What Are Possible Complications Of Lyme Disease In A Child
Some children may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . This means that some symptoms last longer than 6 months. Symptoms can include:
- Ongoing muscle and nerve pain
- Problems with memory
PLDS does not respond to antibiotics. That’s because there isn’t an active infection anymore. Treatment is aimed at helping to control the symptoms.
What To Do If You Find A Tick
If you see a tick, try to remove it from your childs body. If the tick was on the body for less than 36 hours, it may help prevent infection.
To safely remove a tick:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick at its head or mouth, close to the skin.
- Pull firmly on the tick until it releases the skin. Try to ease out any parts that get stuck in the skin.
- Wash the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water and apply an antiseptic lotion or cream.
Pregnancy And Lyme Disease
In addition to tick transmitted infections, Lyme disease and many other tick-borne diseases may be transmitted to children congenitally. Women that are pregnant when bitten by a tick, or may have undiagnosed or untreated infections during pregnancy may transmit infections to their unborn children. Evaluation and treatment options should be obtained from a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
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Lyme Disease Symptoms Can Be Vague And Change Daily
Some children with tick-borne disease have been accused of malingering, or trying to manipulate parents, coaches or teachers. Children whos symptoms appear to be disingenuous may be genuinely ill. Parents of children with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases face unique challenges. Support from doctors, teachers, family and friends may be difficult due to the lack of understanding regarding Lyme disease. Resources are available for Parents, Children and Educators. You are not alone!
Some of these symptoms may be very subtle, so it is difficult for teachers to realize that they are dealing with a sick child, rather than a child who is daydreaming, or simply trying to avoid his school work.S. Berenbaum, LCSW
The Role Of Inflammation
The authors point out that there is a difference in the type of Lyme bacteria in Europe compared to the United States. The one in the US is associated with a stronger inflammatory response.
In general, mounting evidence supports the role of inflammation in mood disorders. Could kids in the US with LD be at even greater risk for psychiatric disturbances than their European counterparts? Presently, the answer is unknown, but more study is definitely required.
When looking at the effects of LD or any infection in kids, its important to remember that they are not little adults biologically, and a variety of differences need to be taken into account. In adults with LD, evidence indicates that anywhere from 15%-40% experience neuroborreliosis or neurologic Lyme symptoms.
Studies show that youth are more likely to experience central nervous system symptoms, meaning those limited to the brain and spinal cord, rather than peripheral nervous system manifestations
Peripheral symptoms can include feelings of numbness, pain, tingling, muscle weakness, etc. CNS symptoms which can occur secondary to inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, may result in encephalitis meningitis, as well as radiculoneuritis
Symptomatic manifestations of CNS involvement can include severe headache, stiff neck, fever, light sensitivity, double vision, and leg pain.
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Lyme Disease In Children
Children are at higher risk of acquiring tick-borne diseases based on their outdoor activities. According to the CDC, the highest infection rates for Lyme disease occur in children, ages 5 to 9. Of the over 300,000 cases of Lyme disease reported in people in the US each year, one in four is a child.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Children
You may or may not notice a tick bite on your child before they start showing symptoms of Lyme disease. Early symptoms of Lyme disease in children include:
- A “bullseye” rash that looks circular and feels warm rash)
- A swollen joint, such as the knee or hip, that may or may not be painful
The classic bullseye rash is the most common symptom of Lyme disease and occurs in approximately 70-80% of cases. Some children infected with Lyme disease may not form the characteristic bullseye rash, or if the tick bite is in the hairline, the rash may not be visible.
It’s important to know that some children will develop redness or swelling around a tick bite, but general redness is not necessarily the characteristic bullseye rash. Typically, this irritation will go away in 1-2 days.
When left untreated for weeks, Lyme disease can cause more serious complications such as meningitis, Bell’s palsy or heart block, a condition where part of the heart cannot pump adequately. If your child has developed these complications, they may show symptoms such as:
- Facial weakness or asymmetry
- Swollen lymph nodes
These symptoms may appear within a few weeks of a tick bite or travel to areas where Lyme disease is endemic. They should go away with proper diagnosis and treatment.
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Ticks: What To Look For
Ticks are part of the arachnid family, related to spiders. Like spiders, theyre eight-legged, and they are parasites, surviving by sucking blood from a host animal or person. Ticks can be difficult to spot. They can be as small as a poppy seed, but when theyre fully fed, they can grow to the size of a baked bean, Julia explains. They also become darker in colour as they feed and grow. They then drop off, often unnoticed. Ticks are also easy to miss because their bites are painless. They have a substance in their saliva that acts like a local anaesthetic, so people are often unaware that they have been bitten, says Julia. For this reason, if youve been out walking or playing in the natural environment, its important to check your child for ticks when you get home.
