Tips from PhysicianOne Urgent Care!
Today, protection against Lyme is critical as ever — Connecticut health officials say 2021 will be a bad year for ticks as populations upticks (pun intended) across the state.
Connecticut-based and mom-led PhysicianOne Urgent Care understands the stress when it comes to keeping your children safe from summer ailments and knows that ticks are probably high on your list of potential dangers. The good news is that there are numerous ways to protect your family from tick-borne illnesses. Our providers have helped thousands of people navigate questionable bug bites and possible Lyme symptoms, and we want to share five key things to keep in mind as your family enjoys the nicer weather outdoors.
When in doubt, get it checked out
For any medical condition or concern, we follow the mantra “when in doubt, get it checked out.” This is especially true with tick or bug bites in order to quickly help treat any illnesses the insects may carry.
Adding to the concern this year, Lyme disease and COVID-19 have similar symptoms: fever or chills, joint and muscle aches, sore throat and headache. If you are or your child is experiencing similar symptoms or there is a bite you are unsure about, don’t wait to intervene. Consult a medical professional, like our providers at PhysicianOne Urgent Care, to discuss your symptoms and concerns.
PhysicianOne Urgent Care has you covered with convenient telehealth options that fit families’ busy schedules. Virtual visits are available 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekdays & 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekends to help you fit in a visit anywhere from before school or camp to before bedtime. If you’d rather be seen in-person, we hope you visit us at a center near you. We accept walk-ins and our website has options for booking your visit ahead of time.
Know what kind of ticks to look out for
There are two known species of ticks in Connecticut that carry Lyme disease: deer ticks and lone star ticks. Both can be identified by distinctive markings on their backs: deer ticks have a rusty red crescent moon shape while lone star ticks can be identified by a singular white dot. When examining your family members for ticks, if you find one of these it is best to see a medical provider to discuss the bite, any symptoms and possible treatment options.
Watch out for the bullseye
One of the most telling signs of Lyme disease is the mark left behind, a rash with a unique shape. Often referred to as the “bullseye,” the rash contains a red circle on the skin surrounded by a larger circle (think of the Target logo for reference). Symptoms associated with the bullseye rash are itchy skin and burning sensations. If you notice this rash on either you or your child, contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
Dress to protect
Long pants and high socks are a great way to protect yourself from ticks. But in the summer months, this may not be a comfortable option and no one has the time to wrestle long sleeve shirts and long pants onto a squirmy toddler. In that case, give yourself and your child(ren) a thorough check to make sure you aren’t bringing any unwanted critters (and illnesses) home by accident. Be sure to check the entire body, including ankles, behind the knees, pant waists and scalps.
Send your ticks to the state
If you take these preventative measures and still find a tick on you or your child, don’t wait to see if symptoms arise. You can submit the tick to the state and they’ll test it for Lyme. This important step can arm you and your medical provider with key information to develop a treatment plan. Early detection means a quicker recovery.
You can’t protect your kids from everything, but these precautions are a great way to decrease the chances of your child, partner or other family member becoming seriously ill from a tick bite. At PhysicianOne Urgent Care, we’ve got you! Our experienced medical team (founded and still led by local physician Dr. Jeannie Kenkare, a mom of three herself) can assess bites, rashes and anything in between so you have peace-of-mind to help get you back to enjoying summer with your family.
This blog post is sponsored by PhysicianOne Urgent Care