Childhood Allergies |
Lyme Disease |
The Use and Misuse of Antibiotics
This disease was first discovered in Lyme, Connecticut in 1925, and cases have been reported in 48 states, including Delaware.
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?
About 80-90% of children develop a "bull's-eye" rash, a red rash surrounding an area of clear skin. Usually, this rash measures greater
than 2 inches when it starts. This usually appears 2-3 days after a deer tick bite.
When should you contact your pediatrician?
When your child has a known history of a deer tick bite, or if he or she develops this distinctive rash, call us. It should be noted that a deer tick has to be attached for more than 24 hours to transmit Lyme disease.
If the child develops the distinctive rash, a 2-3 week course of an antibiotic, such as amoxicillin, will be prescribed. In a major medical study, out of all the children who had this rash and received amoxicillin, none developed Lyme disease.
How can you protect against Lyme disease?
- Wear light colored clothing. When in wooded or marshy areas, wear long pants tucked into high socks. Also wear a hat.
- Use an insect repellent that contains at least 30% DEET. Products such as "Skintastic" would be good.
- After an outing, check your child thoroughly for ticks, including the scalp. Bath time is a good time to do this check.
How should you remove a tick?
Using a fine tweezers, grasp the tick as close as possible to the skin and pull firmly upward. Clean the area with alcohol and apply an antibiotic ointment.
Redness at the site does not indicate Lyme disease. Remember, the deer tick has to be attached for at least 24 hours to transmit Lyme. Watch
the area for up to 30 days for the development of the rash.
Dr. Ludwicki has been kind enough to allow us to use his articles in the Parenting Guild.
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