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kand

Visitors with pinworms

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If you had a toddler (and older kids) and you had a play date scheduled with a family who just had pinworms diagnosed in one of their kids, and they have toddlers as well, would you cancel? What if your current life situation is such that contracting pinworms in the house would put several people seriously over the edge? If you wouldn’t cancel, what precautions would you take?

I don’t want to cancel, as this is a rare occasion to have several people together who don’t all live in the same area, but seriously, we really can’t do pinworms right now. 

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Is this a multiple family play dAte or just the family with pinworms? If multi family, I'd ask the infected family not to come. If just their family I'd cancel. Pinworms and toddler equals easily spreadable. 

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I'm of a couple of different minds. We went through pinworms a few years ago.

On the one hand, they're easily spreadable and gross and annoying to get rid of. Avoid.

On the other hand, in doing my research I talked to a doctor who specializes in some issues around digestion and things like this. He said that they've never been able to do serious studies about them because they're just that prevalent. As in, they tried to find a control group that hadn't had them... and they couldn't. Everyone has the markers of having once had them. Like, everyone. So they're impossible to avoid.

I would not go to their house. They actually can be all over the place in a house apparently. But hanging out on a playground or a neutral spot I don't think you're any more at risk with them than anyone else.

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Well, I’ve been a bit vague on the actual situation, but it’s actually a cousin situation. There’s one other cousin coming. His mom doesn’t tend to worry about stuff, so I expect everyone would think we were being really overboard to spoil things by asking them not to come. And I know this is something that we could pick up anywhere. But with the toddlers involved, and our current life circumstances (which include an older kid who keeps having medical issues one after another and now has developed some extreme medical anxiety),  I don’t know if it’s too big a risk. If there’s a decent chance that we might get them, we really just can’t do it.

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So they'd be staying at your house?

Hmm... yeah, that's... tough. When you're walking around with pants on, etc. then you're not likely spreading anything. But any time you're changing clothes, you're probably spreading some of those invisible eggs. Sleeping in beds, you're probably spreading. And if the toddler has them, then the whole family does.

You do not have to see a doctor for them - you just take the medicine. But it's NASTY. It took my medicine averse kid a lot to get it down. Even I original gagged it back up. It's one of the worst medicines I've ever had to take. When we had to do a second round, I actually bought capsules for my medicine averse kid and sat there filling like thirty of them so he could swallow them whole instead of drinking it like you're supposed to. No joke.

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19 minutes ago, kand said:

Well, I’ve been a bit vague on the actual situation, but it’s actually a cousin situation. There’s one other cousin coming. His mom doesn’t tend to worry about stuff, so I expect everyone would think we were being really overboard to spoil things by asking them not to come. And I know this is something that we could pick up anywhere. But with the toddlers involved, and our current life circumstances (which include an older kid who keeps having medical issues one after another and now has developed some extreme medical anxiety),  I don’t know if it’s too big a risk. If there’s a decent chance that we might get them, we really just can’t do it.

I think it's entirely reasonable for you to cancel. 

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This kind of thing was my life, for years, with extended family. It's not a problem now because none of them speak to me anymore (for other reasons), so keep that in mind when you read my opinion:

I would say this:

"Thank you for letting me know about the pinworms. I know that it's not a big deal to you, but it is to me; I don't want to risk an illness in our household. I'm sorry that it's been so long since we've all been together, and I hope we'll see you when everybody's well, but I'm canceling this playdate. Hope you get over the pinworms soon."

They won't like it. They won't like you. But guess what you won't have??

Pinworms.

 

You know what, I have some regrets about my estranged family situation. But these stupid things, when they wanted to bring parasites and stomach flus and firearms and god-knows-what to my house, and I decided to be unpopular and said no...I don't regret that.

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To be clear, I really don't think it's necessary to cancel a playdate, especially if you go meet up somewhere. But having them stay at your home would potentially expose you, as would going to their home where they've likely been spreading them, especially the bedrooms and bathrooms. Given your worries, I think it's okay to cancel that stuff. Do what you need to do.

Edited by Farrar
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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

So they'd be staying at your house?

Hmm... yeah, that's... tough. When you're walking around with pants on, etc. then you're not likely spreading anything. But any time you're changing clothes, you're probably spreading some of those invisible eggs. Sleeping in beds, you're probably spreading. And if the toddler has them, then the whole family does.

