Pinworms can develop when good hygiene habits are not used. This is why it's important to teach children to wash their hands after going to the bathroom and before eating as well. |
A pinworm is a small worm that looks much like a small thread piece and will cause itching around the anus. They only infect humans and live in the intestines. Children can get pinworms by touching another infected child or an object that may have pinworm eggs on it.
Pinworms are easy to get. Pinworms are usually spread from child to child, as the eggs can be picked up on children's fingers when they are playing. Eggs can stay or your child's skin for several hours. They can survive for up to 3 weeks on clothes, bedding and toys. If the eggs are on your child's hands or toys and your child puts their fingers or toys in their mouth, the tiny eggs can enter their bodies. The eggs stay in the upper part of the intestine until they hatch. After they hatch, the worms move down the length of the intestine, and then out the anus where they lay more eggs.
The pinworm eggs can get on your child’s fingernails, which is why it's important to instill good hygiene habits in your child such as washing their hands regularly. If the pinworm eggs are on a child’s hand and they then eat something without washing their hands, the pinworms will get inside the digestive track. Once in the small intestines the eggs will hatch and then the pinworms will move to the large intestine.
Once in the large intestine they will cling to the intestine walls for a few weeks so they can mature. Next the female pinworms move to the large intestine's end so they can lay their eggs near the anus area. They usually do this at night, and that's when the area will itch. It normally takes about 1-2 months after the eggs were consumed for the process to take place. The eggs will hatch on the anus skin and then baby pinworms will crawl inside your body so they can grow.
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You may be surprised to know that pinworm eggs can be found anywhere such as the bed, school desk or kitchen counter. They can also be found on clothing, towels or utensils. Pinworms can live outside the body for as much as 2 weeks so if areas infected are not cleaned they can be passed on humans. Pinworms are contagious; therefore they can be passed on from one person to another. They can also be spread in the air by the wind and could be inhaled or swallowed without knowing it. If an infected child scratches their anus area and don't wash their hands immediately, they can infect themselves even more.
A child infected with pinworms can see them in their stools or even on their underwear. These pinworms look like small white threads but the eggs cannot be seen by the naked eye. If your child is found to have pinworms the doctor will likely prescribe some medicine to clear it up. It will take about 2 weeks for the medicine to get rid of the pinworms. Other members of the household may need to be treated as well as a precaution. You should then also wash all the infected child’s clothes, bedding, or towels.
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