Home Exclusive How Do I Know If My Child Has Lyme Disease

How Do I Know If My Child Has Lyme Disease


Your Pain Moves Around Your Body

Do you know the signs of Lyme disease?

Another hallmark sign of Lyme is migratory pain â that is, pain that travels from one body part to the other. You might, for example, find that your right knee is hurting one day and your left knee is hurting the next. Common kinds of pain associated with Lyme include joint paint and nerve pains that create shooting or zapping sensations, says Reihman.

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Which Children Are At Risk For Lyme Disease

A child is more at risk for Lyme disease in certain parts of the U.S. during the spring and summer months, when ticks are more active. Ticks live in wooded areas, low-growing grasslands, and yards. A child is more at risk outdoors in these places, or around a pet that has been in these areas.

Lyme has been reported in nearly all states. The most cases have been reported in:

  • Northeastern states, such as Massachusetts and Connecticut
  • Mid-Atlantic states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania
  • Wisconsin and Minnesota

Many cases have also been reported in Asia and Europe.

Why You Should Be Concerned With Lyme Disease As A Parent:

Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacterium passed from ticks to humans through a bite. The bacterium, Borrelia Burgdorferi, slowly spreads throughout the entire body. It has many symptoms and side-effects that can be life altering, especially in young children or when the disease is left untreated. However, when Lyme disease is diagnosed in a timely manner, it is very much treatable with antibiotic and natural therapies.

As a tickborne illness, Lyme disease can be passed on to a carrier when bitten by an infected tick. While you may not encounter ticks in your area, that often doesnt mean that they arent present. They tend to be more common in areas with high grass, wooded areas, along hiking trails and in forests but can certainly be found anywhere outdoors. Even if children dont frequent these areas, they may still be at risk.

For example, the family pet can easily play host to ticks and enter the home where they can detach and go on to bite you or your children.

Tick bites can be painless, leaving the carrier unaware that they have been bitten.

Ticks can stay attached for some time, but also pose the risk of detaching without making the carrier aware of their presence. In these cases, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease in children, just in case.

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What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease In Children

Treatment for Lyme disease depends on the age of the patient. Most children receive amoxicillin, a very common antibiotic which is effective when the disease is caught early. Older children may receive a different type of antibiotic, doxycycline.

Whichever antibiotic they receive, they usually take medicine for about 21 days. Most patients are cured at the end of this treatment with no long-term effects.

“It’s very unusual for patients to take the medicines and not be cured,” says Dr. Kahn. “There is no resistance as far as we know of the bacteria to these antibiotics.”

For Chronic Cases Of Lyme Does Iv Igg Hold Hope For Remitting Symptoms And Improving The Quality Of Life

Does My Daughter Have Lyme Disease?

To our knowledge, IV Ig has never been studied in a controlled fashion as a treatment for chronic Lyme disease, although some physicians are using this treatment for patients who are thought to have autoimmune-mediated neurologic sequelae from Lyme disease that persist after antibiotic treatment. There is insufficient data at this point to say whether IVIg treatment will have acute or sustained benefit for patients with persistent symptoms after being treated with antibiotics for Lyme disease. This is an area of research which is worth pursuing. Certainly, given that there is evidence that IV Ig may be beneficial for a variety of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis , myasthenia gravis, pemphigus, polymyositis , dermatomyositis , Wegeners granulomatosis , and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, it is reasonable to consider that this treatment may also be beneficial for patients with post-treatment Lyme disease if there is evidence of immunologic dysfunction. This treatment may be especially helpful if there is evidence of autoimmune-mediated neuropathic pain. IV Ig treatment is expensive and not without risks, so such treatment should only be initiated if the potential for benefits significantly outweigh the risks.

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What Percent Of Cases Of Reasonably Proven Lyme Disease Present Without Erythema Migrans

According to the Centers for Disease Control , erythema migrans occurs in 60-80% of Confirmed cases. Under careful monitoring of patients who develop new onset symptoms, about 20% have systemic symptoms without a rash or other objective sign of Lyme disease .

To be considered a confirmed case by CDC for epidemiologic surveillance in the absence of a rash, a person has to have laboratory evidence of infection and at least one late manifestation of Lyme disease. Late manifestations of Lyme disease considered diagnostic are: joint swelling, facial palsy or other specific signs of nervous system involvement, or specific cardiac conduction defects. The CDC also has criteria for a probable case, defined as physician-diagnosed Lyme disease that has laboratory evidence of infection. Suspected cases without an EM are those with laboratory evidence of infection but no clinical information available.

