Pinworms develop as a result of an unhygienic habit of not washing hands before having food. They are small worms that resemble small thread pieces and cause itching in the anus area. Pinworms infect humans only and reside in the intestines. Every school-going kid encounters this problem at one time or the other. They can touch another kid infected with a pinworm or an object having the eggs of the pinworm.
The eggs of the pinworm get on the fingernails and that is why it is a good idea to wash your hands regularly. If the food is eaten without washing hands, these eggs go inside the body, by the digestive system. In the small intestine, the eggs hatch, and the pinworms move towards the large intestine. There, they cling onto the walls of the intestine and stay there for a few weeks to mature. After that, the female pinworms go towards the large intestine’s end to lay eggs near the anus region. Usually, the eggs are laid at night and that is the time when the area itches. It takes one to two months time period after the consumption of the eggs, for the maturing of the pinworms who lay new eggs. The eggs get hatched on the anus’s skin and the baby pinworms will crawl inside the body in order to grow.
Pinworm eggs are found anywhere like on the kitchen counter, school desk, or bed. They are also found on utensils, clothes, and towels. When outside the human body, the eggs can live up to two weeks. Within that time period when they are touched, there is a chance to enter the human body and flourish. Pinworms are contagious and can spread from one human to another. Also, they can spread by air as the eggs are lightweight and the wind can blow them and they can be breathed in or swallowed by anyone. The child can intake more eggs when he scratches his bottom and doesn’t wash his/her hands immediately.
- Children infected with pinworms can see worms in their stools after they pass and even on their underwear. The worms look like small white threads. But the eggs aren’t visible to the naked eyes. If the child observes these symptoms he/she should inform the adults about the condition. The itching caused by pinworms can be so bad that it can wake the child in the middle of the night and make him/her squirm. The doctors usually prescribe some medicine to kill the pinworms. The doctors also take samples from underneath the fingernail and the anus to check for eggs. The medicine will take about two weeks to get rid of the worms completely. If the itching is very irritating and wakes the child in the middle of the night, a cream is prescribed by the doctor. Sometimes other members of the house will also be asked to take the same medicine as a precautionary measure. The parents should wash all the clothes, towels, and sheets used by the pinworm-infected child.
The best way to deal with pinworms is to take precautionary steps in the first place. The child must cultivate a habit of washing hands before eating food, after using the bathroom, and after playing outdoors. The fingernails should also be clipped regularly to not to allow eggs to be deposited there. The eggs also hang onto clothes, so it is a good habit to change underwear daily. And other clothes should be washed after every few days.