Time to protect against ticks

UNDATED— Warm weather means a growing tick population. Melanie Weller, M.D. at Geisinger’s Pediatric Urgent Care Clinic says ticks are very common for this area.

According to Weller, children and pets are still at risk for ticks just in the backyard, “Any grassy area can be at risk for having a tick in it, they are especially in this area, everywhere. If they are out playing in the yard, or playing anywhere, the best thing a parent can do is when everybody comes inside do a tick check. Kind of look your kid over and see if you see anything, a bug on them anywhere, or any black spec you didn’t notice before that doesn’t look like dirt.”

Wearing long sleeves, hats, and avoiding high grass are just some ways to protect yourself and your children from tick bites. One of the main concerns when it comes to tick bites is the bacterial infection known as Lyme disease.

Weller spoke about the common symptoms associated with the disease, “About 89% percent of kids are going to end up with a rash. It starts out really small it is usually kind of a red center, and then you start to see a red ring, and usually with some white. It looks a little bit like a bull’s eye.”

The rash occurs within a week to fourteen days after the bite, but can take up to a month to show symptoms. The type of ticks usually carrying the disease are smaller than a millimeter, still Lyme disease is very treatable with a course of antibiotic. (Sarah Lagerman)

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