How To Protect Children Against Lyme Disease

The best thing that you can do as a parent to prevent Lyme disease, is to employ as many preventative measures as you can, especially when children will be outdoors and at a much higher risk of exposure. Tick avoidance has long been the best approach to preventing Lyme disease .

Also, being aware of what the Lyme disease Symptoms are in children so that you can be vigilant in recognizing them as soon as possible if you are concerned about exposure.

Some of the top preventative measures that you can use, include:

  • Avoid tick-infested areas.
  • Be sure to use an insect repellent on children anytime that they will be outdoors.
  • Where ticks are known to occur, make sure your child is wearing protective clothing .
  • In the case of camping, hiking or any outdoor activity with a higher exposure to wooded areas with ticks, consider pre-treating clothing and gear with repellent.
  • Help children check head to toe upon coming inside. This includes hair, body, and clothes for any stow-away ticks.
  • Treat family pets with a prescription tick guard or other vet recommended method.

Compared to adults, children and pets are naturally more susceptible to ticks, because they are frequently an easier target.

For example, children play in leaves, roll in the grass, snuggle with family pets, and are less likely to notice a tick bite or the symptoms that could come along with it.

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How You Get Lyme Disease

If a tick bites an animal carrying the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, the tick can become infected. The tick can then transfer the bacteria to a human by biting them.

Ticks can be found in any areas with deep or overgrown plants where they have access to animals to feed on.

They’re common in woodland and moorland areas, but can also be found in gardens or parks.

Ticks don’t jump or fly. They climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush against something they’re on. They then bite into the skin and start to feed on your blood.

Generally, you’re more likely to become infected if the tick is attached to your skin for more than 24 hours. Ticks are very small and their bites are not painful, so you may not realise you have one attached to your skin.

How To Prevent Post

Lyme Disease is a Growing Problem. Where, Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention. PART 2

While you may not be able to prevent post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, you can take precautions to prevent coming into direct contact with infected ticks. The following practices can reduce your likelihood of getting Lyme disease and developing persistent symptoms.

If a tick bites you, contact your doctor. You should be observed for 30 days for signs of Lyme disease. You should also learn the signs of early Lyme disease and seek prompt treatment if you think youre infected. Early antibiotic intervention may reduce your risk of developing chronic symptoms.

The signs of early Lyme disease can occur from 3 to 30 days after a bite from an infected tick. Look for:

  • a red, expanding bulls-eye rash at the site of the tick bite

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Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented

Not all cases of Lyme disease can be prevented. But you can help protect your family from tick bites. If you go into an area where ticks live, be sure to:

  • Stay in the middle of the trail, instead of going through high grass or the woods.
  • Wear closed shoes or boots, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. Tuck pant legs into shoes or boots to prevent ticks from crawling up legs.
  • Use an insect repellent.
  • Consider treating clothing and gear with permethrin to repel ticks. When used properly, permethrin is safe for all ages. But don’t use it on clothing or other material a child may suck on or chew.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to help you see ticks more easily.
  • Shower and wash hair after being outside to remove ticks before they attach.

How Long Does Is Take To Recover From Lyme Disease

Most people with Lyme disease get better with antibiotics, although the symptoms may last for some time, even once treatment has finished. How long your childs symptoms last is variable. As with other illnesses, some children bounce back quickly, but others need much longer to get better, Julia explains. Some children will be able to go to school while they recover, but some cant. Lyme disease is a serious infection and the antibiotic doses are high, so plenty of rest is needed. If, however, your childs symptoms havent improved by the time they finish their antibiotics, or have worsened, they may be given a second course of a different antibiotic. Beyond this point, your child might be referred to a specialist for more blood tests and advice. Bear in mind, though, that symptoms may take a while to resolve.

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What Happens During Lyme Disease Testing

Lyme disease testing is usually done with your blood or cerebrospinal fluid.

For a Lyme disease blood test:

  • A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

If you have symptoms of Lyme disease affecting your nervous system, such as neck stiffness and numbness in hands or feet, you may need a test of cerebrospinal fluid . CSF is a clear liquid found in your brain and spinal cord. During this test, your CSF will be collected through a procedure called a lumbar puncture, also known as a spinal tap. During the procedure:

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Q: How Can I Tell If My Child Has Lyme Disease

Child Diseases Parents Should Know

Early signs of Lyme disease include flu-like symptoms, such as fever , chills, head and neck pain, body aches , malaise, and fatigue. Unfortunately, these symptoms can be mistaken for irritability or viral infections, such as the flu or COVID.

Check your child for a Lyme disease rash and dont forget to check the scalp and skin-fold areas . Not everyone gets the classic bulls-eye rash. An expanding rash without central clearing is more common. You can find some sample rash images on the Internet.

