28 answers

Child Has Worms...

Okay, I am really ambarrassed to even talk about this because I feel it's somehoe my fault not to mention it's disgusting. My 9 year old daughter's butt was itchy about a month ago & without getting into details we found out she had worms. The doctor gave us medication for her and it seemed to have gone away. Unfortunately she started itching again down there and sure enough they are back. My question is has anyone else out there gone through this and what did you do to prevent this? I try to make sure she keeps her hands washed and take showers/baths about every other day but apparently that's not enough. Please help because I am really getting grossed out. I don't let her know that but I definitely want this gone forever!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for ALL the responses on my issue. Every one of them was very helpful and it's nice to know that I'm not the only one. To comment on some of them, we do not have any animals which I did read wouldn't matter anyway. I am supposed to bring a specimen back to her doctor so they can look into this more but I just feel that we just never really got rid of them the first go round. I did get her a scrub brush to help with cleaning under her nails because she does like to bite them. I can just imagine all the goodies living under there! As of right now there are no signs of them but I obviously won't stop treating her until I know for sure they are gone! I actually went and purchased all new bed linen for our bed and hers as well as washed the old ones. And I have also cleaned everywhere I can think. We did all take the medicine the first time and I'm sure we'll have to do it again.

But thanks again for all your input. This is a great website for us mothers!

Featured Answers

Kristinha ~ Yup, those worms are gross, but Oh, so common. They may have come back because there were still eggs somewhere (sheets, panties, bathingsuit) or because she picked them up at the same place she got them originally (soil outside, friends' house). Lots of kids have them and parents have no clue.

The meds are over the counter, and once there is an infestation, kids need to be treated two weeks after the first treatment. Treat the whole family just to be safe.

Worms, lice, ringworm, impetigo...kids can be covered in ickiness! :-)


2 moms found this helpful

I really don't know, but do you have pets that she could be getting it from? Or does she play outside a lot in dirty dirt that may have animal feces where she's picking it up?

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Pinworms are easy to get. Pinworms are usually spread from child to child, as the eggs can be picked up on children's fingers when they are playing. Eggs can stay on your child's skin for several hours. They can survive for up to 3 weeks on clothes, bedding and toys. If the eggs are on your child's hands or toys and your child puts their fingers or toys in their mouth, the tiny eggs can enter their bodies. The eggs stay in the upper part of the intestine until they hatch. After they hatch, the worms move down the length of the intestine, and then out the anus where they lay more eggs.

When children scratch their itchy bottoms, the tiny eggs can get under their fingernails. As the children move around the house, the eggs may be spread, and other family members can become infected. Children who suck their thumbs are at an increased risk. Sometimes adults breathe in the eggs when the bed covers are shaken. However, this is very uncommon. Children easily infect each other while they are playing and by not thoroughly washing their hands before eating. Pets do not spread pinworms, although they may carry their own kinds of worms.

Most pinworm infections are mild and easily treated. Your doctor may prescribe a single chewable tablet of a medicine called mebendazole (brand name: Vermox). About 2 weeks later, a second tablet is taken. Or your doctor may recommend another kind of medicine, pyrantel (brand names: Pin-X, Pin-Rid). This is also taken in 2 doses about 2 weeks apart.

Even if only one child in the family has pinworms, it is often important that everyone in the household be treated with the pinworm medicine at the same time. All the sheets, blankets, towels and clothing in the house should be washed in hot water, and everyone's fingernails (which might hold the worm eggs) should be carefully cleaned and cut short. Toys, countertops, floors and other surfaces the infected child has touched should be scrubbed. Carpets should be vacuumed.

If you get treatment from your doctor right away and keep everything in the house very clean, your family's encounter with pinworms should soon be over.

5 moms found this helpful

Kristinha ~ Yup, those worms are gross, but Oh, so common. They may have come back because there were still eggs somewhere (sheets, panties, bathingsuit) or because she picked them up at the same place she got them originally (soil outside, friends' house). Lots of kids have them and parents have no clue.

The meds are over the counter, and once there is an infestation, kids need to be treated two weeks after the first treatment. Treat the whole family just to be safe.

Worms, lice, ringworm, impetigo...kids can be covered in ickiness! :-)


2 moms found this helpful

In addition to what other posters have written, you should make certain your daughter (and everyone else in the family) is changing underwear at least twice per day. (Clean underwear before going to bed. Clean underwear when you wake up. The underwear should be put directly into the washing machine - rather than dropped onto the floor or into a hamper. Don't give the eggs an opportunity to drop off around the house.)

