Lyme Time—Summer In New England
What’s especially worrisome is that ticks’ favorite meal appears to be kids. Children between ages 5 to 14 are the most common sufferers of Lyme disease. Lyme disease can present with a wide array of symptoms such as joint pain and fatigue, as well as neurological, behavioral, and emotional disturbances. Children can be playing in the park, a yard or even in inside your home and still get bitten by a tick. Playing outside in direct sunlight actually boosts immunity so, send those kids out (just check them for tick when they come back inside).
One CDC study of grade school aged children with Lyme disease, found that the average length of their illness was 363 days, and the mean number of school days missed because the child was too ill to attend was 103 days. 78% of the parents stated that their children experienced a fall in grade point average during the time of illness.
Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines for keeping kids safe from ticks this summer and beyond.
Be sure to Prune excess bushes and keep the grass short in the yard.
Using mulch to line your perimeter helps keep the ticks from entering your yard.
Also keep a close eye on your pets. Pets can carry ticks into your house and they can migrate onto your family.
Chickens eat all those ticks, consider tending a flock.
Encourage kids to wear long pants and socks; as the ticks tend to attach to their ankles and legs first.
The essential oils of lemon and eucalyptus are and effective tick repellent for up to 8 hours and safer for repeated use than DEET and picardin chemical tick repellant, according to the CDC (use with caution on children due to the caustic nature of Essential Oils)
Remember ticks are carried on small rodents like mice, squirrels and rabbits. They are also found on migratory birds, which can be found in any city or town.
IN THE EVENING check your kids’ bodies for ticks, and wash bodies and clothes. Ticks move around most during the cooler parts of the day and year, so be sure to do a thorough check!
Ticks mostly live on wood or bushes and tall grass. They’ll attach to the leg and can crawl up to the waist, armpit, earlobe, or scalp.
IF YOU FIND A TICK
Use thin tweezers to catch the tick at the insert site, closest to the skin and gently jiggle the tick until it detaches.
IN GENERAL ticks embedded less than 36 hours DO NOT transmit Lyme Disease.
Holistic Doctors have long recommended the use of the herb astragalus daily if you live in an endemic area; and a one time a high dose astragalus at the time of a tick bite.
At the removal site apply andrographis or neem tincture to the bite area, and then cover the area with a clay pack, for preventing infection.
Never burn or squeeze a tick. The tick carries most of the bacteria in the stomach and by squeezing it you run a risk of injecting the contents into the person.