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Pinworms are a type of parasite. They live in the lower digestive system of humans. They survive on nutrients from the food we eat.
People are most likely to get pinworms if they swallow their eggs. This can happen if a person with pinworms scratches around the anus. Then the person gets eggs on his or her hands or under the fingernails. You can then get pinworms if you touch that person or if you touch something he or she touched.
Some people feel embarrassed about having "worms." But pinworm infections can happen to anyone and are common in children. They don't mean that your child isn't clean.
It's easy to treat a pinworm infection. If more than one person in your home gets pinworms, or if your child's infection keeps coming back, make sure to treat everyone in your home.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: August 21, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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