Boo-boos, and bug bites – oh my! This summer, keep your child safe in the great outdoors. Some experts have warned that 2017 could be a bad year for the disease-carrying ticks. However, before you forbid your child from going outside, and locking your windows and doors, it’s important to know that most tick bites are harmless and don’t need medical treatment.
Many folks are familiar with the tick-borne Lyme disease, but it’s the Powassan virus that is stirring up all the attention recently. This relatively uncommon disease, Powassan virus, can lead to serious neurological impairment and death if untreated. Approximately 1 in 15 people who contract the disease die from it. In the past decade, there have been 75 cases of Powassan reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At Norbeck, we are very aware of the dangers ticks can possess; which is why we take extra precautions on our playgrounds and with administering first aid. Not only do we make sure to steer the children clear of where ticks tend to ‘hide’- long grass & heavily wooded areas but we also take the extra step of having both our playgrounds treated for ticks by Infestation Control, a locally owned and operated pest control company. They use all natural “pet and children safe” products when treating the areas. When removing a tick, we always use tender loving care (and tweezers). We make sure to follow the proper procedures for extracting them and cleaning the area afterwards. We immediately notify the parents and advise them to contact their pediatrician as well.
What Symptoms to Look For
Bites from ticks found in Maryland may result in Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme Disease. Symptoms for either can appear anywhere from 3-32 day following a bite. Symptoms may present as flu-like, making it difficult to detect.
Summer is a great time for children to enjoy different outdoor activities. Below are some resources to help keep them safe and healthy!
CDC – Ticks (https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/)
CDC – Powassan Virus (https://www.cdc.gov/powassan/)
CDC – Preventing Tick Bites (https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html)
Tick Bites Fact Sheet (http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/tick-bites-sheet.html)
Tick Removal: A Step-by-Step Guide (http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/tick-removal.html?WT.ac=p-ra)
CDC ID Ticks (https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/tickbornediseases/tickID.html)
Hey! A Tick Bit Me! (http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/tick.html?WT.ac=p-ra)
What’ Lyme Disease (http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/lyme-disease.html?WT.ac=k-ra)