Also, I noticed that a couple of posters said that pinworms CAN be spread back and forth between humans and pets. This isn't correct. Pinworms don't survive in the intestinal tracts of pets. Pets have their own kinds of worm infestations. Some of those worms CAN infect humans and this is called zoonosis. (You didn't mention what kind of worms your daughter had, but I automatically assumed pinworms because this is a VERY common thing for children to contract.) But, some of the worms that children can contract include tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms. But, even so, this is VERY rare.

Unlike with pinworms (which can easily be spread through an entire family), children are usually the only humans who will contract tape/round/hookworms because children (unlike most adults) have under-developed immune systems, poor hygenic habits(i.e. not washing hands before eating/after going to the bathroom), and are more likely to put their hands (and other objects) into their mouths.

This is a really good site for information on pinworms: http://www.personalmd.com/news/pinworm_071900.shtml

2 moms found this helpful

K., I know that having worms has the connotation of having been caused by a lack of cleanliness. That's not true. Worms have been on the rise and one can easily get an egg into their system by touching soil, an vegetable or fruit, or something that someone who has worms has recently touched if they haven't washed their hands after a bowel movement.

My family had worms 60 years ago and it wasn't due to uncleanliness. They were common in some soils. We lived in an agricultural area. Use of animal manure for fertilizer was common.

It's possible that the first round of medicine didn't get all of the eggs. I remember taking at least two rounds. My daughter is adamant about washing all fresh produce before eating it. I've not been. My granddaughter and I often stop at the playground between the store and my home and eat the berries we've purchased. After reading this article I'm going to be more careful about washing.

The eggs are too small to see. The article was in the Oregonian, I think in the Food Day section. They were talking about sushi.

good luck to you and please don't feel that it's your fault or an indication of being dirty.

1 mom found this helpful

We had this problem a while ago, and I can't remember the name of the product, but it's yellowish and it's over-the-counter. We got ours at Safeway. I don't know if your Dr. told you, but you really need to treat the whole family, even if there aren't symptoms. A person could have worms and not know it.
The eggs last for a while and it could be that the medication doesn't take care of the eggs. Don't be embarrassed, and it's not your fault. Worms and lice and all those pesky little parasites have been with us forever, it's just that people didn't used to talk about it. I'm sure you'll have good success with that O-T-C product.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

First off... try to stop blaming yourself. Worms are contracted in different ways, not being clean enough is just one of them. Talk to your doctor about this. Do you have animals that may have worms? Anyway - I do medical transcription for several pediatricians and you would be surprised at the number of children who are diagnosed with worms.

Also, this might sound a little strange, but I used to live in West Africa, where it was incredibly common to get worms and parasites of many kinds... just by where you walk. Anyway - I know this fruit isn't exactly in abundance in the states, but eating papaya seeds (the seeds, not the fruit), a spoonful a day for a week completely cleanses the system. You do not chew the seeds, only swallow. Just cut the fruit open and scoop out a spoonful. It doesn't look very appetizing... but it really works.

1 mom found this helpful

There is a lot of info on the internet about pinworms. One of them is http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/parasitic/pinworm...
I'm a grandmother, and it was not unusual for us to get pinworms when we were a children growing up on a farm in Michigan. My mother used to give us a salt water enema, which immediately got rid of them and brought immediate relief from the itching. Now, you can get meds from your doctor or you can go to a store that sells natural remedies and get over the counter parasite capsules. The pinworm eggs enter the child through the mouth and then hatch in the lower intestines. They can often be seen in the bowel movements if you look closely.

1 mom found this helpful

Actually worms are quite common. Most children get them and many without even knowing. Many times its from dirt under the fingernails. Especially if she tends to put her fingers in her mouth or bites her fingernails. As a child I also got them. I used to bite my fingernails. My advice would to make sure she washes her hands often, keep her nails short and have her scrub under her nails with a nail brush. I know it's gross but it's one of those things that might happen to our little ones. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

