Son Sticks Finger up His Bum

Updated on October 22, 2010
B.C. asks from Caldwell, ID
13 answers

Ok, so I have pretty much had it with my almost 5 year old son sticking his finger up his bum. I need help. I've talked to one pediatrician - sadly not the normal one he sees. The doc said that it's probably pin worms. We tried pin worm medication even though we could almost guarantee that wasn't it- it didn't work. He's been doing it off and on for 2 years now! At first it was only occasionally but now it is is multiple times in a day!!! It's driving me crazy :( Any suggestions?I have thought of maybe putting something on his finger to serve as a reminder. I asked if his bum itches and he says no, he just likes doing it. It's soooooo gross! I need help.

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So What Happened?

Just as a follow-up, my husband and I have talked about hygiene and how not only can it make him or other people sick, it is not acceptable. He'll do it anywhere. We did give him treatments of pinworm medicine two different times - two weeks apart per the doctor's recommendation.

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answers from Harrisburg on

If there is no known medical reason for it, and he is not sick, then it's a behavioral habit that you should enforce consequences for if he does not stop it. Emphasize that it is not appropriate to do so. Boys can be so gross!!

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answers from Charlotte on

B., you need help getting this behavior stopped. It is very concerning that perhaps he might do it to another child because he sees it as a "feel good" thing. You will be in a world of hurt if this happens.

Get a child psychologist to help you. This is, I'm sorry, aberrant behavior and has to be addressed. Don't let him be with other children unattended.


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answers from Chicago on

well. i suppose maybe it feels good right? so talk about what's acceptable and when and where and how to clean.

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answers from Las Vegas on

Hi B., I'm still stuck on the pinworms. Did the doctor do a stool sample to confirm it is pinworms? Did you just give one app of medication? Would one app do it if it was a bad infestation? I'm thinking if it was pinworms and started about 2 years ago, then he would have done this to comfort or itch the area and is now used to it. Perhaps the tickle of the pinworm would tempt him to do it. Take him to his PED and see if she can assist in finding the reason for it. Although I am sure at this point, something started this and now he has found pleasure in it. No hot sauce, please.

Try the casual approach of stopping shock value. Teach him about his body and how it works, food intake, stomach, process, and poop/waste. Bacteria, illness, and the spread of germs.

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answers from Los Angeles on

hot sauce - not a good idea, that could damage the lining of his little butt.

My guess is that is does feel good - after is it is a erogenous zone, like the willy etc - but it is obviously not appropriate in public, just like masturbation is not.

so guess you could compromise - he can do it in the bathroom, or private, but all hell will be let loose if he does it in front of anyone.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

So he is dropping his pants to do this? Do you tell him it is dirty and immediately make him wash his hands? You may also try getting him some prepH wipes, or something similar. It might be hemorrhoids, or just an irritant from the tp.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Bakersfield on

I am at a loss for words. Let us know what finally works if anything ever does.
The fecal germ factor is scary for one thing.
The fact that he might be liking the way it feels is pretty scary too, there is a time and place for that type of thing. You might tell him he needs to stop, that is not something you do in public EVER, and the only place he should do it is in the bathtub so he can clean the germs off of his finger. Maybe showing him some gross pictures of live bacteria would be the way to go as far as scaring him straight.... I dunno.
Just think, your house has poop finger all over the place, lol, I mean I know it's not funny at all, but I don't know what else to say. Aye yi yi!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

it almost sounds like he may have been molested (not sure) but usually when kids act out like that that maybe the case. But i hope you figure it out.

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answers from Hartford on

Hi B., This is not as uncommon as a lot of moms on here may think. The gross truth is most will do it in private once they get caught. It is a bad habit like picking your nose. I doubt it has anything to do with worms or molestation. Explain to him that it is very serious and that he or someone else could ingest the germs and even die. I know these are harsh words, but this is what I finally told my son and he did stop. If you catch him doing it make him wash his hands and put plastic bags on them for 15-20 minutes. Not that it will actually do anything, but it will make him think it is a big deal and he will remember how much it sucked to have bags on his hands. Like any habit he probably is unaware that he is even doing it. It can be dealt with but at home.

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answers from Honolulu on

Does he know how dirty it is?
Tell him about hygiene.... make it a health/disease issue.
Does he care about that?
Does he stink?
It probably is something that is soothing for him maybe???
Does he do it to relieve stress? Like how some people bite fingernails?
Does he do it only at home???

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think after mulling over all the great ideas/questions given below I'd be tempted to place some hot sauce on his fingers, or have him play with a hot red chili. It might just do the trick, once he introduces something hot onto his anus with his own fingers. But you would need to be prepared with yougurt or something to soothe it afterwards....I really don't know what I'm talking about as the skin might be too sensitive. But it's clearly gotten out of hand and is no longer cute or comical. And he is definitely old enough to know better and to understand the health/hygiene concerns. If you can't reason with him to keep his hands out of his pants, then a shocking application of hot sauce might be enough to scare him.

OK, OK, I'm not really serious about the scare factor....I just shoot from the hip sometimes and out of desperation would try threatening with the hot don't do it....BUT, are you sure the pinworm issue was resolved? It can take up to 2-3 doses especially if there is that much anal play going on.

My son put his hands in his pants ALL the time for years. One time he even cut the pockets out of some jeans so he could really have free access to himself. Very clever idea I thought. I thought it was a new definition for Game Boy - and way less costly :) All kidding aside, my husband and I had to CONSTANTLY and gently remind him to stop touching himself in public. And there were lots of conversations about appropriateness.

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answers from Los Angeles on

There's a book for young children called EVERYBODY POOPS.
Your public library probably has it.
It explains the digestive system.
There are other books for young children
that explain anatomy at their level.
I hope you WON'T try HOT SAUCE.
I'm sure you don't want to be CRUEL to your son;
you just want him to stop the behavior.
I liked the compromise suggestion . . .
in private, never in front of other people.
I wonder if you could create some alternative options . . .
a reward system for not doing this behavior for
a few hours, a few days, etc.
Good luck.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Oh my! That's truly disturbing--esp in a 5 yo (as you obviously know). Have you explained the health concerns of doing that? Seems to me at 5, he should understand that it's not hygienic. Perhaps a psychologist? Good luck.

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