PINWORMS(Enterobiasis; Seatworm; Threadworm; Oxyuriasis)
(Enterobiasis; Seatworm; Threadworm; Oxyuriasis)
DESCRIPTIONPinworms are intestinal parasites. Pinworm infestations are a common occurrence in children. They are more a nuisance than a major health problem. The cecum (the pouchlike beginning of the large intestine on the right side to which the appendix is attached), large intestine, anus, and skin around the anus are involved. Pinworms can affect both sexes, all ages, but is most common in children of elementary school age.
Appropriate health care includes:
Home care after diagnosis.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSSkin irritation and painful itching around your child's anus.
Vaginal discharge, itching, and discomfort if pinworms migrate into the vaginal opening.
Poor appetite and stomach pain (sometimes).
CAUSESInfestation of the cecum by a very small worm (oxyuria) that measures only 10mm in its adult form.
Pinworms travel from the cecum to the rectum to lay eggs around the anus and buttocks. The tiny eggs are picked up on the fingers by scratching.
Eggs are transferred to others on toilet seats or by hand-to-hand or hand-to-mouth contact. They also drift in the air, where they are inhaled or swallowed.
Eggs hatch in the small intestine. The larvae travel to the cecum, where they mature, mate and repeat the cycle.
Groups of children, as in schools or large families; poor personal hygiene; dishwashing water that is not hot enough to kill eggs.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
Teach your child to wash hands carefully after using the toilet and before meals.
Keep the child's nails short and clean.
Urge the child to wash the anus and genitals at least once a day, rinsing well, preferably under a shower.
Have your child wear snug cotton underpants day and night, and change them daily.
Encourage the child not to scratch the anus or put fingers near the nose or mouth.
Use very hot water to wash dishes.
MEDICAL TESTSYour own observation of symptoms; medical history and physical exam by a doctor; microscopic study of the worms or eggs.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSNo serious complications expected.
PROBABLE OUTCOMEUsually curable in one treatment--two treatments at the most. Treatment should include all family members at once. Recurrence is common.
If worms reappear soon after treatment, they usually represent a new infection--not treatment failure.
HOME CAREThe following should be done on the day the family is treated with medicine:
Clean the house with extra care. Wash the sheets and clothing with extra bleach or ammonia, or boil them.
Scrub washable toys. Sterilize metal toys and similar objects in a hot oven.
Cut and clean your fingernails and your child's.
Scrub toilet bowls.
Take extra-long showers.
About 2 weeks after treatment, your doctor will probably check your child to be sure all parasites have been destroyed.
Your doctor may prescribe anti-worm medicine. Follow directions carefully. Give your child the medicine on an empty stomach. The medicine may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is not absorbed by the stomach or intestines, so the bowel movement following treatment will probably be the color of the medicine.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of pinworms.
Pinworms reappear after treatment.
You think medicine is causing side effects that don't disappear quickly.