TICK AWARENESS

Dear Parent/Guardian,
Your child is busy exploring the outdoors each day here at Children First. Over time, you may notice that they are healthier, happier, and even more focused and attentive! They certainly may be more tired at the end of a day of active play and exploration! Research shows that increases in outdoor play time can have a deeply beneficial effect on our children. Thank you for supporting your child to have these experiences! Please remember to help your child get the most out of these experiences by: having them dress for the weather, pack an extra set of clothes (and mittens in season), apply sunscreen before or upon arrival, send a water bottle for hydration, hats/sunglasses for sun protection, and a lunchbox filled with lots of healthy food choices.
Beyond sun and cold, there are some insects that we must contend with as we share their habitat with them. Please ensure that we have an epi-pen and the appropriate medical paperwork if your child has an allergy to bees. For mosquitoes, appropriate clothing and bug spray are the best defenses (some people have found success with the wearable repellant jewelry – make sure to tell staff if your child will wearing these).
The insect that may cause the most concern is ticks. While ticks are most active from April – September, they can be found any time of year. We want to advise you of what to look for each time your child plays outside (here at CF or anywhere). This information has been taken from the Center for Disease Control’s web site. http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/. While most ticks are harmless and don’t require medical treatment, some ticks (like the deer tick, lone star tick and others) can carry harmful germs and cause diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and Ehrlichiosis. The deer tick is tiny, and no larger than a pencil point. Other ticks are larger and easier to find on the skin.
Think Prevention
 Wear appropriate clothing: please see attached page for more information.
 Conduct a full-body tick check DAILY: Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
 Examine clothes and gear. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine coats, and day packs. Tumbling clothes in a dryer on the highest heat for at least one hour may help kill remaining ticks.
 Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of being bitten by a tick.
 Repellents containing 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can be applied to the skin, and they can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions! Parents should apply this product to their child before school, avoiding hands, eyes, and mouth.
What to do if you find a tick attached:
If the tick is still attached to the skin, remove it:
 Using fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the head of the tick close to the skin.
 Firmly and steadily pull the tick straight out of the skin.
 Do not twist the tick or rock it from side to side while removing it.
 Put tick in a sealed container or zip-locked bag and save it to show the doctor if your child becomes ill.
 Do not use petroleum jelly or a hot match to kill and remove the tick.
 Wash area with soap and water or swab the area with rubbing alcohol.
Signs & Symptoms of Tick-Related Diseases:
 Fever/chills: With all tickborne diseases, patients can experience fever at varying degrees and time of onset.
 Aches and pains: Tickborne disease symptoms include headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. With Lyme disease you may also experience joint pain. The severity and time of onset of these symptoms can depend on the disease and the patient’s personal tolerance level.
 Rash
Tickborne diseases can result in mild symptoms treatable at home to severe infections requiring hospitalization. Although easily treated with antibiotics, these diseases can be difficult for physicians to diagnose. However, early recognition and treatment of the infection decreases the risk of serious complications. So see your doctor immediately if your child may have been bitten by a tick and experiences any of the symptoms described above.
Seek Medical Care if:
 The tick might have been on the skin for more than 6-8 hours.
 Part of the tick remains in the skin after attempted removal.
 A rash of any kind develops (especially the red-ringed bull’s eye rash or red dots on wrists and ankles).
 The bite area looks infected (increasing redness, warmth, swelling, pain or oozing pus).
 Symptoms like fever, headache, fatigue, chills, stiff neck or back or muscle or joint aches develop.
For more informatin about ticks, visit the Center for Disease Control Site http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/index.html

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