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Pin Worm

Pin Worm

If you suspect that you or your child might have pinworms, you should make an appointment to see your doctor.

To help your doctor make the diagnosis, look for these signs:

  • Pinworms are big enough to be seen with the naked eye. They are yellow-white and look like a fine piece of thread. They are usually less than one-half inch long.
  • Pinworms are most active at night. The best time to see them on the anus is a few hours after bedtime. Parents sometimes try to sneak up on the worms by throwing back the child's bedcovers and shining a flashlight on a bare bottom in hopes of catching the culprits in action.
  • Pinworms can also sometimes be seen on the outside of a child's stool.

Follow-up

  • It is common to become reinvested with pinworms several months after treatment.
  • If the symptoms recur, you should call your doctor and be treated again.

Prevention

  • Practice good hygiene. Washing your hands before eating or preparing meals helps prevent spread of infection.
  • Avoid scratching the anal region.
  • Avoid biting your fingernails.
  • Keep fingernails short and clean.
  • Wash all bedding and pajamas regularly.
  • Be sure your child changes underwear daily.
  • Frequently vacuum the play area.
  • Despite these measures, it still may be quite difficult to avoid reinvesting yourself or spreading pinworms to others.

Outlook

Pinworm infections are easy to treat, and the pinworms go away.

Because the pinworm infection is so highly contagious, it is not unusual for infections to recur.

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