Pinworms

Have you found what looks like white threads in your child’s poop? It could be pinworms. Eeewwww, you say? Actually, they’re fairly common (pinworm infection is the most common type of intestinal worm infection in the United States) and nothing to be embarrassed by, but they do need to be treated.

People who have pinworms are not dirty — kids can get pinworms no matter how often they take a bath or play in the mud. A pinworm infection happens when you accidentally swallow microscopic pinworm eggs. These eggs can be carried to your mouth by contaminated food or drink, or your fingers (they’re often trapped under the finger nails). Once swallowed, the eggs hatch in the intestines and grow into adult worms within a few weeks.

Pinworms live in the lower intestine but come out at night through the anus to lay eggs on nearby skin. They can cause itching, which can be annoying enough to wake a child at night. Your child’s health care provider can diagnose pinworms by finding them in the diaper or underwear or finding the eggs. Using sticky tape around the anus, the doc can remove a sample then look at it through a microscope to see pinworm eggs. Once found, there is a simple and effective way to get rid of them through medication.
 
Pinworms spread easily. People can spread the eggs to others directly through hand contact, or through contaminated clothing, bedding, food, or other articles. And the eggs can live on household surfaces for up to 2 weeks. If one person in a family is found to have pinworms, it’s best to treat the whole family.

The most effective way to keep from getting pinworms is to tell everyone to wash your hands often with warm, soapy water before you eat, after you play outside, and after you use the toilet or change diapers. Try to keep your fingernails short and clean, and don’t scratch around your bottom or bite your nails.

Here’s a link to more information.

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4 Responses to “Pinworms”

  1. Crystal Says:

    I’m crystal I 14 and think I have pinworms Im not sure what to do but my little sister had it before I think but now my but is very itchy continuously and I don’t know what to do or how to tell my mom.

  2. Lindsay Says:

    Pinworms a common, Crystal, and nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by. If your sister had them, your mom already knows all about them. Tell her you think you may have them now and have the doctor check it out. If it is pinworms, there is an easy way to treat them and you’ll feel much better when they are gone.

  3. kristi Says:

    My sister lives a couple hours away from me and she and her kids came down for Thanks Giving dinner. Our kids all played outside together but not a lot of touching took place and also because mine was with me for the most part. But today my mom said my sister called and said her son had pinworms….what are the odds that my son could have got them. I have seen nothing to suggest he has but I’m one of those ohhhh noooo did he get them and want to treat just in case lol… how long should I be on the look out for them. I assume today was the 1st day my sister noticed hers had it.

  4. Sara Says:

    Hi Kristi–talk to your son’s pediatrician. He or she will be better able to advise you regarding what to look for or if you should start treatment.

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