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The Word No Parent Wants to Hear: PINWORMS

Kelly Bos


Lice is horrible but worms?  Far worse. I remember having lice in grade seven. I was so very, very itchy that even typing the word inspires a scratch. The removal involves some checking, which I loved to receive as a child. In fact, to my mother's chagrin, my fourth grade teacher brought up her concern at a parent teaching meeting that I was constantly asking when the health unit would be coming in for a lice check. This scalp massaging, oops, checking is followed by the washing, combing x100, and lots of laundry. You can also hire it out to the lice bars and salons... pure gold. But let me tell you there is something much worse that no one can hire out and that is pinworms.

Things to know about pinworms/threadworms (spoiler alert... they are all gross, every single step):

The location

Worms can live in the intestines for about five to six weeks and then they die, however, the females lay eggs. Where do they lay eggs? The anus and sometimes in the vagina or urethra for girls. They can lay approximately, insert dry heave, 11,000 of them. The eggs grow up in about two weeks, and then more egg laying. Cycle repeats. Awesome.

The tell tale signs

Like lice, this too is about scratching, but not an itchy head. We are talking about toddlers walking around looking like they are constantly adjusting thongs. I totally missed this, I mean kids can rummage, but on reflection I realized... “that was what was going on down there!”...