Parents Post Scary Video to Warn Others About 'Tick Paralysis' in Kids
They want to educate others about tick paralysis, especially because if it's caught quickly, symptoms can reside within 24 hours of the tick being removed.
An Oregon mom shared a terrifying video of her daughter unable to stand after she was left temporarily paralyzed by a tick bite.
It all started on May 14, when Mom Amanda Lewis said her daughter Evelyn was acting "weird" around bedtime. "She didn't want to stand up after her bath to get into her pajamas," she explained in the now-viral Facebook post. "I helped her and got her in bed. She was a little fussy last night and I ended up sleeping in bed with her all night."
By the next morning, Evelyn could barely walk, crawl, or use her arms. Amanda and her husband took some video and sent it to family to see if they had any idea what was going on. Then they rushed their daughter to the ER, where a doctor found a tick hiding in her hair.
"This condition is called tick paralysis," Amanda explained. "Now that the tick has been removed, Evelyn should start feeling like herself in a couple of hours."
Amanda explained in her post that tick paralysis results from the injection of a toxin from a tick's salivary glands. Symptoms generally start within two to seven days after a bite, beginning with weakness in both legs that progresses to paralysis. The paralysis ascends to the trunk, arms, and head within hours and may lead to respiratory failure and death. Which is why, after Evelyn started to improve, Lewis decided to share her video on social media as a way to warn other parents.
"The ticks are out like crazy right now so if your children or dogs start acting a little off, check them thoroughly for ticks," she wrote. "My husband and I are still in shock that this happened to our baby girl and I'm glad we were able to spread some awareness about this. It's not terribly common for this to happen but it's good to be aware that if your children or pets start having weakness in their limbs to look for a tick! The doctor told us that the type of tick that was found on her does not typically carry Lyme disease (dog tick) but we are keeping a close eye on her anyway."
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Learn more about tick paralysis from the American Lyme Disease Foundation.
Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.