Key Points About Lyme Disease in Children
- Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria. The bacteria are usually spread by tick bites.
- Lyme disease is a year-round problem, but it peaks during the spring and summer months.
- Ticks live in wooded areas, low-growing grasslands and yards. A child is more at risk outdoors in these places or around a pet who has been in these areas.
- One of the most common symptoms is a ring-shaped rash that looks like a bulls-eye. It may be pink in the center and have a darker red ring around it. The rash does not occur in every case of Lyme disease.
- Lyme disease is usually not hard for a healthcare provider to diagnose. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms, exam and a history of a tick bite or possible tick exposure. Your child may have blood tests to help diagnose it.
- Lyme disease is usually treated with antibiotic medicine. Early stage Lyme disease is more easily cured with antibiotics than late-stage disease. Repeated courses of antibiotics for post-Lyme disease syndrome don't help.
- There is no vaccine for Lyme disease. But you can help prevent Lyme disease by protecting your child from tick bites.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Infectious Diseases Treatment at Children's National Hospital
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Departments that Treat Lyme Disease
Our Division of Infectious Diseases is the major referral center for infectious diseases in the Washington, D.C., area, helping thousands of patients each year, and actively promoting prevention through community outreach and education.