Other classic Lyme manifestations that can develop include a weakness or paralysis of facial muscles intense headaches, numbness, tingling, or weakness in extremities eye and heart issues and joint swelling or pain. Gastrointestinal symptoms, generally underappreciated as potential Lyme manifestations, may include nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, gastroparesis , and/or constipation.

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What To Do If You See A Tick On Your Child

Firstly, dont panic. Its important to remember than not all ticks carry the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease, so a tick bite doesnt always mean you will be infected, Julia reassures. Nevertheless, if you see a tick on your child, its important to remove it correctly and as soon as possible, as follows:

  • Never pull off a tick with your fingers, normal tweezers or any other tool not designed for the job. You should only remove it with a tick remover or a very fine-tipped pair of tweezers.
  • Do not smother the tick in oil, Vaseline or any other creams, gels or lotions.
  • If youre using a tick remover, follow the instructions for use. If youre using fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, then gently pull upwards.
  • Take care not to squeeze or crush the tick, and make sure all parts of the tick are removed. If the mouth parts are left behind, the body will expel them naturally, but you should monitor the skin for signs of local infection, Julia says.
  • Clean the area with soap and water or an antiseptic.
  • Try to save the tick as it can be tested for infection.

Revelation For My Heart

For the first time, I realized that I didnt want to need God. I didnt feel safe I wanted to do everything by myself so that I wouldnt feel vulnerable. As a result, I was dying. My independent nature was nothing more than a defense mechanism to manage the fear I lived with.

I told God at that moment, you are trustworthy, and Im broken, but I have no idea how to do any better. I didnt even know where to start. That is where Gods mercy and grace met me. He saw my heart and my choice to recover myself from the snare of fear, and He honored me accordingly.

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What To Do If You Have A Blacklegged Tick Bite

Remove the tick by pulling it directly out with fine-tipped tweezers. Lift upward with slow and even pressure. Dont twist when removing it. Dont crush it or put soap or other substances on it. Dont apply heat to it.

Place the tick in a resealable container. See if you can identify what kind of a tick it is.

Immediately after removing the tick, wash your skin well with soap and water or with rubbing alcohol.

Not all ticks carry Lyme. The Lyme bacteria is transmitted only by blacklegged ticks in their nymph or adult stage.

Save the tick to show your doctor. The doctor will want to determine if its a blacklegged tick and if theres evidence of feeding. Ticks enlarge as they feed. Your risk of getting Lyme from an infected tick increases with the length of time that the tick fed on your blood.


Pull the tick out with tweezers and save it in a resealable container for identification.

What Is Late Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Is On The Rise. And It’s Bad.

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is caused by an infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is disseminated through tick bites. Infected ticks usually bite small mammals, who do not develop any kind of infection from the bacteria. When humans are exposed to B. Burgdorferi from a tick bite, however, they can develop Lyme disease.

People who work outside or spend time in woodland areas, where there is greater potential for exposure to tick bites, are most at risk of infection.

Lyme disease is a condition which progresses in stages:

  • A person will initially develop early localized lyme disease, in which the bacteria have not yet spread through the body. At this stage, which generally has its onset days or weeks after the tick bite, a personâs symptoms will usually include a fever, fatigue, and a rash, called the Erythema Migrans rash, which has a distinctive bullsâ eye shape and affects around two thirds of people who develop Lyme disease. See this resource for more information on symptoms and treatment of early localized Lyme disease.
  • If Lyme disease is not diagnosed in either of these early stages, and is not treated effectively with antibiotics, the bacteria that cause LD can spread throughout the body from the site of the tick bite, resulting in late disseminated Lyme disease, or late lyme disease. The onset of symptoms and complications of late disseminated Lyme disease is usually around 6-36 months after the original infection.
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    Possible Complications To Watch For With Lyme Disease

    Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dogs condition.

    • Some dogs who take antibiotics can develop loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
    • Once infected, a dog will always have the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in his or her body. Therefore, relapses are possible, and owners should be on the lookout for unexplained fever, swollen lymph nodes, and/or lameness.
    • A small percentage of dogs develop kidney failure as a result of Lyme disease. Clinical signs include vomiting, weight loss, poor appetite, lethargy, increased thirst and urination, and abnormal accumulations of fluid within the body.

    Symptoms Of Early Stage Lyme Disease

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , early-stage Lyme disease symptoms crop up within 3 to 30 days after exposure and can include but are not limited to:

    • Swelling of the lymph nodes
    • Erythema migrans , a bulls-eye-shaped rash that appears at the site of the tick bite

    Early Lyme disease does not always appear the same in all patients. For example, up to 30% of patients dont remember experiencing a bulls eye rash.

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