K., My daughter had a problem with wetting the bed. I worked for a pediatrician that said he had the best remedy for it and he gave us worm medication. She never wetthe bed again.To get completely away from them we had to do a series of three treatments, if I remember right. But he also treated the whole family. I had to make sure beds had new sheets on everyday for awhile and clothes were washed in hot water. All bedding had to be washed...it was sorta the same procedure if they had of had lice. You know going through and washing everything.
I contributed it to the animals that we had and the time she spent with them. She had a horse, lamb, angora bunnies and a guinea pig. Plus we fertilized the garden with manure. I looked at it this way...there must be a reason why we spent a fortune worming all the animals every year..of course then she cleaned the stalls....
But one thing that he told me for sure is to never have them sit on the ground without something under them...a sweater if they have one on...a blanket..just never sit directly on the ground.
Pin worms are very common in kids...we treated alot of kids with pin worms. Do not feel bad...you are not alone.
do you eat alot of pork? They can be transfered to humans through pork too. We do not eat pork but my girlfriend that raises her pigs and butchers them wormed her kids regularly...I thought that was strange until I went through that with my daughter. It was so strange that after the first initial dose the bedwetting just stopped...she was 9.
He also told me that a good preventative remedy from the store,in the bulk food isle, is get them pumpkin seeds to eat..that will kill them and keep them away...every year I dry the pumpkin seeds at halloween...I bake them in a 350* oven for about 45 minutes and salt them...the kids love them. You can buy them though.I personally love them.

Oh I just read a response from one of the other persons you got one from that they are not transferable from animals...good now I do not have to feel guilty for making her clean the stalls. LOL L.

1 mom found this helpful

Usually, kids will get worms from things like dirt under her nails or something. The reason she can't get rid of them is because she keeps scratching.

The worms come out and lay eggs on the outside of the anus. The only way for them to survive is if she scratches, picking up the eggs and then one way or another gets them back into her mouth where they can hatch inside her body and complete the life-cycle. Wash her hands more often and better, being sure to clean under her nails. Put her to bed in clothing that she can not get her hands into (pants with drawstring tied tight). You'll have to do another round of the doctor's meds as well.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like you are talking about Pinworms- correct? And yes, they are truly disgusting but basically other then the grossness/annoyance factor harmless.

If indeed Pinworms, it is generally standard practice to treat your whole family as well as your daughter. Speak with your physician about this so you can get a prescription for other family members not under the pediatricians care.

Make sure you are changing her bedding daily through the duration of the medication and a few days after that to be safe. This includes her towels, sheets, clothes, the other childs AND YOURS. Emphasis on items used by others- there are some people who can have Pinworms and never know it. They are easily spread so you've got to keep EVERYTHING clean and wash in HOT water. Plus keep Lysol wipes by the toilet and clean it off after anyone uses it to be safe.

Pinworms are not really as bad as say Head lice- once you battle them correctly and get everyone treated you shouldn't have another occurrence. Head lice can rear its ugly head anytime.

And it's not a reflection on hygiene level your daughter has Pinworms. Kids pick up stuff all the time.

Good luck! And there is lot's of good info. on this on the web.

1 mom found this helpful

Are they pin worms? My daughter got them too, at about 8 or 9. We thought it came from eating a peach from a neighbors tree. It wasn't quite ripe. The doctor said it was most likely related to animals or a sand box at school. What ever the case, we used PIN-X medication and it made them go away. They didn't return and we did the same thing you are talking about to ensure she was staying hygenic. She must play with something specific that this is reoccurring. Does she have a friend that lives in an unsanitary house? Do you have a pet that may be infected?

I know how you feel being grossed out. I started to become anxious that I was going to get them from her. She was paranoid about them coming back. As an FYI - this was 10 years ago and I have since found that this is a bit more common than you think, most Moms just don't share that type of info. with others..

1 mom found this helpful

I am a grandmother of 6 (11, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6). Yes, the children are common having "pinworms". One of my grandchild (11) has pinworms when I took her to the doctor for medication. It came back then I TOOK her to doctor again. I asked the doctor why has it came back. She said that my granddaughter has been sitting on the public restroom and food. I would suggest that you take her back to doctor.

1 mom found this helpful

I really don't know, but do you have pets that she could be getting it from? Or does she play outside a lot in dirty dirt that may have animal feces where she's picking it up?

1 mom found this helpful

A 9 yr old needs to take a shower daily.
If you have a weak stomach do not read.

