Summer is coming and with warmer weather comes lots of great social outings -School camps, bush walks, camping trips and some pretty amazing tropical destinations.
With all the amazing things of summer weather comes the down side of bugs, insects, mosquitoes and in this case - TICK BITES.
Tick bites are concerning due to the risk of transmitting a tick borne illness. One search on google and there are many fears around Lyme disease, however the Australian government declares Lyme disease doesn't exist in Australia. Myself and hundred of practitioners will beg to differ due to what we see in clinical practice.
Lets talk about what to do if you get bitten first as it's the most important information and then I shall explain why..
If you Child has a tick bite..
As parents, knowing what to do is the most critical especially in the initial hours and days.
Remove some experts suggest heading to a GP or a hospital to have it removed but this isn't always possible so with a pair of tweezers as close to the skin as possible ( don't break it) don't pull too hard but keep a steady pressure and pull up and away from skin until the tick lets go.
Keep the tick in small plastic zip up sandwich bag in case a Doctor needs to see this or in America you can send your tick away for testing to see if it carries any tick borne illnesses.
Wash the area with warm water and soap - no alcohol should be used
Antibiotics a course of antibiotics can be taken to prevent and reduce the risk of a tick borne illness. In some cases the tick isn't found for some time and the longer the tick is embedded in the skin the higher the risk. Antibiotics sounds like a high risk due to the side effects of them and some wonder if necessary but the treatment you can put in to place to fix the effects of antibiotics is much easier than the chronic long term effects of something like Lyme Disease.
Preventing a tick bite
Nothing is better than preventing it in the first place, so lets look what you can do if you are off on a camping trip this summer break.
Clothing Ticks love nice warm places to bite and burrow so under the hairline, in the groin, under armpits or nestled into a neck. Much like wearing lighter coloured clothing to reduce mosquito bites, if you wear light
clothing including socks, you can spot a tick easier before it gets under the clothes.
Insect Repellent Natural safe and effective insect repellent is a must and it's important to apply frequently. We recommend spray clothing, hair and skin with Aussie Mozi - Natural outdoor Spray every 1 -2 hours if you are located in a insect laden area.
Wanderer If your children are like mine, they like to go adventuring and even if that means going off the beaten track and into tall shrubs and grass. You might seem like the over protective mum but now is not the time to be the big adventurer, the smart adventurer is better.
Check Don't think you are paranoid if you are checking the kids for ticks on their clothing, it's a smart thing to stop every so often and check each other over, catch them before they catch you!
Unfortunately we don't all escape a tick bite and the biggest and most devastating effects are a tick borne illness and the associated infections following the bite if it's not treated or monitored appropriately.
Acute Lyme disease can develop anywhere from 3 to 30 days after a tick bite so you’ll want to be on guard for at least a month.