Ticks are smaller than a pinhead and they lurk in the undergrowth along woodland paths or in damp areas waiting for suitable victims. The main season for ticks is April to July, especially when a humid summer follows a mild winter. But tick bites can even occur in the winter when the weather is mild.
Tick bites (though they are actually stings as opposed to bites) go unnoticed and the tick continues to feed on the host’s blood until it is full. A tick bite can also transmit tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and Lyme disease (as well as other diseases).
You will usually only notice the bite once the tick has swollen to several times its original size.
What can mum/dad do?
Ticks should be removed immediately with the help of tweezers or a special tick remover tool without previously ‘treating’ them with chemicals or irritating them.
When should you see a doctor?
We recommend seeing a doctor if the child has any of the following symptoms:
- redness of the skin shaped like a bull’s eye (erythema migrans in Lyme disease)
- facial paralysis
- flu-like symptoms such as joint pain and headaches
- high fever