Pinworms are parasites found inside the colon of a human. Generally these are found in children especially between the age of 5 to 10 years. Any individual can be affected by this but children are more prone to this ailment. An itchy rectal area is the most common symptom of pinworms. A severe itching occur mostly at night because the female worms are very active at night to crawl out of the anus to deposit their eggs. This may be bit annoying but does not pose any serious health problem.
Pinworms may spread the infection, which are deposited around the anus. A female worm can roughly produce ten thousand eggs in her life. These may be lodged under the fingernails on scratching the perianal area and spread to any thing that is touched by the concerned children. Even the infected toys, bedding, clothing and dust can spread the eggs. Newly ingested eggs can hatch and mature into adult worms and newly pregnant worm may migrate from this area to the rectum for eggs.
Pinworms symptoms in children
1. An itching around the anus, which may become worse at night on getting the female worm depositing her eggs. It causes problem during sleep of infected child. An intense itching causes inflammation on the skin.
2. Usually abdominal pain, bloody bowel movements, fevers and poor appetite are not caused by it. Consulting the doctor in case of such sign is advisable.
3. Sometimes these worms migrate into vagina or urinary tract to cause irritation and intense itching. This is very rare.
Pinworms Treatment at home
To get rid of pinworms in children at home, over the counter medicines are available. A single tablet named Albenza or Vermox can be taken to kill worms and is available in different strengths for the adults and children for the younger than two years of age. If you consult a doctor, he may recommend medicine for every member of the house to treat them all at the same time. The second tablet should be taken after the gap of two weeks because the eggs can survive for few weeks. As a home remedy, tap water enema is also advised to help flush out the pinworms to reduce symptoms.
Prevention at home
- Wash hands before and after taking meals or after using toilets to prevent the infection to spread.
- Scratching of the anal area should be avoided.
- Fingernails of child must be trimmed regularly and clean. Biting of fingernails of child should be restricted.
- Undergarments of the child must be changed daily and bedding should be washed regularly.
- Lingering eggs can be destroyed by washing all bedding, clothing and toys for every three to seven days for three weeks.
- Treatment should be applied on all the children at same time.
- Anal area of children must be washed daily with soap and warm water particularly in the morning.
- Children are taught not to touch their mouth after scratching the anal area.
- Children are advised to put on pajamas to prevent scratching at night.
- Toilet must be properly cleaned daily and every member of house should use separate towel.