Mrs Matt has always complained about her 6 year old’s inability to gain weight, increased potty trips and restlessness. Also, recently she has noticed that he is always itching his anal region (anus) especially at night. She then consulted her friend, a pediatrician who suspected that she might be dealing with a kind of worm – PINWORM.
WHAT ARE PINWORMS?
Pinworms are small, worm- like parasites, that live in the rectum of infected persons. They can be seen with the naked eye, the females are about 8-13mm long with the males about 2.5mm.
HOW DOES ONE GET PINWORMS?
Pinworms get into us through the consumption of food that has been infected with eggs which are shed via the anus of an infected person.
**First, they lay their eggs around the anus
**These eggs are transferred to the fingers as your child scratches her anus.
**Hands are not washed, therefore these tiny eggs also get deposited onto surfaces such as bedding, towels, etc.
**The next person picks up these eggs by way of contact and in turn deposits onto food and ingest them.
It sounds very nasty, doesn’t it?
HOW DO I KNOW MY CHILD HAS PINWORMS?
Like thieves in the night, these monsters lay their eggs around the anus while everyone else sleeps!
No wonder your little one keeps scratching his bum especially at night.
And just by spreading their buttcheeks and looking into their anus with a good light source,
Viola! You might be catching the culprit red handed.
Other Signs and Symptoms include:
. Significant malabsorption of food
. Weight loss
. Abdominal pain
. Anemia in severe cases.
1. The importance of hand-washing cannot be over emphasized as washing the hands under running water and with soap would help dislodge any pinworm egg hiding beneath the fingernails.
2. Keep your child’s fingernails trimmed and discourage biting of nails.
3. Change children’s underwear occasionally or more frequently.
Although majority of Pinworm infestations manifest in less severe forms. Nipping it in the bud as soon as it rears its head would go a long way in preventing complications.
Over the counter oral medications have proven to be effective in treatment of Pinworms, and every of your child should be treated at the same time.
However, a confirmation of diagnosis by a licensed health care practitioner is advised.
So, would you leave these Thieves any Chance?
Brenda Chinwe Orie is a Nigerian Registered Nurse and Midwife.
She holds a degree in Nursing Sciences which she obtained from the Prestigious Abia State University with flying colors in 2013.
She uses her storytelling and creativity skills on her #NurseB community on Facebook where she teaches health behaviors using relatable Bedside experiences.
She had championed health courses such as #TheNurseBhealthybaby contest (An annual online contest for babies), #NurseBHomecarekit (A mini first aid kit for homes); the latest in her stables, #TheNurseBpregnancyjournal (A memoir for documentation on pregnancy).
She lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.