Lyme Disease in Children

  • Topic Info:Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread through the bite of a black-legged tick. The peak season for Lyme disease is July-September.

    In August 2013, a report from the Centers for Disease Control stated that 300,000 Americans contract Lyme disease each year. This is 10 times the amount previously believed by health officials.

    Some of them are kids.

    What is the most common way to know if your child has Lyme disease?

    Lyme disease mimics the flu, but also will cause rashes among your child's body. If you notice a rash, fever, fatigue, muscle and joint aches call your doctor immediately.

    How can you prevent tick bites from happening?

    The best way to protect your body from being exposed to ticks is to wear clothes that cover your whole body. This may not seem like an ideal option, especially during the hot, humid days of the summer; but it is worth preventing the risk of exposure.

    Most importantly, after your child is playing outside in wooded or grassy areas, check their bodies to make sure ticks have not found a spot on their clothing or have latched onto their skin.

    What types of treatment options are available if your child does become infected?

    If your child has been bitten by a tick and has been diagnosed by your physician, don't panic. The main treatment for Lyme disease is antibiotics such as doxycycline, amoxicillin or cefuroxime.

    Chairman of pediatrics at K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital, Steven Kairys, MD, discusses what Lyme disease symptoms to look out for in your child, how to prevent Lyme disease and what treatment options are available.
  • Host: Melanie Cole, MS