Childrearing

This Mom’s Viral Photo About ‘Seed Ticks’ Is Important for All Parents to See

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Ticks are a parent’s nightmare. They’re everywhere in the outdoors, and they’re like tiny little disease-carrying ninjas when it comes to getting on kids without anybody noticing. Of course, it doesn’t help that kids love to play where ticks live. If the weather is nice and a small child has its own way, it’s probably going to rip off all its clothes and go leaping into a pile of leaves and just roll around there all summer. That’s why parents who live in areas with lots of ticks–which is many of us–have to be extremely vigilant about checking our kids for ticks. And now, as if we weren’t already paranoid enough about missing a tick on our kids, one mother has posted a photo of what happened when her daughter got caught by a huge colony of tiny baby seed ticks, and it’s pretty harrowing stuff.

According to POPSUGAR, Ohio mom Beka Seltzer’s daughter Emmalee was playing outside in a sprinkler and rolling around in the grass. Later, after a nap, Seltzer noticed that Emmalee was covered in what looked like tiny little specks of dirt or seeds. She tried to wipe them off, but when they wouldn’t come away, she realized they were actually extraordinarily tiny little ticks.

I have no idea how she ever noticed that was a tick. I would have thought it was a speck of dirt.

Emmalee was covered in well over 100 of the things, and it took more than an hour for her mom to get them all off.

“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,” Seltzer wrote.

Even with all that care, Emmalee still woke up with a fever and a swollen lymph node that her mother described as being as hard as a marble. The poor kid was also covered in these terrible bites all over.

Seed ticks are actually just baby dog ticks, and they don’t feel like anything when they attach to you, so they nearly went completely unnoticed. Dog ticks also are not known to transmit Lyme disease, but Lyme-carrying deer ticks have tiny seed tick babies just like these, so it’s good to know exactly how tiny a tick can be.

Lots of parents are vigilant about looking for ticks, but most are looking for larger ticks and not realizing that the baby variety are the same as adults, but much harder to spot.

The CDC says that most Lyme disease infections in humans come from immature ticks, because full-sized ticks are more likely to be found and removed before they can transmit the bacteria.

It’s important to look out for ticks, especially the really tiny ones, so Seltzer’s post is important for all parents to see, even if it makes everyone itchy and imagining phantom ticks on themselves all day.

(Image: Facebook / Beka Seltzer)