Kristen Bell Makes An Icky Parenting Confession: She Caught 'Anal Worms' From Her 3-Year-Old
Kristen Bell caught anal worms
Kristen Bell talked about how she got 'anal worms' from her daughter on "The Joel McHale Show." Getty
Kristen Bell doesn't hide much from the world. Whether she's , , or telling a story about , the actress is an open book. So it should come as no surprise that Bell openly discussed her experience with anal worms during a recent appearance on "The Joel McHale Show."
In the interview, Bell revealed that she caught anal worms — also known as pinworms — from her 3-year-old daughter, Delta. The mother of two said that the preschool her daughter attends had a case of pinworms, or carpets according to Mayo Clinic.
But it wasn't until her daughter began scratching herself that Bell knew there was a problem. "You have to monitor it and you have to look in their poop," she told McHale. "Sure enough, I wiped and saw a little white worm."
Her entire family, including her husband Dax Shepard, had to take a shot of "chalky nonsense from the drugstore" to make sure the worms were gone for good.
Kristen Bell provided a gross parenting lesson on "The Joel McHale Show." Netflix
The star of "The Good Place" said they weren't painful, but they were very itchy. She also pointed out something more concerning: that most people with anal worms don't have any symptoms.
Anal worms - or pinworms - can live in the colon and are easy to contract.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pinworms are small, thin, white roundworms that live in the colon and rectum of humans. Pinworms can be contracted if you swallow or breathe in their eggs, the CDC notes. So it makes sense that preschoolers, who often put their hands in their mouths or the mouths of their parents, could get them.
"Your kids get them because they put their hands in their mouth and they lay eggs," Bell told McHale.
You can also get pinworms if you accidentally ingest contaminated foods or drinks. The eggs can also be transferred from fingers to food, liquids, clothes or other people.
Once swallowed, the eggs hatch in the intestines and mature into adult worms within a month, according to the CDC. Female pinworms then leave through the anus and lay their eggs in the area, which causes itching. The eggs cling to your fingernails when you scratch the itch, making them easy to spread when you touch other objects.
Unfortunately, as Bell and the CDC note, there are usually no symptoms that will let you know if you have pinworms. You may, however, experience anal itching, restless sleep, abdominal pain or nausea, or irritability, according to Mayo Clinic.
If you suspect you have pinworms, you can perform a 'tape test,' which requires pressing a piece of transparent tape to the skin around the anus for three days in a row and take the pieces of tape to your doctor. Your doctor should be able to look at the tape under a microscope to see if there are any pinworm eggs.
Although common, pinworms aren't serious and can be easily prevented.
Thankfully, pinworm infections don't usually cause serious health problems and treatment may only require you (and any other household members) to take an over-the-counter anti-parasite medication, according to Mayo Clinic.
Video: Kristen Bell Deals with Family Pinworm Outbreak
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