Now that spring has sprung, children are spending their days carelessly playing outside. Parents do their best to make sure kids are protected, with sunblock, band-aids, you name it. However, there is something else that parents should be doing which is even more crucial.
Checking for ticks is essential, due to its connections to Lyme disease. Lyme disease is an extremely serious illness that you get from black-legged tick bites that carry the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
It is very important to note the common symptoms, so you can spot it and get medical attention right away. According to the Center for disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms can vary widely on a case-to-case basis, but there are some easy symptoms to identify.
The easiest to identify and most well known symptom is the erythema migrans (EM) rash, which is mainly known as the “bull’s-eye” rash. This rash is so common that it appears in approximately 70 to 80 percent of people infected with Lyme Disease.
Lots of people misdiagnose these tick bites as spider or mosquito bites, even though there is a huge difference in severity. Luckily, there are other symptoms that the CDC lists, such as fever, headache, fatigue, chills, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes.
These are only the early on symptoms. As for later symptoms, they include sever headaches, increased or worsening EM rashes, sever joint pain and swelling, facial or Bell’s palsy, intermittent pain, heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat (Lyme carditis), dizziness, shortness of breath, inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, nerve pain, shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet, and problems with short-term memory.
Even though most cases of Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics, it is still extremely important to detect the illness early on.
For those of you that are worried about getting the disease, don’t worry, there are things you can do to help prevent yourself and others from getting bitten. An example of this is using insect repellent.
Another thing you can do is make sure to take ticks off the second you see them crawling on skin. The only problem with this is the second a tick bites you, you can be at risk for receiving Lyme.
Make sure if you see any of these symptoms on yourself or your children to call your doctor as soon as you can.