How to Treat Pin Worms in Babies

Pinworm infections, the most prevalent type of parasitic intestinal worm infection in the United States, typically affects children aged 5 to 10, according to MayoClinic.com. However, pinworms are highly contagious via interpersonal contact and objects contaminated with worms or their eggs, so babies can easily contract them as well. The quarter to half-inch long worms are ingested, and they reside in the colon or rectum, laying eggs around the anus. Abdominal pain, nausea, difficulty sleeping, irritability and itchiness around the anus or groin are symptoms of pinworm infection, though the condition often presents no symptoms at all.

Portrait of a crying baby. (Image: Valua Vitaly/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Administer the prescribed course of medication to your baby as instructed by your pediatrician. Mebendazole, albendazole or pyrantel are likely treatments, notes MayoClinic.com. Because pinworms are so contagious, the other people in your household will probably be instructed to take a prescription as well. These prescriptions usually entail two doses, two to three weeks apart.

Step 2

Sponge bathe or shower with your baby every morning. Daily morning cleansing is important for removing pinworm eggs, which are lain overnight, but there is risk of reinfection in standing bath water, cautions the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Step 3

Launder all your babies bedding, pajamas, cloth diapers, towels and washcloths in a hot water cycle to kill off pinworm eggs. Launder other bedding and items your baby comes into contact with as well. This helps prevent reinfection and the spread of worms. Shampoo upholstered chairs and couches that your baby has been on and vacuum all the carpets in your house.

Step 4

Wash all your baby's toys thoroughly with soap and hot. Also wash counter tops, the child's changing table, floors and other surfaces and items your baby comes into contact with.

Step 5

Open the curtains and blinds around the house, especially in your baby's bedroom. As Baby Center explains, pinworm eggs are sensitive to sunlight, so this may help kill them off.

Tip

Keep your baby's diaper on at all times to prevent him from scratching around the anus, as this is a common way eggs are spread. Don't panic when you see live worms in your baby's stool after treatment, advises Baby Center. While it's a disturbing sight, it's perfectly normal and means treatment is working.

Warning

Keep your fingernails short and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after changing your baby's diaper.

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