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How To Remove Ticks From The Skin
If you find a tick on your childâs skin, follow these steps to remove it from the skin .
- Do not touch the tick. Use a pair of tweezers to hold it gently as close to the skin as possible and remove it.
- Do not try to crush the tick or kill it by using solvents, knives, or fire.
- Place the tick in a plastic container so it may be tested for infection.
- Wash the bitten area with an antiseptic solution and apply an ointment.
If your children have been indulging in outdoor activities, especially in a tick-infested area, ensure to take necessary precautions to prevent tick bites. However, if you notice any rash or symptoms related to tick bites after returning from your trip, get it diagnosed by a healthcare provider. Timely treatment will help your children recover from the disease completely.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed In A Child
The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and health history. He or she will ask about recent tick bites. He or she will give your child a physical exam.
Lyme is usually not hard to diagnose. OBut other conditions may cause similar symptoms. The main symptom is often a rash, but more than 1 in 5 people infected with Lyme dont have the rash. In the earliest stage, diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and a history of a tick bite. In later stages, blood testing is very important to make a diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Fever Accompanied By Headache
The symptoms could be low level, but you could not attribute Lyme as a cause. It is pretty difficult to figure out Lyme disease symptoms with a viral infection. In case of some kids the symptoms may come and leave on a frequent basis. If the symptoms indicate negligible levels of flu and keeps on recurring at regular basis, then it could indicate Lyme.
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How Is Lyme Disease Treated In A Child
Lyme disease is usually treated with antibiotic medicine. Early stage Lyme disease is more easily cured with antibiotics than late-stage disease. Your childs healthcare provider will discuss the best treatment plan with you based on:
- Your childs symptoms and test results
- If your child had a recent tick bite
- If the tick tests positive for bacteria that cause Lyme
- If your child lives in an area where the ticks are known to be infected
Talk with your childs healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines.
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Children
The symptoms of Lyme disease can be transient and difficult to pinpoint. For children, some of the manifestations of the symptoms, such as behavioral and neurological problems, can seem like typical childhood problems and not a symptom on an underlying medical issue. Additionally, although there are commonly recognized symptoms of infection, not all people show all symptoms.
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Pediatric Lyme Disease Can Cause Behavior Problems
Pediatric Lyme disease has been misdiagnosed as OCD, or pediatric Bi-polar disorder. It can also cause Depression. Exposure to Lyme and other tick-borne diseases may also trigger PANS which is an encephalitic-type autoimmune disease that can be induced by different illnesses. In PANS, cells that should be fighting the disease itself break through the blood brain barrier of the child and attack the brain. When a child exhibits sudden changes in behavior with no known cause, the possibility of Lyme and other tick-borne infections should be considered.
How Do You Test For Lyme Disease In Children
Doctors can usually make a diagnosis of Lyme disease based on a physical exam and the child’s medical history. They can also use a blood test to confirm a diagnosis in children who are at high risk for the condition due to travel and a known tick bite.
Parents and physicians should be careful when testing for Lyme disease because tests can result in false positives.
“If the child has a tick bite but is not presenting the classic symptoms and hasn’t traveled to a Lyme-endemic area, I would be reluctant to move forward with testing for the condition,” says Dr. Kahn.
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What Are The Complications Of Lyme Disease In Children
Post-Lyme disease syndrome may develop in a few children, where some symptoms stay even after the treatment is over . These symptoms are :
This condition does not respond to any treatment because there is no infection in the body. Therefore, in the case of PLDS, doctors aim to provide relief by treating the symptoms.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
Lyme disease is most often treated with antibiotics such as doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime for several weeks. Please complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if your child is feeling better, in order to kill all the bacteria.
If your child doesn’t respond to oral antibiotics, or if the Lyme disease is affecting the central nervous system, antibiotics may need to be given intravenously . This usually doesnt require your child to be hospitalized. In many cases, a nurse can come to your home to administer the IV or teach you or another family member how to do it.
Anti-inflammatory medicine may be prescribed for children who are experiencing pain from arthritis.
How To Treat Lyme Disease In Toddlers
Lyme disease in toddlers can be treated best at the early stages. Call your doctor as soon as you find any suspicious rash and also look for any ticks embedded on the toddler’s skin and engorged. It means that the tick has been present for sometime under the skin. If it is attached you have to remove the tick immediately. Once the toddler is diagnosed for Lyme disease, he is treated with oral antibiotics for 3-4 weeks or through intravenous antibiotics. The child may be given anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce joint pain.
