When your child has pinworms, these are things to do RIGHT NOW!
This post is done in collaboration with Reese’s Pinworm Medicine. I chose to partner with them, because they are our family’s pinworm medicine of choice. I received compensation in return for my honest opinion of their product.
It’s a Thursday afternoon, you just got all the kids home from school. Thursdays are particularly busy with homework, soccer and piano lessons, but you have the routine down to a science, You even managed to start dinner early by firing up the crockpot. Everything is going according to your well-orchestrated plan until… you hear the five worst words a child can say: “Mom, my butt is itchy!”
At this very moment, the day’s events that haven’t yet taken place, but should, flash before your eyes: finish dinner, start homework, rush mealtime, carpool the neighbor’s kids to soccer, rush to piano lessons, back to the soccer field and then home to finish homework before bedtime, which is already late by 20 minutes, but just this one day a week.
This isn’t your first rodeo. You know deep in your heart what “mom, my butt is itchy” means. Either, your kid didn’t wipe properly after going to the bathroom in school, which is very possible. Or… you might as well hit the “start” button on a two-week-period filled with excessive amounts of laundry, cleaning and an overall feeling of itchiness and being slightly grossed out.
Before you burn down the house and move three counties away, please know that as gross as pinworms are, they are 100% treatable. Arm yourself with the right combination of an effective medication and a good home-cleaning regiment and your house will once again be pinworm-free, but it will take dedication for at least two solid weeks – until the life cycle has been broken.
When your child has pinworms, DROP EVERYTHING and do these 10 things!
Here’s my list the 10 things to do RIGHT NOW when your child has pinworms. I have been through this a time or two, so these tips are proven to be effective.
- Run, don’t walk to the nearest pharmacy for the best over the counter pinworm medication: Reese’s Pinworm medication. Treat all family members, of the human kind.
- If it’s your first time wrangling a pinworm infection, or if you want the diagnosis confirmed, please visit your trusted physician or perform the “Scotch® Tape Test” in the middle of the night when the female comes out to lay her eggs.
- The Scotch® Tape Test: Collect anal debris by pressing a piece of tape against the skin around the anus and examine it for the presence of eggs or worms. Be sure NOT to use the toilet or shower before the test, as those actions could remove some of the evidence.
- Read this post for additional methods to confirm the presence of pinworms.
- Wash all bedding, towels, underwear and pajamas in HOT water, laundry detergent and white vinegar.
- Weather and space permitting, dry the laundry outside in the sun. The UV light may kill any remaining pinworm eggs.
- Be careful NOT to shake any of the unwashed laundry, as pinworm eggs are microscopic and may become airborne if you shake an article of clothing that contains eggs – gross to think about, I know!
- Keep the affected person’s laundry separate from the rest of the family’s for the next few weeks.
- Alert your child’s school, daycare and closets friends.
- One of the biggest problems with pinworms, is the stigma attached to them. Admitting your child has an intestinal parasite that causes anal itching may not be your proudest moment. However, it’s nothing shameful and by letting others know, you can help prevent further spreading, as they are highly contagious.
- You may also help someone else stuck in a pinworm-dilemma, by sharing these 10 tips, this rebate offer on Reese’s Pinworm Medicine and everything else you learn on your pinworm-journey.
- You would be surprised at the number of people who will say “Oh my goodness, we have had that too!”
- Cut the finger nails on everyone in the family and keep them short.
- Wipe down counter tops, door knobs and common-area surfaces with disinfectant wipes.
- Consider your child’s play area: dirt in the backyard, sand box, sensory bins with rice or other reusable materials. Replace the content of those play areas or restrict access for a month.
- Apply coconut oil to the affected person’s anus before bedtime and in the mornings.
- It is soothing and it makes for a slippery surface, preventing the female pinworm from laying her eggs.
- Coconut oil also contains anti-parasitic properties.
- Note: you cannot apply coconut oil the night you are doing the tape test, but otherwise this step should be done twice daily for at least a two week period.
- Shower the affected person before and after bed. Do not take baths and do not reuse the towel.
- Stock up on Reese’s Pinworm Itch Relief wipes. These wipes are packaged for on-the-go convenience. They are soothing and will temporarily relieve the itch and discomfort from anorectal inflammation caused by pinworms.
- Please note that these wipes should only be used on adults, unless your child’s trusted physician has approved their use in children younger than 12 years old.
- And… of course the wipes are included in the mail-in-rebate offer from Reese’s Pinworm Medicine!
Pro-tip from a mom who has been there AND done that:
- Always keep Reese’s Pinworm Medicine in your family’s medicine cabinet. Like bandaids, thermometer and fever-reducing medications, pinworm medicine comes in handy when you least expect it. (I am speaking from experience!)
- Use this mail-in rebate to get up to $4 off your Reese’s Pinworm Medicine.
If you are looking for more ways to prevent and keep your family free of pinworms, check out this post and read all the comments. Over the years, readers, like you, have shared their personal tips and stories. This pinworm post is now a great resource on ways to keep pinworms gone, once Reese’s Pinworm Medicine has gotten rid of the pinworm infection.
Please share in the comments YOUR best tips, so my other readers can learn from your experience. Together, we will beat these little white wiggly worms!
May you never hear those five dreaded words again!