Ticks are carriers of Lyme disease, and they can transfer it to a human by biting on a person and feeding on their blood.
Now that the days are longer and slightly warmer, kids and adults, of course, are spending a lot more time outside.
And while this is obviously a good thing, there is one important factor you must be vigilant of if your kids are running in forests or long grass – ticks.
are carriers of Lyme disease
, and they can transfer it to a human by biting on a person and feeding on their blood.
While not all ticks carry the disease it is important you remove any ticks you see from your body.
There are about 100 cases of Lyme disease in Ireland every year, and while rare it can have devastating consequences.
So how can you reduce your risk of a tick bite?
- wear long-sleeved T-shirts and trousers when walking in grassy areas.
- check for ticks after being outside, particularly the neck and scalp
- be vigilant when in areas with deer, as they can be carriers of both ticks and Lyme disease
- if you have been out walking your dog it is important you check them also
Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease:
The most common sign of Lyme disease is a rash around the area of the tick bite. This is often known as the bull's eye.
If you do find a rash it is important you contact your GP as soon as possible. At this stage, the disease can be treated effectively with antibiotics.
If left untreated, a person infected with Lyme disease can experience a high temperature, muscle pain, joint swelling and pain and neurological symptoms.
What should you do if you find a tick on your body?
If you find a tick on your body, it is important you remove it properly.
Use a tweezers to pull the tick out, pinching closely to the skin. Make sure you remove the mouthpiece as well.
Written by Mary Byrne, Content Executive at Family Friendly HQ. Follow her on Twitter: @marybyrne321