Last year, Beka Setzer's 3-year-old daughter Emmalee came inside covered in baby ticks after playing outside under a sprinkler.
"After coming inside and laying down for a nap, I just happened to notice tiny (and I mean TINY) little black dots all over her legs, abdomen, arms and armpit area," Setzer explained in a Facebook post she wrote to warn other parents about the incident. "Thinking they may have just been seeds, I tried to wipe then scrape one off and it was a TICK! She must've been playing in or near a nest of tick larvae and was covered. I spent nearly an hour and a half picking off well over 150 minuscule baby ticks off of her."
Turns out, they're called "seed" ticks, otherwise known as tick larvae that hatch from the eggs of an adult female tick. They basically resemble poppy seeds with six legs, and since they're so tiny it's easy to miss them unless you find them in large groups, like Setzer did.
What a nightmare! Emmalee woke up the next day covered in spots with a low-grade fever and marble-sized swollen lymph node, but after an aggressive course of antibiotics the little girl was fine. Now, a year later, Setzer is sharing the story on social media again, after recently finding another tick on her daughter!
Good thing this mama is so diligent about doing tick checks—as we all should be.
So what if you do find a tick on your child?
Experts recommend using a pair of fine-pointed tweezers to grasp the tick by the head or mouth (not the body), then pull firmly and steadily, upward and out of the skin. Clean the bite wound with disinfectant, then watch the site closely for several weeks, and be on the lookout for symptoms of Lyme disease.