Health News

Creepy, crawly back-to-school infections

Classes are back in session and parents know it’s only a matter of time before our kids start bringing home something you’ll hate more than homework.  Pinworms!  It really happens.  

Centra Care doctors want parents to be aware.  

These wiggly culprits are thin and white, and can measure in at about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. Pinworms don’t reflect on a family’s hygiene. They can infest any household – even actress Kristen Bell’s family went through a bout of pinworms. 


So how do they spread?

Pinworms are most common in school-age children. Microscopic pinworm eggs can harbor in food, drinks, and particularly fingers. Once ingested – eggs hatch, mature, and make their way to the anal area. From there, female pinworms lay their eggs.

Prevention tips

Keep nails short: And because eggs tend to collect in nails, remind kids (and yourself) to keep hands out of their mouths. 
Wash hands often: This will help keep away most other back-to-school infections as well.
Regularly clean linens: Pinworm eggs can cling to surfaces for as long as two weeks. 
Opt for morning showers: Since pinworms lay eggs at night. A nice warm morning shower can be your chance to wash them away. 

Signs of pinworms

Even with preventative measures in place, parents should monitor little ones for symptoms. The most obvious sign is intense scratching of the anal area. From there, parents should look at a little one’s stool to see if worms are present. If that’s confirmed, see a doctor, who can diagnose the condition and prescribe antiparasitic medication. Because pinworms are highly contagious, it may be recommended that the entire family be treated for the infection.