How To Protect Your Kids From A Pinworm Infection
The CDC says this parasite can affect up to 50 percent of school-aged kids.
If you’ve never heard of pinworms, consider yourself lucky. This common parasite affects up to 50 percent of school-aged children, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and are the most common type of intestinal worm infection. Pinworm infections cause itchiness and are extremely easy to get, but tricky to treat. Here’s what you need to know to protect your family.
What Are They?
Pinworms are small, white worms that are usually less than a half-inch long. Pinworm eggs are inhaled or ingested from an infected surface, then they settle in our intestines. Once the eggs hatch, female pinworms make their way out of our bodies and settle in the skin around the anus to lay eggs.
Symptoms of pinworms can either be nonexistent or truly unpleasant. Some sufferers experience itching in their anus or vagina, as a result of the eggs. Severe cases can cause loss of appetite, urinary tract infections and even appendicitis.
How Are They Spread And How Can You Prevent Getting Sick?
First, like almost all diseases, the best way to protect yourself from getting sick in the first place is through vigorous hand-washing (here’s the best way to wash your hands).