Every parent needs to see what 'seed ticks' did to this little girl

<i>(Photo: Getty Images)</i>
(Photo: Getty Images)

With warmer winters attracting seasonal pests earlier than usual, scientists predict spring/summer 2017 could be one of the worst tick seasons in recent history. The health warnings have led to the resurfacing of one mom’s viral post, urging parents to protect their children from the outbreak.

Beka Setzer posted a slew of eye-opening photos on Facebook last summer, showing scattered tick bites on her daughter’s hands and legs. She hopes to spread awareness to other parents who might not realize just how small and hidden ticks can be.

“Emmalee was playing outside yesterday rolling around on the ground while enjoying the sprinkler,” the Ohio mom wrote. “After coming inside and laying down for a nap, I just happened to notice tiny (and I mean TINY) little black dots all over her legs, abdomen, arms, and armpit area.”

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Setzer’s initial thought was that the tiny dots were seeds. It wasn’t until she couldn’t wipe them off and had to scrape them that she realized they were ticks.

“She must’ve been playing in or near a nest of tick larvae and was covered,” Setzer wrote. “I spent nearly an hour and a half picking off well over 100 minuscule baby ticks off of her, gave her a long Dawn dish soap bath with repeated washing, washed all bedding, clothing, and toys she came into contact with afterwards and administered Benadryl.”

The next morning, Emmalee woke up with a fever, bites all over her body, and a “hard, marble sized” swollen lymph node. “I want to make every parent aware of what these look like so you can be on the lookout,” Setzer wrote. They’re not as easy to see as the ticks you’re likely looking for on yourself or children.”

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If you spot a tick on your child, be careful not to pull it off by its back. The tick’s mouth can be left behind on their skin, leaving them at risk for various infections including Lyme disease. It’s recommended that you use a knife to scrape them off, or extract them using a strong pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass. Of course, the best way to fight ticks is to avoid getting bitten altogether.

Helpful tips for tick season:

  • Wear long pants if you’re out on a hike

  • Use insect repellent

  • Checking your entire body for ticks after time spent in wooded areas

  • Carefully remove any you find as soon as possible

  • For those in rural areas, keep grass on your property short and rake up leaves

  • If you develop an unexplained fever and a headache after time in the woods, see your doctor

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