What Are Signs Of Lyme Disease In Toddlers & How To Treat Them
Lyme disease is an infectious disease which is caused by three types of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia. It is most prevalent in the United States and is named after a village called Lyme, Connecticut where plenty of cases were first noted in 1975.
Lyme disease is a tick-borne disease transmitted to human beings through the bite of ticks that are infected by Borrelia. The chances of your toddler getting infected are slim unless you live in an area where Lyme disease is predominant.
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Nevertheless, the incidence of the disease has increased in recent years and is mostly in North America. The chances of your toddler getting Lyme disease happen when an infected tick gets embedded in the skin for a period of 12 to 48 hours. It is important that precautions are taken against toddler Lyme disease.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Toddlers
It is hard to pinpoint when a toddler has been infected with Lyme disease. In fact it is called a 'great imitator' as its symptoms are similar to other diseases, making it difficult to diagnose. Some of the early symptoms include a rash which can be solid red or a central oval or round spot with clear skin around it and an expanding ring or red rash, looking similar to a bull's eye. The rashes may grow up to 12 inches in diameter and the skin may feel warm without any itchy sensation or pain. The other symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, depression and if left untreated, the condition can worsen with muscle and joint pains and stiffness of the joints, back or neck, affecting the central nervous system. It can affect the total well being of the toddler causing irregular heart rhythm, cognitive degeneration, and arthritis, which might show up weeks or years later.
How to treat Lyme disease in Toddlers
Lyme disease in toddlers can be treated best at the early stages. Call your doctor as soon as you find any suspicious rash and also look for any ticks embedded on the toddler's skin and engorged. It means that the tick has been present for sometime under the skin. If it is attached you have to remove the tick immediately. Once the toddler is diagnosed for Lyme disease, he is treated with oral antibiotics for 3-4 weeks or through intravenous antibiotics. The child may be given anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce joint pain.
Toddler Lyme disease can be prevented by keeping your child well protected when going to wooded areas. Keep them clothed in long pants and full sleeved shirts with the pants tucked into light colored socks. In case you suspect an infection, apply insect repellent and wash your toddler thoroughly at the earliest.