Pinworms are small, white worms that can live in a child’s intestines and be easily transmitted to others.
Pinworms are small, white worms with the technical name Enterobius vermicularis. Pinworms live in the colon and rectum. The female pinworms exit the body through the anus while a child is sleeping in order to lay eggs on surrounding skin.
Children are more likely to have pinworm infections; however, any human can get pinworms. Pinworms are highly contagious and can live on furniture, bedding, towels, toilets and other objects for two to three weeks, and then be transmitted to another person.
Your child may get a pinworm infection from touching furniture, clothing, bedding or other objects that contain pinworm eggs. Pinworms may also be contracted when a child does not wash their hands after using the bathroom. Pinworm eggs can also be swallowed while breathing contaminated air.
Children and their caregivers have the highest risk of getting a pinworm infection. This is primarily because children may not wash hands as frequently, or they may be in a school or daycare setting where they can easily contract pinworm from another person or object.
Pinworm infections are common in all parts of the world and can affect any human.
Some children have no symptoms of a pinworm infection. However, many children have itching around the anus, difficulty sleeping and restlessness caused by the female pinworm exiting the anus to lay her eggs.