Mom’s urgent warning after shocking discovery of her daughter’s ear: ‘She thought it was a pimple and apparently it wasn’t!’
A mother is urging parents to carefully examine their children’s skin after initially mistaking a spot behind her daughter’s ear for something minor.
After discovering a tick behind her daughter’s earring, mother Megan Sullivan warned parents to “thoroughly check” areas of their children’s skin they might not think to look at.
“So the ticks are out,” she said in a post that resurfaced on social media.
“I know many parents check their children, but there is one place I have never checked before. If your child has earrings, please check behind the holders.
A social media post from a mother who discovered a tick behind her daughter’s earring has resurfaced – as Australia enters tick season
After discovering a tick behind her daughter’s earring, mother Megan Sullivan is warned to “thoroughly check” areas of their children’s skin they might not think to look at.
“(My daughter) thought it was a pimple and obviously it wasn’t! I removed the earrings before the photos. Check carefully!!’
The warning reminds parents that “ticks can be anywhere” and that they should be especially vigilant in the spring and summer, when their activity is at its peak.
Ticks, which are tiny spider-like creatures that range in color from reddish to black and can be the size of a poppy seed or baked bean.
There are over 70 different types of ticks in Australia and they are most common on the east coast of Australia.
Australia’s tick season kicked off in September, with the arachnids appearing in force during the country’s warmer months.
A species of paralyzed tick called Ixodes holocyclus can be found along the east coast of Australia and can cause tick paralysis, tick-borne typhus and severe allergic reactions, which can be fatal.
Although there is no evidence that Lyme disease is caused by Australian ticks, there may be other infections carried by Australian ticks that could cause an infection similar to Lyme disease. These infections remain poorly characterized.
Signs of illness caused by ticks include rash, headache, fever, flu-like symptoms, tenderness, unsteady gait, intolerance to bright light, increased limb weakness, and paralysis facial.
Experts say the best way to get rid of a tick is to freeze the affected area with a spray containing ether, available at pharmacies.
“We need to remove ticks without squeezing or irritating them,” Australia’s safety and first aid service’s CPR Kids page explained after sharing Ms Sullivan’s post on Monday.
“If you use tick tweezers, metho, tea tree oil or other tick removers that might bring the tick out, but inject saliva containing allergens when removed from this way.
“Removing the tick without freezing the area risks developing a condition called mammalian meat allergy, in which people bitten by ticks develop severe allergies to certain types of meat.”
Parents who find tics should first freeze them with a spray containing ether, which can be found in pharmacies
Tick bites are more common during warmer months when conditions are hot and humid (stock image)
Dr Mualla McManus told Daily Mail Australia that people often don’t realize at first that they have been bitten by a tick, because the insects are extremely small and release an anesthetic when they bite.
“If you see little black dots on you, get a magnifying glass if you can and take a look at them. It’s like the point of a pin,” she said.
“You may not even be aware of it.”
She said people who spent time near the coast or in areas with dense bushland nearby often fell victim to tick bites.
Ticks can detect the presence of humans nearby by detecting carbon dioxide, she added.
Dr McManus advised wearing light-colored clothing at the beach or when walking near bushland to easily spot ticks – but warned there was no guaranteed way to avoid them.