Parents Need to Know:
Lyme is on the rise, it’s an epidemic that can affect a person for a lifetime. More research is being done and we need to educate ourselves as parents, dog owners and people who walk outdoors. Ticks are lurking and, short of staying indoors, we need to be protected and increase our knowledge.
Symptoms in children are different than those appearing in adults. According to Dr. Zubcevik, attending physician at Harvard Medical School and co-director of Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, “71 percent of the time, headache is the most common symptom in children,” she said. “Mood disturbance, fatigue, and irritability are also frequent symptoms in children. If they are acting out in school all of a sudden, get them tested.”
The bullseye only happens 20% of the time and recent studies show that the idea that the tick has to be attached for 48 hours is outdated. A tick attached for 15 min can give you anaplasmosis, 10 minutes Powassan virus, and they have no idea how long for the Borrelia burgdorferi (which causes Lyme). All of these viruses can be very serious and should be treated as soon as possible.
Reduce the risk of infection by using tick repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants and doing thorough checks for ticks throughout the day. Sound like a lot of work? Much less than the work it takes to treat an infected child.