Pediatricians warn of North Carolina tick season

Pediatricians caution that in the Gastonia, NC area, tick season starts in the spring and runs all the way through autumn. Ticks are most often found in the woods, but sometimes appear in your backyard.

You should teach your children to check themselves and their clothes for ticks after any time spent outdoors in tall grass or bushes. Drying clothes on high heat for 10 minutes will kill any ticks on them. Removing ticks from skin is a process you shouldn’t overthink — just get a pair of tweezers, grab them as close to the skin as you can and pull straight up with a steady motion.

Ticks and Lyme disease

There are about 329,000 new cases of Lyme disease reported every year, and many believe this is an underestimate of the true numbers. The symptoms can be debilitating and last for years, especially if the disease is allowed to progress before treatment. 74 percent of children with untreated Lyme disease reported suffering from cognitive problems.

The key to avoiding the worst effects of Lyme disease is early diagnosis and treatment. One common early symptom is a red rash around the tick bite. This rash will look like a bull’s-eye, a red blotch or a red oval, and won’t itch. Blisters occasionally appear. The rash is sometimes raised, but usually not. It can appear within a few days of the bite, or as long as a month afterward, so it’s important to keep an eye on known tick bites for a while. Make sure your children know what to look for as well.

Another common early symptom is a flu-like feeling of severe fatigue. This is particularly common in children — in one study, 84 percent of children with Lyme disease reported fatigue. Headaches, dizziness and fever are other flu-like symptoms. There may also be pain and stiffness in the joints. If your child shows signs of these symptoms in the days after a hike in the outdoors, you should take him or her to a pediatrician who has experience with Lyme disease or knows a specialist who does.

Pediatricians in Gastonia, NC

The best time to look for a pediatrician in your area is when your child is perfectly healthy, you are not in a hurry and you can afford to take the time to find the best. Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a pediatric clinic in a convenient location within the Charlotte area. It is one of the first medical practices for children in this area, and is owned and directed by its own physicians. It offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day, and has provided personalized service to three generations of families. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. If you need a pediatrician for your family, contact Gastonia Pediatrics today.