Inevitably, you’ll experience things as a parent you never thought in your wildest dreams (or, more aptly, nightmares) would be an issue. That was the case for parenting coach Justin Kellough, who recently vented about his kid getting — are you ready for it? — pinworms. But, as if that new fear unlocking wasn’t enough, along came Dr. Cerissa Key to bring some truly jarring intel: If your kid gets pinworms, you’re getting them, too.
“Justin, sir, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your son has worms in his booty hole, sir … respectfully, you also have worms in your booty hole. They really should sell that Reese’s Pinworm Medication at Costco so families of more than three can buy it in bulk,” Key says in response to Kellough’s original video, reassuring him, “Yes, it does seem disgusting but it is actually super duper common.”
Key even admits that her kid — yes, the doctor’s kid — had gotten pinworms before and everyone (including her) had to drink that nasty medicine.
What can we say? Kids are gross, man. So, now that you’re convinced you either have or will soon get pinworms, keep reading for some valuable information courtesy of Key.
How do you get pinworms?
According to Key, it all boils down to kids’ hygiene habits. A kid who has pinworms goes to the bathroom, doesn’t wash their hands well, and they touch something your kid later touches. After that, it’s only a matter of time until the tiny eggs your kid inadvertently picked up on their hands go straight down the hatch. “Let me tell you: Kids are disgusting, and they put their hands in their mouths constantly.”
From there, Key explains, those tiny eggs enter your child’s GI tract, where they hatch and make little worms. The worms then have a “wild night” and make even more worms, which travel during the night to the anus to lay eggs. When your kid goes to the bathroom, those eggs are just “flying everywhere.”
It gets worse, if you can believe it.
“When they come up to you with their little wormy butt hands, and they say, ‘Mama take a little bite of this,’ you don’t wanna crush their little spirits. So you eat it. And then… you have booty hole worms.”
How do you know if you or your child has pinworms?
“Pinworms, a lot of times, will cause anal itching. In little girls, it can cause the vulva to itch,” says Key. “And it’s typically worse at night, but the real nightmare is that a lot of people with pinworms have no symptoms at all.”
In essence, you may not know your kid has worms until they really have worms. They might also be irritable, nauseous, or complain of occasional stomach pain.
You can also ask your kiddo not to flush after they poop if they’re complaining of itches or aches. Even if it’s not worms, taking even a glance at their poop can give you a ton of info, and if you go to their doctor, you’ll be able to give better details.
How do pediatricians diagnose pinworms?
Photographic evidence can do a lot to help your doctor diagnose your child’s symptoms, and this goes for literally all childhood ailments. So, yes, taking pictures of your kid’s poop is helpful — video is even better, says Key.
If you suspect your kid has worms, you can also place a piece of Scotch tape on your kid’s butt in the morning because it will pick up the eggs. You can take that to the pediatrician’s office, so they “can look under a microscope” to make an official diagnosis.
“Our jobs are really gross,” Key confirms.
How do you treat pinworms?
Treating pinworms is (typically) fairly easy. It’s like treating lice: over-the-counter medicine and deep cleaning.
“I do recommend that people take the medication and then repeat it in two weeks,” instructs Key. “Because if there are any eggs leftover that have hatched, this will then kill the worms.”
Just how careful and thorough should you be with your cleaning? Key says the key is to go hard, but be careful. You’ll want to wash all fabrics “on ‘hell’ temperatures,” but “don’t be ripping your sheets off the bed all willy-nilly,” she explains — you’ll send the eggs airborne.
You’ll also want to vacuum TF out of everything: couch, carpets, rugs, everything. “Anywhere that your little wormy butt hole child has been or sat,” she says.