Pinworms (aka) Threadworms are any long slender roundworms, commonly found in preschool and school aged children. They often occur in more than one family member.
Thread worms look like white threads, about 8 mm long. They live in the lower intestine, but come out of the bottom at night or in the early morning hours to lay their eggs in the area between the buttocks. This causes very annoying itching in the area especially at night.
You may be able to see the pinworms which look like pieces of white thread in your child’s poop. You may see one or several. Your child may exhibit symptoms which include:
Less common signs of pinworm include:
Pinworms can usually be treated at home with medicine available from your pharmacy. It is important that you treat everyone in the household even if they do not exhibit any symptoms of threadworms. It is very important also that any repeat dose of the medicine is taken promptly in order to prevent re-infestation.
If your child is under the age of two speak to the pharmacies who may require you to speak to your doctor. Likewise if you are pregnant or breastfeeding always speak to the pharmacist.
Threadworms spread when their eggs are swallowed; they lay eggs around the anus making it itchy; the eggs then become stuck under the finger nails when the child scratches and can then be passed on by anything they touch including:
The eggs are then pass to other people who touch these surfaces and get the eggs on their hands and then ingest the eggs through their mouth. Children can be re-infected with threadworm after they have been treated if they are exposed to the eggs again so it is very important to encourage handwashing.