Toddler Lyme disease can be prevented by keeping your child well protected when going to wooded areas. Keep them clothed in long pants and full sleeved shirts with the pants tucked into light colored socks. In case you suspect an infection, apply insect repellent and wash your toddler thoroughly at the earliest.
Is Lyme Disease Genetic
Is there a cure for lyme disease? Many think not, that you are stuck with it the rest of your days. But Im here to say I have beat the bug out of my system entirely and Im back to a real life, working out and getting things done. My tick bite also gave me Q-fever which is 10 times harder to get rid of and 10 quite possibly times more deadly. I can say that I have cured myself! Is what Ive done going to do the same for others? I can only say, what do you have to loose, its all good healthy foods that anyone should be doing to simply stay healthy.
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Key Points About Lyme Disease In Children
- Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria. The bacteria are usually spread by tick bites.
- Lyme disease is a year-round problem, but it peaks during the spring and summer months.
- Ticks live in wooded areas, low-growing grasslands, and yards. A child is more at risk outdoors in these places, or around a pet who has been in these areas.
- One of the most common symptoms is a ring-shaped rash that looks like a bulls-eye. It may be pink in the center and have a darker red ring around it. The rash does not occur in every case of Lyme.
- Lyme is usually not hard for a healthcare provider to diagnose. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and a history of a tick bite. Your child may have blood tests to help diagnose Lyme.
- Lyme disease is usually treated with antibiotic medicine. Early stage Lyme disease is more easily cured with antibiotics than late-stage disease. Repeated courses of antibiotics for post-Lyme disease syndrome don’t help.
- There is no vaccine for Lyme disease. But you can help prevent Lyme disease by protecting your child from tick bites.
Treatments For Lyme Disease In Kids
Your childs doctor can check for Lyme disease with lab tests. If the tests come back positive, the pediatrician will start an antibiotic treatment.
The treatment for Lyme disease is the same for babies, toddlers and children of all ages. It’s safe, and children usually respond really well to it.
Infections with less severe symptoms are usually treated for two weeks with amoxicillin. When Lyme disease causes truly swollen joints, not just pain, it can take four weeks to treat, often using doxycycline.
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What Parents Need To Know About Children And Lyme Disease
With the arrival of warmer weather also comes tick season, and with it the threat of Lyme disease. Did you know that Suffolk County is in the heart of one of the countrys highest risk areas? Parents, especially, need to be aware of the risks of tick-borne disease in children. Dr. Cristy Beneri, Associate Professor of Pediatrics.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by the bite of the Ixodes scapularis tick. In acute infections, it can cause days of headache, fevers, rash and muscle aches. More severe cases can progress to a Bells Palsy or meningitis. Untreated, it can lead to heart problems, arthritis, and even long-term neurologic and/or rheumatologic conditions. Other illnesses carried by ticks local to Long Island include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis, Tularemia and STARI.
Is Lyme disease a problem for children?
Overall, Lyme disease is a growing problem for Suffolk County, with as many as 5,000 to 6,000 cases a year. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are approximately 300,000 cases annually across the country, although only 10 percent get reported. This means that awareness is low, and that many people may not be receiving prompt or appropriate treatment. When Lyme disease goes undiagnosed, especially in children, there can be serious complications. However, know that treatment is extremely effective, especially if started early.
Where do I find experts in Lyme disease?
What Are The Treatments For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. The earlier you are treated, the better it gives you the best chance of fully recovering quickly.
After treatment, some patients may still have pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking that lasts more than 6 months. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . Researchers don’t know why some people have PTLDS. There is no proven treatment for PTLDS long-term antibiotics have not been shown to help. However, there are ways to help with the symptoms of PTLDS. If you have been treated for Lyme disease and still feel unwell, contact your health care provider about how to manage your symptoms. Most people do get better with time. But it can take several months before you feel all better.
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What Is Lyme Arthritis
Lyme arthritis is caused by Lyme disease, a deer tick-transmitted infection caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. If left undiagnosed or untreated, the infection may spread to the joints, heart, and nervous system, causing serious complications. As the condition progresses, arthritis may develop and cause recurrent swelling of one or more joints.
In some children, the first or only symptom of Lyme disease is joint pain and swelling. In these cases, it can be challenging to distinguish between Lyme arthritis and juvenile arthritis. Physicians at our Pediatric Rheumatology Program have extensive experience with the diagnosis and treatment of all types of joint pain and arthritis.