intestinal Worms:

  1. Millions of children have worms living inside their bodies, in a part called the intestines and this is where the food we eat is used by our bodies.
  2. Different kinds of worms can live in our bodies: roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and bilharzia (schistosomiasis). There are others too!
  3. Worms can make us feel ill or weak. They can cause stomach pain, coughs, fever and sickness.
  4. Worms live inside your body so you might not know they are there but sometimes you can see worms in your poo.
  5. Worms and their eggs get into our bodies in different ways. Some get in from food or drink like unsafe water. Others get in through bare feet.
  6. Killing worms with de-worming pills is easy and cheap. It’s given by health workers every 6 or 12 months or more for some worms.
  7. Worm eggs live in pee and poo. Use latrines or get rid of pee and poo safely. Wash your hands with soap after you pee or poo and if you help someone younger so worm eggs don’t get on your hands.
  8. Stop worms getting into your body by washing hands with soap after a pee or poo and before preparing food, eating or drinking, by washing fruit and vegetables, and by wearing shoes.
  9. Some worms live in the soil so always wash your hands with soap after touching it.
  10. When watering vegetables or fruit to eat, use water that cannot have human pee or poo in it.

These health messages have been reviewed by expert health educators and medical experts and are available on the Health ORB website too.

What can children Make, Do & Ask to better understand this topic?

Here are some ideas for activities children can do to understand more about our September topic and share the messages with others.

  • MAKE our own Intestinal Worms messages using our own words in our own language!
  • MEMORISE the messages so we never forget them!
  • SHARE the messages with other children and our families
  • USE ‘vote with your feet’ to take our quiz and find out how much you know about worms.
  • LISTEN to a story about worms so we can understand how we can stop worms spreading by washing our hands and remembering to wear our shoes.
  • FIND out how food is prepared in our school and how our cook keeps food safe and free from worms.
  • ALWAYS use the toilet or latrine to stop worm eggs spreading from poo that gets into the soil and water.
  • WASHING our hands properly needs soap and water and clean cloths.
  • DO a survey to find out what people in our family know about worms.
  • MAKE up a play about Wicked Worms and how children stop Wicked Worms stealing their family’s food!
  • MAKE posters to show how to keep food safe and free from worms by washing it before eating raw vegetables, cooking meat properly and preparing food.
  • FIND out how to make a Tippy Tap and make a Hand Washing Station for our family, class or group.
  • MAKE a song about how to stop worms spreading or about hand washing to remind us when and how to wash our hands.
  • MAKE a poster to remind us to wash vegetables and fruit before we eat them or prepare them.
  • MAKE a role-play or puppet show about how we can stop worms spreading.
  • CREATE and PLAY a fill in the blanks word game to test our knowledge about worms or CREATE and TAKE a quiz to find out if we know when to wash our hands before doing something and when to wash our hands after doing something. Use the questions below to help.
  • ASK how does the food we eat get used by our bodies? How long is our large intestine? How do worms take our food? How long can a tape worm grow? How many types of worm do you know? What kind of worms are most common where you live? What are the signs you could have worms? Where can you get de-worming medicine and who needs to take it? How many eggs can a worm make every day? Worms may take other nutrients like Vitamin A from our bodies as well as food – can you find out what we need Vitamin A for? Worm babies are called larvae. Which worm larvae get into our bodies through our skin? How does using the toilet or latrine and getting rid of our poo safely help to stop worms spreading? Does our school have de-worming days? When are they? Why does everyone get de-worming tablets on the same day? How many children in the world have worms? Why is it important we stop worms spreading? About our digestive system – how does it work and what do worms do to stop it working? How small is a worm egg? What is the smallest thing you know? How can we tell if water is clean or dirty? What do plants need to grow? How can we make fertilizer that is safe to feed to plants?

For more specific information on stopping worms spreading, cooking foods safely,
making a Tippy Tap or to learn more about our September topic, see Intestinal Worms!
For anything else, e-mail clare@childrenforhealth.org