Evaluate your Child's Lyme Disease Risk
In warm weather, the threat of Lyme disease might make you think that your kids would be safer in your living room than in the great outdoors.
Though a child's risk of getting Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick is only about 1-3%, it's important to consider the factors that affect Lyme disease risk.
It's true that Lyme disease is the leading tick-borne disease in the United States, with 20,000 to 25,000 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year. Most cases of Lyme disease occur in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and Pacific coast areas of the United States.
Lyme disease incidence has been reported in other states (and even in Asia, Europe, and Canada), but those hardest hit are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
Most Lyme disease cases occur between April and October, particularly in June and July.
Outdoor Activities and Pets
Besides living in one of these areas, other factors that might increase a child's tick risk include:
- spending a lot of time outdoors in tall grass, brush, shrubs, or wooded areas
- having pets that may carry ticks indoors
- participating in activities such as landscaping, hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting in tick-infested areas
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