In the United States, cases of Lyme Disease are on the rise. Parents are worried about their children as well as themselves, wanting to know more about the disease and how to protect their kids as they play outside. Lyme Disease is formed from bacteria that is transmitted via certain species of ticks to humans. A bite from an infected deer or black-legged tick can result in the transmission of Lyme Disease in children or adults. As parents, it is important to know how to protect yourself as well as children, in order to avoid contracting this disease.
Kids love to play outside and it is outdoors where ticks are present. Just because you find a tick on your child, it does not mean they will automatically get Lyme Disease. Only deer and black-legged ticks can carry the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease. Knowing how to watch out for such ticks and being proactive will reduce the chance that you or your child will be affected by the disease.
Your Backyard Can Be a Breeding Ground
Ticks can be anywhere, in the woods or in your backyard. Ticks like to live on shrubbery and will attack to whatever brushes by their home. Once a tick is attached to the body, it buries its mouth within the skin and begins to feed on the individuals’ blood. It is during this process that the disease can be transmitted.
Ticks are prevalent in the northeast region of the United States and cases of Lyme Disease seem to be on the rise. Whenever your child plays outside for an extended period of time or you have been outside, be sure to check everywhere for ticks. Getting a tick off quickly can result in avoid any contamination. It can also be harder to remove a tick once it has burrowed into the skin.
Remove the Ticks Early
Checking for ticks should become habit after being outside. Dress your children in lightly colored clothing when they go outside so you can spot ticks quickly if they are on your child. Using products with a small percentage of DEET, up to 30%, can help to repel ticks while outside. Such products should only be used on older children and avoided on anyone that is younger than two months of age. Apply the product only once a day and avoid the face and hands of your child.
Overall, it is important to check for ticks and remove them quickly. Lyme Disease can be hard to diagnose. If a child has come into contact with a tick, they will develop a rash within a seven to 14-day time frame. The rash will linger so be sure to have your child checked by a doctor if such a rash remains after being exposed to a tick. Other symptoms can include fever and chills, among other issues.