Lyme in children is a real danger. Simply because children love to play in the great outdoors. Remember the days when you splashed through puddles, crunched through leaves, rolled down hills & climbed up trees? Ticks love tall grasses on the edge of paths or under leaf litter. This puts children at greater risk. Typically they may not think to check their hair or skin whenever they come in from the great outdoors. As a parent you can help by bathing your child & checking for any strange specks on them. Remember that nymph ticks can bite & these are very small (approx 1.5 mm in size). At first the ticks are also very flat so if the tick has attached for its blood meal it may go unnoticed until several hours of feeding where it begins to engorge.
I have added below a sad report of a 5 year old girl who was found to have been infected with borrelia which became a chronic, recurrent illness.
Neuroradiology (1997) 39: 139–141 Ó Springer-Verlag 1997
R.Savas, A.Sommer, F. Gueckel, M.Georgi
Isolated oculomotor nerve paralysis in Lyme disease: MRI
A 12-year-old girl was referred for cranial MRI because of chronic,
recurrent borreliosis. Since the age of 7 she had suffered from recurrent
oculomotor nerve paralysis. She presented with right ptosis,
double vision and headache when she was 5 years old. Examination
revealed an incomplete oculomotor nerve paralysis and meningism.
She had a history of tick bites. The history led to the suspicion of
borreliosis, confirmed by the laboratory findings of an elevated serum
and spinal fluid IgG level and a pleocytosis in the spinal fluid.
The patient was treated with antibiotics, and the symptoms resolved.
Two years after the first admission, she again suffered acute attacks
of headache, fever, and oculomotor nerve palsy; laboratory testing
showed positive borrelia serology in serum and cerebrospinal fluid.
The diagnosis was second-stage Lyme disease, with mononeuritis.
However, treatment did not relieve the oculomotor palsy.
From that time until admission to our hospital there was no
further treatment or follow-up examination. She was admitted
again with headache that had slowly increased in severity over
some days and a persistent oculomotor nerve palsy. Routine blood
examination, CT and EEG were normal. MRI revealed a 4-mm,
rounded mass of low intensity in the right side of the interpeduncular
fossa (Fig. 1). Contrast-enhanced images showed a well-defined
lesion with sharp margins directly at the base of the oculomotor
nerve (Fig. 2). On T2-weighted images, this segment of the
nerve gave higher signal than its fellow. The other cranial nerves
and brain parenchyma were normal. The patient underwent conventional
panangiography, which was completely normal.
The lesion was therefore considered a manifestation of chronic,
recurrent borreliosis with oculomotor neuritis.
For some useful children’s resources please check out our links below:
Check out the children’s book “Jack, Scruffy & the Tick” published by BADA-UK.
For Tick Talk’s discussion on Paediatric Lyme see our facebook page!
Click here to learn of Luna the Tick & her adventures
At Age 15 She’s a Wise Soul: Lyme Disease, Plain & Simple Written by By Alexis, Sept. 20, 2010, Age 15 for Junior English Class
Saving Our Children: Evaluation and Management of Pediatric Tick-Borne Diseases (Dr Ann Corson)
European Centre for Disease Control – Children’s Tick Awareness Poster
Don’t Let the Ticks Bite – Tick Prevention Resource for Kids
Tick Encounter – Educational Resource for Children
Team Lyme – American charity for Tick Borne Disease in Children
Take care, & don’t let the Tick Bugs Bite!