A small bloodthirsty monster, which you will not notice immediately, can bring a lot of troubles to your child – from an allergic reaction to a bite before being infected with a dangerous viral infection.
Therefore, going for a summer walk, you should be prepared for an unwanted meeting. This article will discuss what to do if your child has been bitten by a tick and how to protect a child from tick-borne infections.
Meet the tick
The tick is not an insect, as many believe, but an arthropods arachnid, which in the majority of the world’s population causes disgust and well-founded fear. Nourished with blood, he can patiently watch his victim for hours in places where he is completely invisible – on grass blades, stems of plants, low bushes. After falling on a man, the mite climbs higher with the help of claws and, having chosen an attractive place, digs into the desired prey with a proboscis. Anesthetizing her donor with a special saliva formulation, the animal is able to remain undetected for a long time.
The appetite of an arthropod is boundless – he literally plunges into the human body with his head, and no force is able to tear him from a tasty dinner. If on an empty stomach its size is approximately comparable to a match head, then after a hearty feast the mite swells up to 10 millimeters. The male, being full, may fall away, but the female does not want to leave the hospitable host, it must be forcibly removed. The first “activists” open the hunting season already in April and cause trouble to careless passers-by until the frosts. The most dangerous time for meeting with them is from the beginning of spring to the end of July.
What is dangerous for a child’s tick bite
A small unpleasant animal can tolerate many infections. Even if his feast lasted not for long, the risk of infection is not completely excluded. The main diseases transmitted by the tick:
1. Tick-borne encephalitis – one of the most dangerous and severe diseases affecting the central nervous system. The incubation period lasts from 5 to 25 days. The disease is very difficult, characterized by severe intoxication, damage to the brain and spinal cord. The illness threatens with serious complications, sometimes a fatal outcome is possible. Symptoms:
– severe heat and fever, fever;
– muscle weakness and pain;
– drowsiness or, conversely, increased excitement;
– headache, loss of consciousness is possible.
2. Tick borreliosis – a serious bacterial disease, the pathogens of which the tick carries from animals to humans. To the symptoms of intoxication, similar to the manifestations of encephalitis, a characteristic rash is added-at the place of introduction of the tick there is reddening, which for several days expands to an annular pattern with a diameter of 10 or more centimeters. Doctors call this rash “migratory ring-shaped erythema.” In the initial stage, the disease is well treatable, otherwise it can go on into a chronic form. Then the disease affects joints, heart, nervous system and does not please with a comforting forecast.
3. Tick spotted fever – all their types are accompanied by common clinical manifestations:
– The incubation period is one to two weeks;
– acute onset of the disease and cyclic course;
– papule or infiltration with a dark crust at the site of the tick bite;
– weakness, headache, conjunctivitis, intoxication;
– on the third or fourth day – the appearance of a patchy-papular rash all over the body, abundant, but without itching.
It is disappointing, but the fact is – you can get infected from a tick by not one infection, but “in the complex.”
How do you know if a tick bites a child?
Especially dangerous insatiable bloodsuckers for children, because their body is not yet strong and can not fully combat dangerous infections. Given the painlessness of the bite, you can simply not notice it. Therefore, returning from a walk through the forest or park, you should carefully examine your child. The most favorite places for a bloodsucker on a child’s body are the head and place behind the ears, neck, chest and back, hands. In older children, mites can be found under the armpits.
Attentive moms will find out even an animal who has not finished eating, and it’s hard not to notice a swollen tick from the overeating ticks. If the parasite is no longer there, a red speck with a diameter of approximately one centimeter remains at the site of the implantation. It is worth to carefully observe the baby – if the stain does not go away within 2-3 days, or there are signs of deterioration of well-being, you should immediately visit a doctor.
How to remove a sucking mite from the baby’s skin
Having found the tick not the tender body of the child, the parents are lost and often panic. Meanwhile, it is necessary to clearly know what to do in this case, how to quickly and accurately and reliably remove the baby from a dangerous animal. Action plan:
1. First of all, you should visually assess the chances for safe extraction of the tick yourself. If the body of the bloodsucker protrudes to the surface, you can use tweezers, a special device to remove ticks, thread, or simply grab it with your fingers. Do not try to pull it out sharply – you can tear off the body, leaving the tick’s head inside. This situation can provoke a strong inflammation and increase the chances of getting into the baby’s body of the virus.
– A tweezers, a clip or a piece of a bandage should slowly rotate the animal counter-clockwise, gradually removing it to the surface. You must act cautiously, without squeezing your abdomen, otherwise you can crush the tick and get infected.
– After tying the thread with a strong knot around the proboscis, the two ends of the thread are twisted in one direction, gently pulling upwards.
If the mite is sitting deep in the child’s body, or an independent attempt to extract it has failed, you should immediately contact the nearest medical institution for qualified help.
2. After the mite is pulled out, the place of its introduction should be washed with water and soap and treated with iodine or alcohol. With severe soreness and redness, you still need the help of a doctor.
3. Mites can not just be thrown away. Danger lies in wait and when it is crushed – the risk of infection with a dangerous infection increases at times. It is best to burn it or put it in a jar with a wet fleece and carry it to an analysis that determines the presence or absence of the virus.
4. Mom better to record the date of the event, so as not to miss the first signs of a possible disease. If the bite site turns red after 1-3 weeks and becomes firm, the temperature will jump up sharply, and the headache becomes intolerable – immediately to the doctor!
Important! Adherent mites do not need to be smeared with oil, petroleum jelly or gasoline on the advice of “experienced” friends. Having felt the threat of life, the animal will inject all the saliva with toxins and viruses into the child’s body, thus significantly increasing the threat of infection.
Investigate a child’s blood for the possibility of infection preferably ten days after a tick bite – at an earlier time the analysis may be unreliable.
How to protect a child from tick-borne infections
It is the most reliable way to protect your neposeda by special vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis. It is done in two stages with an interval of 1-3 months and is repeated every three years. Unfortunately, a baby up to a year old can not be protected in this way, so Mom should carefully choose places for walks. If a tick is found on a crumb, it is necessary to visit a pediatrician, he will prescribe a preventive course of immunoglobulin or children’s anaferon. Against tick-borne borreliosis, vaccination is not done, but the disease is very treatable at early stages. Therefore, if there was an attack of a tick, it is important to closely monitor the baby for a month.
How to protect your child from tick bites
To protect the child from the dangerous introduction of bloodsucking animals is possible, you just have to follow simple rules when walking in the forest:
1. Try to keep as few open areas of the body as possible – long sleeves of the shirt or sweaters tucked into the socks of the trousers and panama will help to reduce the risk of meeting the mite to a minimum;
2. On the light or white clothes of the parasite will be clearly visible, it will be possible to get rid of his presence before the attack;
3. Avoid bushes and too tall grass to protect yourself and your baby from a dangerous meeting;
4. After returning from the forest, it is necessary to carefully examine the child, his and his clothes, bags and baskets with luggage. An uninvited guest in the house is capable of causing trouble at any time.
Every year the number of ticks increases, and the area of their settlement is expanding. Areas that were previously quite well-off are marked by doctors as risk areas. Of course, not every bite of a tick for a child ends with infection. According to statistics, tick-borne encephalitis falls from 0.5% to 3% of bitten, borreliosis – 3-5%. However, when it comes to defenseless kids, these figures do not console – where is the guarantee that a beloved child will not fall into these frightening interests.
Preventive measures available to all mothers and careful monitoring of children will help to avoid possible risks.