Monday, April 9, 2018

TICK SEASON



Tick Season is HERE!!

With warmer weather approaching, people in Southern Maine are itching to get OUTSIDE to enjoy some hiking and biking and yard work.  It may seem too cold for those little guys to come out, but as soon as the snow thaws, ticks come out of hiding.  

         Image result for yard work cartoon                                     Image result for hiking cartoon

May is Lyme Disease awareness month, and this is the perfect time of year to remind our community about tick safety

The Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some amazing resources, I have included the link to the CDC page at the bottom of this page.

Deer Ticks or (Ixodes scapularis) is the only tick known to transmit Lyme disease and it looks like this:
Image result for deer tick                  Related image


Ticks tend to bite humans in the nymph stage (smaller picture) and must be embedded for 24 hours to infect a person with Lyme Disease. 

The other common tick found in Maine is the Dog tick, it looks like this: 

                                             Image result for dog tick


Dog ticks do not cause disease.  The main difference between a dog tick and a deer tick is the coloring.  Do not go by size, they can be the same size or smaller than a deer tick at different stages of its life.  The dog tick will have a white area behind its head or 'racing stripes down it's back.


Symptoms of Lyme Disease:
Early symptoms:
Image result for bulls eye rash-Erythema migrans (bull’s eye rash)
can be found anywhere on body and doesn't have to be where the tick was found
-Muscle and joint pain
-Fatigue
-Chills, fever, and headache Swollen lymph nodes


Image result for bell's palsy


Late Symptoms:
-Arthritis with recurrent, brief
attacks of joint swelling
-Lymphocytic meningitis

-Bell’s palsy
-Encephalitis
-Heart arrhythmias

Prevention is the BEST medicine!!

To prevent a tick bite follow the CDCs No Ticks for Me 4 Step Prevention system:

1. Wear protective clothing
Wear light colors with long sleeves and long pants with socks pulled up over pants and shirts tucked in.  Ticks only crawl up and will reach skin at your neck line and hopefully you will see them before they have a chance to embed.



                                                         Image result for tick protective clothing

2. Use EPA approved repellant
Use repellants containing
DEET, oil of lemon
eucalyptus, IR3535,
picaridin, or permethrin (be sure to only use this one on clothing and wash these clothes separate from others)

                        Image result for EPA approved tick repellent


3. Perform Tick Checks Daily
Focus on the warmest areas of your body and do not forget your head, hair, and ears.  Always shower immediately after hiking or playing in tick infested areas to dislodge ticks that have not latched on yet, and put clothes in the dryer.  (the hot air of the dryer will kill a tick)

                       
                      Image result for tick check

4. Use caution in tick infested areas
Stay on the trail
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I Found a Tick: Now What?

- Lyme takes 24 hours to transmit, so remove the tick right away with a tick spoon or tweezers

Image result for tick removal spoon                Image result for tick removal spoon

Pull the tick straight out without applying anything first and call your doctor to see what they recommend.  Do not worry if some of the tick was left behind in the skin, the part of the tick that transmits Lyme Disease is the abdomen.




You can find more information at the Maine CDC website Maine CDC

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

THE RIGHT MEDICINE AT THE TIME

GOT A SICK CHILD??

Image result for sick child
Image result for sick child

There is no worse feeling than holding a helpless sick child in your arms as they cry in pain from illness.  There is nothing you an do for them except cradle them and rub their heads.  A virus has taken over their little bodies.  Antibiotics do not work on this illness.  The doctor says to let it run its course...  OH WAIT,  you can give them over the counter medicine.  

Image result for AcetaminophenTylenol

Motrin

Cold Medicine

Sweet Relief

Just remember to use these medicines safely:
       Medicine is still medicine even if you bought it over the counter (without a prescription from your doctor)
       Children are children and aren't simply little adults when it comes to medicine.
Image result for ibuprofen children


The FDA has 10 rules to remember when administering medicine to children.  

1. READ and FOLLOW the label.  If the label says the drug cannot be given to children under 6, it is not safe for children under 6.  The facts and directions on the label are for the safety of your children.  These are not benign medicines

2. Know the ACTIVE ingredient in medicine and do NOT double dose.  For example, a medicine for pain may have the same active ingredient as a cold medicine for multi-symptom cough medicine, making it unsafe to give those medicines at the same time. The active ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen and acetaminophen may also be present in cold medicine.  Too much acetaminophen can be dangerous for anybody.

3. Talk to the experts and ASK about what to give and when, and which medicines can be given together.  Some medicine doesn't mix well. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse at your doctors office which medicine can be given together and which ones need some time apart.  
Image result for doctor kids

4. Give the RIGHT medicine in the RIGHT amount to your child.  Medicines are sold in many different concentrations under the same name for different ages.  For example Tylenol is sold in infant, child and adult concentrations.  Choose the concentration that is appropriate for the age and weight of your child. Always follow the directions on the package.  NEVER give more than recommended by the package because your child is sicker than last time.  

5. Use the dosing tool that comes with the package or one that you obtained from your pharmacist.  Do NOT use a kitchen spoon or just guess on the dosing.  

Image result for kitchen spoon
6. Know the difference between a teaspoon (tsp) and a tablespoon (tbsp). A tbsp holds 3x as much as a tsp.  A tsp is equal to 5 cc or 5ml. 
Image result for tablespoonImage result for milliliterImage result for milliliter

7. Know how much your child weighs.  Pediatric dosing is weight based.  If you have questions on how much medicine to give your child call your doctor. 
Image result for weight kids


8. PREVENT a POISONING emergency.  Keep all medicine out of reach of children and use a childproof cap.  Talk to older children about medicine safety.  
Image result for poisoning
9. The poison hotline is open 24 hours a day and the number is
1-800-222-1222

10. Triple check your medicine: 
         1. Check it at the store - look for tears or cuts, make sure you have the right dose for your child
         2. Check again when you get home, look at the lid and seal
         3. Check size shape and smell, if you notice anything off contact a health care professional prior to administering, and triple check dosing. 

Keep those kids safe and as comfortable as possible when they are sick.  

More information can be found here: FDA website

or from your pharmacist or your doctor.