Enterobiasis Oxyuriasis (Pinworm) Pediatric Care Plan

By David Shafran, MD
Medically reviewed
January 4, 2021

What Is Enterobiasis Oxyuriasis (Pinworm)?

Enterobiasis oxyuriasis, commonly know as pinworm, is a parasite that causes anal itching in children most commonly between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They are not dangerous. The disease occurs when children touch surfaces contaminated with pinworm eggs and then swallow them. The eggs hatch in the gastrointestinal tract and worms then cause itching around the anus especially at nighttime. 

While most patients have only anal itching, other symptoms can include:

  • Vaginal pain and itching
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Pinworm is diagnosed and treated as follows…

Definite diagnosis is made upon direct visualization of the worms which tend to come out at night. Your doctor might advise you to press scotch tape around the anus at night so that the worms stick and can then be seen under a microscope. If the story fits however, many times this is not necessary before considering treatment. 

Treatment involves 

  • Washing all bedding and clothing
  • Washing hands well and cutting your child’s nails
  • Trying not to itch
  • A one-time medication then taken a second time 2 to 3 weeks later
  • Treatment for surrounding friends and family may be warranted

Should your child stay home from school?

No

Check in with K if…

  • You have general questions about your child’s condition
  • You want general followup for your child
  • You have questions about supportive care
  • Your child’s symptoms don’t go away after treatment but are not alarming

See a doctor in person if…

  • Itching persists after treatment
  • Your child develops bad abdominal pain
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

David Shafran, MD

Dr. Shafran is a board-certified pediatrics physician. He joins K Health from the Cleveland Clinic, where he led a pediatrics practice and completed a fellowship in transplant ethics. He has completed multiple fellowships, including one in pediatric nephrology at Rainbow, Babies & Children's University Hospitals. He received his medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv and completed his medical residency at the Jacobi Medical Center.