These worms will not be washed away in a bath or shower. Being that she has had them twice now. I would look at prevention. Where is she contacting them. Does she chew her nails etc... Just washing hands is not enough. You can get a good nail brush at a dollar store and you need to scrub under the nails. It is also possible that the meds did not kill all of the worms and now that they have had time to reproduce and mature the are causing her to itch again.
Worms are parasites and could make you daughter very ill.
While treating your daughter, you need to treat her bedding etc as well. Hot water and laundry soap as well as bleech would help. If her mattress is old- maybe a new one. Or a steamer used on hers. There could be tiny larva living on her bedding.

1 mom found this helpful

The worm problem could be in the preparation of your food. Eating meat that isn't cooked to the proper temperature is the cause.
Go to a health food store and get some Black Walnut supplements and it should help.

1 mom found this helpful

It might be the place that she's playing. Pinworms (little white worms in the intestine) are not uncommon for children to get, and it's also not uncommon for children to get them several times. They live in dirt in certain areas, though for the life of me, I can't remember what attracts them. It's not really a matter of cleanliness, and it's not your fault. These things happen.

A couple things that help: make sure you wash her sheets and clean her mattress. Make sure all the clothes that she wore during her episode are washed thoroughly too. Sometimes the eggs can fall out and lodge in soft surfaces and then go back into the body. Bleeching the toilet seat and bathtub wouldn't be a bad idea either. And finally, make sure she takes her prescription all the way to the end, even if the worms seem to have gone away. Those eggs can stick around for a while.

God give you success.

My husband served a mission in a third world country for two years and got worms too. A chocolate Kids dietary nutrtition was given to him that has helped several others get rid of their worms. This may or maynot be for your daughter but if your interested let me know and I can help you. Good luck


Is she exposed to any pets? Is she drinking rain water outside? I got those once when I was a kid from eating snow. Find out where she is getting it.

Maybe she is drinking somewhere at school where she's getting the worms?

My children have had it before and what we did was get meds. for the whole family and make sure she washes her hands all the time especially before eating.

Hey K., Ok not to bring any attention to myself, but I use to have this same problem when I was a child. I use to chew my nails alot and bacteria/little bugs/worms, etc can live under the finger nails especially if not cleaned out properly. I would suggest that you get nail brushes and show your daughter how to scrub and clean under the nails, including the toe nails.

Also, do you have animals? when I was young, we had dogs and our play yard was also the yard that they played in and pooped/peed in as well. When you think about it, that really sounds nasty, but its pretty common! I remember playing outside alot and running around barefoot. The doctor use to tell my mom that because of the dog feces and running around barefoot, there is a high chance of picking "stuff" up.

If your daughter puts hands, or other things in her mouth.. there is a big chance of her getting worms continuously.. Dont know if this all helps, but keep it all in mind. S.

Did you completely give her all the medicine from the Doctor? I would go back to the Dr. and make sure she was on the right medicine. OR you could talk to the pharmacist who filled the perscription and ask him for advice.

I would give her a 2nd dose. You can get it over the counter at the pharmacy.



Hi, Sometimes when my family is not feeling well, I always use vinegar,for my husband and I always drink straight couple table spoons. But, for a nine year old I would cut it to like couple teaspoons. That stuff works well. At least once to twice a week till all is gone. And vinegar does work wonders.
when my children were small too I used to use ivory bar soap and carve a point at the end and wash and rub in the hole alone with drinking vinegar aleast twice a week till gone.

My hubby is a veterinarian, and occasionally they'll see a pet that needs to be dewormed, and the owner is there with an itchy child. It certainly can be passes back and forth. You've already been to the pediatrician, but I'd be getting more medicine for her, and treating the pets as well.

Hi K.,

I just watched a show on this and was amazed to find that even in America, we can get paracites and worms, and how common it is. I was also surprised to hear that often, we don't even know it.

In the show they were talking about how we get them from our food and how we can cleans our bodies of them.

I wonder if there is some food that she is eating that is the cause.

Try on-line and compare that with what your family is eating at home, school, day-care, friends and families homes.

this is real common, though embarassing. my friends duaghter went through this, and she went the diet route. i know she gave her daugheter probiotics daily and talked to a naturopath about a good diet to get rid of them. i don't think she used antibiotics because sometimes, like you metion, they don't work. i would look into a good diet, restrict things the worms thrive on (sugar?). make she she washes her hands after every toilet visit. much luck~s

I remember having that as a young girl...no fun!! My grandma told us to put vaseline on our anus (I guess it prevents the worms from laying the eggs??) Well - it worked for me. I never took any medicine for it and suffered quite a while due to embarrassment. Hope this helps.

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