I missed this post. Actually, they wouldn't be staying with us. Pinworm kids (awww, they're sweet and I love them, but you kwim) are local, other one is not but is staying with other family. This is what I'm weighing. If they're just coming for a couple hours. Could I say put them in fresh clothes from the dryer before you come, wash hands immediately on arrival, change any diapers out in your car, and put paper towels in the bathroom for people to dry hands on? I think that probably would be fairly safe, but it does rely on trusting that all those things happen. If the kids are in long sleeve, long pant one piece outfits....pretty safe??

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

So they'd be staying at your house?

Hmm... yeah, that's... tough. When you're walking around with pants on, etc. then you're not likely spreading anything. But any time you're changing clothes, you're probably spreading some of those invisible eggs. Sleeping in beds, you're probably spreading. And if the toddler has them, then the whole family does.

You do not have to see a doctor for them - you just take the medicine. But it's NASTY. It took my medicine averse kid a lot to get it down. Even I original gagged it back up. It's one of the worst medicines I've ever had to take. When we had to do a second round, I actually bought capsules for my medicine averse kid and sat there filling like thirty of them so he could swallow them whole instead of drinking it like you're supposed to. No joke.

here you get chocolate worming medicine for kids. it even looks like squares of chocolate. though here it isn't viewed as a big deal getting worms. way less of a deal then getting head-lice.  When I was a child everyone was dosed twice a year as a matter of course if they had worms or not. 

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Relatives that I don't see often are a whole different story. When my sister is in town we simply all just power through illnesses if someone has one. Unless there is an infant, then we're a bit more cautious.

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30 minutes ago, kand said:

I missed this post. Actually, they wouldn't be staying with us. Pinworm kids (awww, they're sweet and I love them, but you kwim) are local, other one is not but is staying with other family. This is what I'm weighing. If they're just coming for a couple hours. Could I say put them in fresh clothes from the dryer before you come, wash hands immediately on arrival, change any diapers out in your car, and put paper towels in the bathroom for people to dry hands on? I think that probably would be fairly safe, but it does rely on trusting that all those things happen. If the kids are in long sleeve, long pant one piece outfits....pretty safe??

Yes. I would think that would cover it. If they’re in clean, fresh clothes with clean hands, as long as no one gets naked or sticks their hands down their pants, the risk is pretty minimal.

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26 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

here you get chocolate worming medicine for kids. it even looks like squares of chocolate. though here it isn't viewed as a big deal getting worms. way less of a deal then getting head-lice.  When I was a child everyone was dosed twice a year as a matter of course if they had worms or not. 

I investigated and it seems the only regular medication here is this truly nasty stuff. After our second go, I thought, I’m not doing this again. We’ll just live with the worms. That’s how bad the medicine was.

ETA... we no longer have them. Second dose seems to have done it and it was years ago now. Whew.

Edited by Farrar

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2 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I investigated and it seems the only regular medication here is this truly nasty stuff. After our second go, I thought, I’m not doing this again. We’ll just live with the worms. That’s how bad the medicine was.

ETA... we no longer have them. Second dose seems to have done it and it was years ago now. Whew.

https://www.combantrin.com.au/products/chocolate-squares/original

just in case anyone else was wondering what I was talking about 

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6 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

https://www.combantrin.com.au/products/chocolate-squares/original

just in case anyone else was wondering what I was talking about 

I don't want to crash the thread, but I'm so relieved to hear people do get worms in Aus.  My dh said he'd never heard of it when our first child got them and he was freaked out. LOL  Maybe they don't get them in Tasmania?

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I sure would not want to get them, but if they aren't staying with you overnight then I might not worry about it so much.  I would for sure be washing hands and trimming nails.

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2 hours ago, Farrar said:

So they'd be staying at your house?

Hmm... yeah, that's... tough. When you're walking around with pants on, etc. then you're not likely spreading anything. But any time you're changing clothes, you're probably spreading some of those invisible eggs. Sleeping in beds, you're probably spreading. And if the toddler has them, then the whole family does.

You do not have to see a doctor for them - you just take the medicine. But it's NASTY. It took my medicine averse kid a lot to get it down. Even I original gagged it back up. It's one of the worst medicines I've ever had to take. When we had to do a second round, I actually bought capsules for my medicine averse kid and sat there filling like thirty of them so he could swallow them whole instead of drinking it like you're supposed to. No joke.

