Lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis are all painful and can be deadly if left untreated. What scares parents is that these potentially dangerous diseases all start with a bite from a tiny tick. Dr. David Goo, with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta says "rocky mountain spotted fever will cause a rash on the arms and hands and wrist and face and spreads to the rest of the body." The procedure is simple and can be done at home: you just need to get the tick out and make sure that the area is not infected. "It's better to take a small tweezer and grasp the tick as close to the head as possible and then gently tug it out. You should not try to twist it or jerk it because a piece may be left in" explains Dr. Goo. The main thing is to get all of the parts of the tick out. If any pieces are left in, they could cause a nasty infection. Antibiotic ointment should be kept on the bite for the next few days and parents should keep a close eye on their little patient. "Keep the area clean and if it starts to get swollen or red or painful that's the first sign of infection. If it starts to drain pus or anything like that, please follow up with your doctor" advises Dr. Goo.
So, what's the best way to avoid the problem all together? If your kids are going to be playing outside in the woods, cover them in bug spray. Then, when they get home, check them over for ticks.
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