Is an intestinal infection caused by tiny parasitic worms. One of the most common roundworm infections, pinworm infections affect particularly school kids. Pinworm infection (“oxyuriasis”) can be transmitted among children and adults.
How Pinworm Infections Spread
People become infected by unknowingly ingesting microscopic pinworm eggs that can be found on contaminated hands and surfaces, such as: bed linens, towels, clothing (especially underwear and pajamas), toilets.
When someone scratches the itchy area, microscopic pinworm eggs are transferred to their fingers.
Signs and Symptoms
Often someone can have a pinworm infection without having any symptoms. When symptoms are present, the most common one is itching around the anus and restless sleep. The itching is usually worse at night, and is caused by worms migrating to the area around the anus to lay their eggs. Abdominal pain and nausea are less common symptoms but can occur if there is a high population of pinworms in the intestines.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If your child has a pinworm infection, the doctor may prescribe an antiworm medication that is given in one dose and repeated in 2 week intervals. The doctor may decide to treat the entire family, especially if it is a recurrent infection.
When to Call the Doctor
Call the doctor if your child complains of an itchiness, or he or she always seems to be scratching the anal or vaginal area.
Remind kids to wash their hands often, especially after using the toilet, after playing outside, and before eating.
Keep kids’ fingernails short and clean.
Tell kids not to scratch around their bottom or bite their nails.
Wash your kids’ pajamas every few days.
Remember that pinworms are quite common among kids and usually aren’t dangerous. By taking a short course of medication and following some prevention tips, you’ll get rid of the worms easily.