Huh - my husband likes the medicine! But he loves banana flavored anything. I didn't think it was terrible, and my 2 yr old has no problem with it. Just gave it to her today, in fact. Struggling to get rid of them with her, but no one else has symptoms this time. Of course, she's the only one putting her hand in her diaper and then biting on her nails - ugh! Think I'm going to go find some onesies that fit her so we can just avoid any hand in diaper action for a few weeks. 

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42 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

https://www.combantrin.com.au/products/chocolate-squares/original

just in case anyone else was wondering what I was talking about 

Yes, this stuff is great. Worms are totally not a big deal here (we had it once and the choc medicine did the trick very quickly and easily. All my kids were fine taking it)

But, to the op, I get pretty cranky about people bringing sickness into my home. I'd probably be upset at their rudeness but too chicken to cancel, maybe we would come down with a sickness of our own and cancel...

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48 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Huh - my husband likes the medicine! But he loves banana flavored anything. I didn't think it was terrible, and my 2 yr old has no problem with it. Just gave it to her today, in fact. Struggling to get rid of them with her, but no one else has symptoms this time. Of course, she's the only one putting her hand in her diaper and then biting on her nails - ugh! Think I'm going to go find some onesies that fit her so we can just avoid any hand in diaper action for a few weeks. 

Dh and my other kid drank it down with a mild ick. No big. I thought it was mega gross, but I have a strong gag reflex. I really hated it, but I dealt with it. I had to force my medicine averse, anxious kid to sit at the table for nearly THREE HOURS before I got him to choke it down. He cried and screamed and yelled nasty things at me. It was torture for both of us. I had to tell him he could not get up except to pee. It was truly horrible. Neither of us had good endorphins for a solid day afterwards after that. I trained him to swallow pills for a reason. Everything should be available in pill or capsule form. Everything.

The second go around, I spent HOURS researching other medicines. All of them have been discontinued. I called the pediatrician and they were supremely unhelpful and told me that they wouldn't prescribe anything without expensive tests and that the OTC was my only option. So I finally ordered capsules. The medicine dissolves the capsules, but it takes like ten or fifteen minutes. So I got a syringe and filled capsules and made him take them down. It took about an hour to get that much medicine in the capsules. Still a horrible experience but at least I didn't have to listen to my kid alternately screaming obscenities at me and pleading for his life.

Seriously. Everything should be in capsule or pill form. Everything. 

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1 hour ago, Mbelle said:

I don't want to crash the thread, but I'm so relieved to hear people do get worms in Aus.  My dh said he'd never heard of it when our first child got them and he was freaked out. LOL  Maybe they don't get them in Tasmania?

well we always worm the whole family every time we need to worm the dog. just in case.

 

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When I was a kid my mom would de-worm us twice a year.  It was some nasty orange flavoured powder that she tried to pass off as orange juice.  

"Mom, can I have apple juice?"  

"No.  Today everyone is having orange juice."  

"Ack.  That's disgusting; this is not orange juice."  

"Yes it is. Drink it!"

My siblings and I still laugh at this story.

 

But to the OP, I think it will be fine for a short visit with the precautions you want to take.   Good luck!

 

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We had an awful time getting rid of pinworms (I have an autoimmune disorder, so maybe that my issue, but it took forever for me to get rid of mine once my kids got them). Pinworms are my personal hell, so I would avoid having people with it in my house if at all possible.

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Op, iirc you've had a rough time of late.  I think it makes sense to avoid stuff like this.

If you really can't completely avoid exposure don't apologize for taking whatever precautions you can.

(hugs)

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I wouldn't want them staying overnight, because I wouldn't want to deal with bedding. If I HAD to have them stay overnight, I'd be sure to wash all their linens on hot each morning (wearing disposable gloves while collecting/loading), and I'd do likewise with towels. SINGLE USE ONLY.

If they are coming just for a short playdate, I'd put paper towels in the bathroom and remove any real towels and/or bathroom rug. And, I'd clean like crazy after they left. 

If you want to see them and be gentle about it, I'd suggest meeting at a public place such as an ice rink or movie theater or chuck-e-cheese or paint-your-own-pottery or whatever. If you can afford it and if the other family is budget conscious, if you can't suggest a free fun location, then I might try to frame it as "I wanted to take the kids out for a treat to the PlaceX . . . so can I please treat your family to come with us because it'd be so much more fun together?"

Or, if you don't think that'd work and don't mind a white lie, you could say you got "free" tickets to X or some other similar plausible explanation. 

In general, I wouldn't worry about getting them from just being together somewhere, but I WOULD worry about them being in my house, especially if they are going to contact any towels or bedding. 

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