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Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a tiny infected deer tick. This tick (about the size of a pin head) is found in wooded or grassy areas.
It can go unnoticed on your child's skin.
Symptoms of Lyme disease (not all may appear) are:
- red rash that looks like a target (with a clear center)
- joint and muscle aches, stiff neck
- sore throat
If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to nerve,
joint (arthritis) and heart problems.
How to treat Lyme disease
An antibiotic will treat Lyme disease and may be used,
in certain cases, to prevent the disease after a tick bite.
How to keep from getting Lyme disease
- Dress your child in a long-sleeved shirt and long pants if you are going to be hiking or in a wooded area.
- If possible, dress him in light-colored clothing to help make the ticks stand out.
- Check your child every night during the summer and early fall for ticks. The tick must be attached to your child for more than 24 hours to cause disease. Daily removal of ticks will prevent Lyme disease.
- In mosquito and tick areas, choose a DEET concentration
up to 30 percent for children who are older
than 2 months old. It is mildly effective in preventing
ticks from attaching to skin.