Last week, we took my five-year old into the pediatrician because he had a small rash on his back and was complaining of a headache. He had been hiking in the woods the week before and when we got home it looked like he had a few mosquito bites, but that was it.
Fast forward to last Friday when we decided to take him into the doctor since the little spot had gotten larger and he mentioned the headache. The pediatrician didn’t even order blood work. She took one quick look at the area and said: “That’s Lyme Disease.”
At first, I didn’t know what to think. I had Lyme when I was younger, before they knew as much as they know about it now. We used to go to Cuttyhunk in the summer (a small island with a ton of deer!). The deer tick had gotten stuck in my belly button!
I was treated with antibiotics, and I haven’t suffered from any residual effects. The pediatrician said that as long as my oldest takes his 21-day course of amoxicillin, he will not have any lasting effects either.
Thanks God we caught it early! Within a day and a half, the rash was already cleared up! I wanted to share a few tips for preventing Lyme Disease, since it has been rampant on the Cape as of late:
- Perform daily tick checks. Our pediatrician suggested doing this at bath time, which makes perfect sense to me!
- Use DEET (or other repellent) when frequenting areas where ticks are prevalent: woody and grassy areas. If applying a DEET containing product to children, avoid the hands, face, and eyes. If you would rather not apply directly to their skin, apply the DEET to their clothing.
- If you notice a tick, remove it promptly with fine-tipped tweezers. Chances are low of contracting Lyme Disease, if the tick has been embedded for less than 24 hours.
- Be alert for symptoms of Lyme Disease including fever or the typical Lyme rash (see picture of my son’s to the right).
- Make sure that you treat your pets with tick repellent as well, to prevent them from bringing ticks into your home.
Have you ever dealt with Lyme Disease in your family?