What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

LYME DISEASE: AWARENESS IS THE BEST DEFENSE

     Home  >  Articles  > Health & Fitness Guide
by Pramod Narula, M.D.

Related:


   When temperatures rise above 40 degrees, the carrier of Lyme disease — the deer tick — is much more prevalent. While walks through wooded areas or tall grass provide the highest risk of picking up a deer tick, dogs, cats and mice can also bring deer ticks into the home. During outdoor activities such as camping, extra precautions should be taken to avoid this unpleasant illness.


  Awareness is the key.  Avoiding ticks is, of course, best, but recognizing the early warning signs of the disease is also vitally important.  The sooner a physician diagnoses Lyme disease, the easier it is to treat.  By recognizing the symptoms, patients play an important role in helping physicians determine the cause.

   When camping or hiking, wear light-colored clothing so that ticks can be spotted more easily.  Tuck both your pant legs (avoid wearing shorts) into socks or boots and your shirt into pants, and tape the area where pants and socks meet so that ticks cannot crawl under clothing.  You may want to consider spraying insect repellent containing the chemical DEET on your clothes or on exposed skin, except for your face.  Another chemical called permethrin, when used on clothes, can kill ticks but, unlike DEET, it should never be applied to your skin.  When you come inside, carefully perform a "tick check". A tick is as tiny as the period at the end of a sentence.

   If you do find a tick, the best course it to stay calm. It usually takes 36 hours after the tick attaches itself before the disease can spread. The presence of a tick does not mean you have been bitten.  Carefully pry the tick loose with fine tweezers, being careful not to crush or break it.  If possible, store it in a plastic bag for later analysis.  Finding a tick — even one that has clearly fed on you — does not necessarily mean that you have the disease, but you should consult your physician.

   Even if you do not spot any ticks, you should remain vigilant for signs of Lyme disease after the camping trip.  One common sign is the "bull's eye rash", or a red rash with a clear center. Other early warning signs may include flu-like symptoms, such as fever, nausea, headaches, fatigue and achiness.  If these symptoms occur within a few weeks of your trip, see your doctor. Lyme disease has long-term symptoms such as ringing in the ears, jaw aches and even mild memory loss.

   The treatment regimen — four to six weeks of antibiotics — must be followed strictly.  Although patients may feel better after taking the antibiotics for 10 days, it is important to not discontinue the medications because the disease has not yet been fully eliminated.  A severe recurrence may occur if one does not finish their regimen the first time.

   Hopefully you and your family will enjoy a tick-free trip, and remember: Your best defense against this small but dangerous critter is awareness.

DR. NARULA is chairman of the pediatrics department at NY Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn.


Get a free whine stopper

Receive our weekly highlights newsletter · Over 1,000 local activities

More Health & Fitness Guide Articles

Springtime Allergies & Kids
How To Keep Kids Healthy at Camp
FUTURE FORECASTS for 2000
New Motherhood … A Recipe For Back Pain?
Summer Hair Care for Young Campers and Swimmers

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Health & Fitness Guide Sponsors


Therapy Center for Children, LLC
156 North Ocean Ave
Patchogue, NY
631-207-1053
Christina Bellini-Zaher MS, OTR/L, the owner and d...

German School of Connecticut (The)
Rippowam Middle School, 381 High Ridge Road
Stamford, CT
203-548-0438
We put the Fun in learning. With our dedicated pr...

American Dance & Drama
188-22 Union Turnpike
Flushing, New York
718-479-8522
Welcome to The American Dance and Drama Studio, th...
New York City Chess Inc.
234 Thompson St
New York, NY
212-475-8130
...

Spa-Tacular Party's @The Candy Shop
5918 Ave. N.
Mill Basin, NY
718-513-3121
Spa-Tacular Party's@The Candy Shop is a new venue ...
See Our Health & Fitness Guide Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE