Pinworm Test Collection Guidelines

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Pinworms are small white worms about ¼ - ½ inch long and look like a small grain of rice. They can sometimes be seen in and around the child’s bottom (anus) and in bowel movements. These worms live in the intestine. The adult female crawls out of the infected person’s anus at night and lays her eggs on the skin around it. This causes itching and scratching. The worms can also move to the vagina of a female child and cause itching.

To find out if your child’s itching is caused by pinworms, the eggs must be seen under a microscope. They are so small that you will not be able to see them otherwise.

You Will Need

The best way to collect a sample or specimen of the eggs is by using a pinworm collection kit. You can get one from your health care provider or at a Laboratory Service Center or Nationwide Children’s Close To HomeSM Center.

How to Label the Sample

Do steps 1 and 2 before starting the collection.

  1. Child’s full legal name – complete first and last names, correctly spelled
  2. One of the following unique identifiers:
    • Date of birth or
    • Patient’s ID or
    • Nationwide Children’s Hospital medical record number

  3. Date of the collection (MM/DD/YYYY)
  4. Time of the morning collection (write a.m.)

If you get the kit at a Nationwide Children’s clinic, they may give you an EPIC registration label to use.

How to Collect the Sample Using a Kit

  1. Collect the sample early in the morning, right after your child wakes up and before they use the toilet or wash up.
  2. Fill out the label and attach it to the collection kit’s specimen tube.
  3. Turn your child on their abdomen (tummy) so that their buttocks can be separated. The anus must not be soiled with stool (poop). If you see poop, wait to collect the sample on the next day.
  4. The kit will have a paddle attached to the lid of a specimen tube. Take off the lid and look for the words STICKY SIDE on the paddle. Press the sticky side of the paddle over the anus (not inside) for a few seconds. Remove the paddle and put it back into the tube. Snap the cap back on.
  5. Put the tube into a plastic sealable bag. Make sure the label on the tube is completely filled out. Seal the bag.
  6. Wash your hands well.
  7. Bring the specimen to the lab (laboratory) within one hour. If you cannot do this, put it in the refrigerator. The sample can be kept in a refrigerator for up to 7 days.

If the lab does not see pinworm eggs and your child is still itching, you may need to do the test again.

Drop-off Options:

It is best to take the sample to a Laboratory Service Center on the same day that you collect it.

During the day:

  • Any Laboratory Service Center or Nationwide Children’s Close To HomeSM Center during regular business hours. For business hours and locations, please call Laboratory Services at (800) 934-6575 or visit
  • Nationwide Children’s Orange Laboratory located at 555 S. 18th Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205. Business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In the evening:

  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital Admitting Department on main campus. Drop-off hours are Monday through Friday, 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Please do not drop off the specimen at the Emergency Department.

If you have any questions, ask your health care provider or call the lab at (800) 934-6575.

Pinworm Test - Collection Guidelines (PDF), Spanish (PDF), Somali (PDF)

HH-III-32 ©1978, Revised 2021, Nationwide Children’s Hospital