5-Year-Old Girl Suffers From Tick Paralysis: Another Reminder To Always Check Your Kids For Ticks

By Tanya Diente, Parent Herald June 12, 01:38 am
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A mom from Mississippi advised parents to check their kids for tick bites after her daughter experienced temporary paralysis from a bite on the scalp. The toddler was unable to walk and struggled to speak because of the tick bite.
(Photo : NIAID | Flickr)

A tick bite is not something parents should just brush off as nothing serious especially when found on kids as it can lead to paralysis, which is sadly what happened to a toddler from Mississippi.

Tick Bite Scare

Kailyn Griffin woke up in a nightmare on a Wednesday morning when she collapsed in a heap as soon as her feet touched the floor. The 5-year-old girl could not feel her legs. She had no control over her lower limb.

Her mother, Jessica Griffin, initially thought that her daughter was still groggy from sleep. The mom thought there was nothing wrong with her and that her legs were probably just asleep. Kailyn was feeling fine when the family went to a T-ball game the night before, so she thought nothing much of her daughter's situation.

However, Jessica was in for a horrible surprise when the young girl started struggling to speak. It was only when she pulled Kailyn's hair up into a ponytail that she saw the tick latched onto her girl's scalp, filled with her blood. The mom pulled out the parasite and placed it in a plastic bag. The insect even left a visible bite mark on her daughter's scalp.

Jessica immediately rushed her daughter to the hospital for a CT scan and tons of blood work. The doctor ruled out that Kailyn had the uncommon tick paralysis, which is believed to be caused by saliva in ticks. Meanwhile, Kailyn had to be admitted to the hospital for observation. She had been a champ throughout the whole ordeal.

Lyme Disease

Tick season is from April to September. It is when parents should be on their best guard for the pesky parasites especially when outdoors with the kids. There are several ways parents can safeguard their children from tick bites. These include wearing long pants, boots, long sleeves, or using insect repellent when outdoors. Parents also need to do a thorough check of their kid's body to check for a tick bite.

Tick bites are the leading cause of the debilitating Lyme disease. An infected person usually experiences fever that lasts seven days after the tick starts feeding. The neurotoxins released by the female tick on the verge of laying eggs causes paralysis, which starts from the lower extremities and spreads upward.

Fortunately, Kailyn's paralysis was only temporary. She is now doing okay. Jessica shared an update on her daughter's health on Facebook with a photo of her walking out of the hospital carrying balloons.

The mother shared her experience in the hopes that parents will be cautious enough to check their kids for ticks. The bite is more dangerous and common in children than in adults.

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