Have you heard of Lyme disease? Do you know that Lyme disease can affect your toddler’s heart if you don’t treat it in time? A Lyme disease is a weird disease that occurs in wooded or grassy areas; places you’d find deer and mice. The disease is quite common in the Pacific Northwest, Northeast and Northern Midwest states.
What Is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease occurs due to the bacterium Borrelia Burgdorferi. The bacteria occur in animals like deer and mice. Ticks that feed on mice and deer then transmit it to human beings through tick bites.
Since immature ticks are tiny, they are hard to see and recognize. It is because of their size that you might overlook a tick bite; studies say that most toddlers bitten by a tick do not even remember they were bitten (1).
[ Read: Viral And Bacterial Infections In Toddlers ]
Symptoms Of Lyme Disease In Toddlers:
Lyme disease affects many parts of the body: the skin, joints, nervous system and even the heart. The symptoms of Lyme diseas
- It starts with a circular rash where the ticks bite and is visible within one-two weeks of infection. The rash is specific to Lyme disease, but there are many toddlers who might not develop one at all.
- The rash is red and appears like an expanding ring. It is usually painless and flat and looks more like a bruise, so it is not easy to identify. The surprising fact about the bruise is that it disappears over a course of time.
- The rash might accompany other symptoms like flu, fever, fatigue and headache.
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- If the rash is not treated, the infection might eventually spread to other parts of the body. Your toddler might start feeling tired and weak.
- At this stage, the Lyme starts affecting the heart and leads to irregular heartbeats. The result, your toddler, feels dizzy; the disease spreads to the nervous system and leads to facial paralysis or meningitis.
- The final stage can start to occur when the earlier stages were not treated.
- Toddlers might have tenderness and swelling in the knee joint, which almost feels like arthritis.
[ Read: Common Allergies In Toddlers ]
Diagnosing Lyme Disease In Toddlers:
Lyme disease has a plethora of symptoms, which makes it difficult for even the doctors to diagnose. Doctors have to resort to blood tests to determine how the body reacts to Lyme disease.
When Should You Call A Doctor?
- If you feel your toddler is bitten by a tick.
- If you see a red-ringed rash.
- If she is keeping ill, has the flu, feels weak, and complains of joint pain, muscle pain.
You should consult a doctor if you feel something is wrong with your little angel. It is also important to protect other family members from the disease. Make other kids wear boots, long sleeved t-shirts, full pants and make sure the pants are tucked in the shoe to prevent ticks from crawling upwards. Ask them not to sit on the ground, check for ticks regularly. Change their clothes after they leave the tick-affected areas. Using an insect repellent containing DEET is always a plus. Read the instructions on the manual carefully and make sure not to overuse it.
[ Read: Symptoms Of Hives In Toddlers ]
Treating Lyme Disease In Toddlers:
Doctors typically prescribe antibiotics for the course of 2-4 weeks. If you diagnose the disease in time, the treatment offers good results. The disease is not contagious and thus does not pass from one person to another.
If you or someone you know experience something similar, do share the experience with us. It would help others be cautious and take better treatment decisions.