What To Do If Your Child Gets A Tick (video interview)

The question, what to do if your child gets a tick? is on everybody's mind around where I live this time of year.

This week on The Resilient Family series I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Jesse Pierce about Lyme disease. Dr Pierce has been very helpful to my family as we've moved through our own lyme journey. She treats a lot of lyme and lyme co-infections and her knowledge is extensive.

My goal with this interview was to help parents feel more confident about lyme by helping them better understand prevention and treatment options.

Scroll down to see highlights, a natural tick repellant recipe and what to carry with you in a first aid kit.

Find Dr Jesse Pierce at:

https://biohealottawa.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jessepierceND/

Take Home Messages From The Interview

  • Lyme symptoms vary a great deal from person to person, in part because there are several strains of the lyme bacteria itself (which is called Borrelia) and there are also other infections that can get transmitted at the same time as Borrelia (these are called co-infections and include Bartonella, Babesia and others). Each bacteria creates different symptoms in the body
  • Lyme is everywhere. There is no longer an area that is "lyme-free"
  • Lyme and coinfections can be transmitted by ticks as well as fleas, spiders and other biting insects
  • The current test (in Ontario where she practices) tests only for a few strains of the Borrelia bacteria.
  • If there is a "bullseye" rash at the site of a tick bite, there is a Borrelia infection. This happens in 30% of cases. Go to the doctor ASAP for antibiotics.
  • If there is no rash, or if you did not see a tick, some of the other symptoms to look out for are:
    • joint pain (especially pain that moves around the body), 
    • low or high fever,
    • neurological symptoms that have no other explanation (forgetfulness, headaches, regression in learning, numbness in parts of the body, bell's palsy in the face, OCD-like behaviour, increased agitation and anxiety, sleep disturbances....).  

If you see this sort of thing after potential exposure, head to your doctor and be sure to tell them about possible tick exposure.

  • Antibiotics, when given in the first 4 weeks after infection, are very effective agains Borrelia but they don't always get the co-infections.
  • Antibiotics can be supported with herbs that treat co-infections for a very powerful treatment-team (a few specifics were mentioned in the interview - most NDs know about them and can help you access them).
  • Probiotics and other support for the gut can mitigate the stress and damage of antibiotics, should you need them
  • Should you find a tick, here's what to do:
    • remove it carefully with tweezers (so you get the head), try to keep it so it can be tested later if necessary

    • treat the skin topically with a poultice of Colloidal silver and activated charcoal (under a bandaid) to try to pull any bacteria out. Change that daily.

    • Give a few doses of the homeopathic remedy Ledum throughout the day, which helps push the bacteria out 

    • Go to your doctor as soon as possible for an assessment of the situation.

    • There are two places you can get your tick tested (that I know of) for about $50

TICK REPELLANT RECIPE:

Essential oils of Lemon Eucalyptus, Rose Geranium, Peppermint, and Bergamot effectively repel ticks. Mix a combination of those (to total 20-40 drops) with 2 oz water + 2 oz witch hazel or vodka or apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle to use as a repellant

WHAT TO KEEP IN YOUR FIRST AID KIT:

  • a set of very sharp tweezers so you can carefully remove the tick

  • a plastic bag so you can keep the tick if you find it and it can be tested if need be

  • colloidal silver (get this as a spray on my dispensary under the "lyme" category and use it as a topical antibiotic on the site of the tick bite)

  • activated charcoal capsules (open them up and mix into the silver on top of the bite area to help pull out infection; get this at any good health food store that sells supplements)

  • bandaids to cover the bite site

  • Ledum 1MK or 200ch (a homeopathic remedy that helps push infection out of the body; give this after a tick bite until you can get medical help. Get it at any good health food store that sells supplements)

  • a pen (draw a circle around the bite area so you can remember where it was and monitor it)

  • Deep Immune For Kids (get these immune boosting drops on my dispensary under the "lyme" category and use this until you can get to medical help)

We should all be concerned about lyme. But I hope our concern will lead us to strategy rather than into panic. Support the health of your child's body best you can (start by getting the Trifecta For Resilient Health in good working order), know what you're looking for in terms of infection, and know your options for treatment. 

The strength of the immune system is a key factor in how the body will respond to lyme and lyme co-infections, should it contract the bacteria. So how do you keep the immune system strong? Follow the 4 Pillars Of Resilient Health.

You can also check out our SuperImmune Kids e-course for more immune-supporting strategies.

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About Jess Sherman, M.Ed, R.H.N

Jess is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ and Family Health Expert, specializing in brain health & resilience for kids. She is the author of Raising Resilience: Take the stress out of feeding your family & love your life, a mother and an advocate for children’s health. Her book and online resources have helped families all over the world improve the lives of their children with learning differences, anxiety, ADHD, autism and mood disorders by fitting the food and feeding piece into their health puzzles. She is the 2019 recipient of the CSNNAA award for Clinical Excellence for her work helping families get healthier, and she continues to work at bringing an understanding of the power of good nutrition to the mainstream conversation about children’s mental health, learning, and overall resilience through her blog, courses and as a  contributor to print and online magazines. You can reach Jess at www.jesssherman.com 

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