Ticks in the School environment
Ticks are known to carry pathogens that can be harmful to humans.
Many people will be aware of the impact of the paralysis tick on their pets. They can be fatal. Some people however are less aware that ticks may carry pathogens, such as bacteria, which can be detrimental to human health.
We have, in the past, had reports of tick borne illness. Conditions such as Tick typhus and an illness similar to Lyme disease have been associated with ticks in Australia. Even tiny seed ticks can be dangerous.
What can you do?
Speak with your child about ticks and remind them not to lie on the grass or play under overhanging bushes where possible.
- Ensure they wear suitable clothing and if they are going on a bushwalk or similar make sure they have long trousers and sleeves. It can also be effective to spray with an insect repellent. Either a high strength preparation containing DEET, or ‘Mosiguard’ which does not contain DEET but is known to be quite an effective deterrent.
- Check out any sites of itching or irritation to ensure they don’t have a tick. They can be very tiny and may be in clusters. Ensure ticks are removed correctly – if in doubt get a doctor to do it.
- If your child demonstrates any symptoms of illness after a tick bite take them to the doctor as soon as possible.
A particularly nasty habit ticks have is to jump on to people and then slowly make their way to the armpits or groin etc over many hours. Sometimes they don’t attach until they have been carried by the host for some time. This can make it difficult to work out where you have picked up a tick.
Please report tick bites to us
We ask all children who find a tick at school to come to the office. If this occurs we will call you to collect them to have the tick removed. We always record the incident and note where the child believes they have picked up the tick. Please contact the school office (either campus) if you find a tick on your child at home.
For more information, try the following links, especially the first which is a comprehensive booklet created by the
Australian Association of Bush Regenerators who obviously come into regular contact with ticks:
- http://www.aabr.org.au/site/wp-content/ uploads/2013/12/AABR-Ticks-and-tick-borne-diseases- protecting-yourself1.pdf
- http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/pests/ parasites/Pages/ticks.aspx