Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dealing With Pinworms in Your Baby

Dealing With Pinworms in Your Baby
Worms are parasites that parents dread having in their children. Pinworms are the most common worms that affect children. They are most active during the night when they travel from the rectum and the anus. 

The result is irritation, itchiness, and vaginal discharge in girls. Nonetheless, many children do not complain of symptoms.

Eggs are the key in pinworm infections. Usually what happens is that the mature pinworm lays its egg near the buttocks. A child may transfer the eggs to his hand by scratching the area or wiping after bowel movement.

It is also possible for a child to pick up pinworm from a toilet used by infected persons, from contaminated food, or by coming in contact with the hands of infected persons or an object they have used.

“Pinworm eggs may survive outside the body for up to three days.”
Pinworm eggs may survive outside the body for up to three days.

The problem arises when the child unknowingly transfers the eggs into his mouth. The eggs stay in the small intestine until they hatch. They then move to the end of the intestine where they mature into threadlike worms a quart-at half-inch long and reproduce. The female pinworm then lays the eggs in the anus. However, this cycle can be stopped by not swallowing the eggs.


To make a diagnosis of pinworms, eggs and worms may be collected from the anal area using a special tape and be studied under a microscope. Pinworm eggs are seen by the naked eye and the best time to collect them is in the morning before the child rise.

The treatment for pinworms is an oral drug that causes adult pinworms to be “flushed” out through bowel movement. The medicine is given in a single dose and additional dose is given within another week or two. To deal with itching, anti itch ointments may be applied.

Because carriers do not always show signs of pinworm infection, it is better for other members of the household to be treated as well.

To prevent pinworm infection, teach your child to wash his hands after using the toilet and after playing with pets. Thumb-suckers are also likely to become infected. To get rid of eggs after an infection has been treated, vacuum and clean clothing, sheets, and toys.

If your child goes to a day-care center or school, request that the toys be washed frequently especially if another child has been infected.

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