Pinworms are parasites that infest the intestines when children ingest microscopic pinworm eggs. Pinworms are very common and usually affect school going children.

Pinworm eggs can be transmitted in school, day-care, parks and playgrounds. They can also be inhaled, though this is quite rare. The cycles through which these worms are transmitted are as below:

  • Your child swallows the egg. The eggs get deposited in your child’s intestines and hatch in about a month.

  • Once hatched, the female worms crawl to your child’s anus and lay eggs there.

  • This is likely to cause itching in the anus, and once your child scratches it, the eggs deposit under your child’s fingernails.

  • These eggs will deposit on anything your child touches.

  • Once the contaminated products are used by other children, the cycle starts again.

Because p​inworms are contagious, if one person of the family has worms, others are likely to get it too.

  • Itching around the anus

  • Restlessness during sleep because of extreme itching during night

  • Skin rash because of excessive itching

Pinworms do not cause any severe health risks, although they can cause discomfort and irritability in the affected child.​

You should consult a doctor working with the Children’s Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital if your child has severe anal itching.                                                                  
Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.                                                                  
Our doctors at the Children’s Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital can diagnose the disease by inspecting the worms.

When your child complains of itching, you can run a simple scotch tape test. Make sure that your hands do not catch any eggs during sample collection. For this, you may wear disposable gloves, if unavailable, thoroughly wash hands with soap and water.​

 When your child gets up in the morning, before going to the washroom or changing clothes, you can rub the adhesive side of the tape to his or her anus. Eggs will stick to the adhesive. These tapes can then be examined for pinworm eggs in the laboratory.

Disclaimer: Kindly consult your physician before getting the above-mentioned tests.
Your doctor will prescribe medicines to kill the worms. These will be taken in weight related doses. The first dose will kill the worms present, and the second one will kill new worms immediately after they hatch from eggs.
All members of the family will be given this drug, as pinworms are contagious.

Be sure to inform your doctor if the medicine doesn’t work after two dosages or is presenting any sort of side effects.                         

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.                         ​

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage. 

​​The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.