With families catching up on much-missed activities, the summer holidays have flown by and it’s now time to get back to school!
Forest School plays an integral part of education – with many schools, clubs and education centres offering children the opportunity to participate in outdoor-based learning, as standard.
As the new term gets underway, it serves as a useful reminder for the need for children to be ‘tick aware’ while doing outdoor activities so as to guard against the risk of contracting Lyme disease.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a serious bacterial infection which can be spread to people through the bite of an infected tick. It is a very serious condition which affects the nervous system and, if it is not diagnosed and treated quickly, the consequences can be life changing.
Lyme disease is notoriously difficult to diagnose; it is associated with a red ‘bulls-eye’ rash but not everyone gets a rash (about 1/3rd of people diagnosed with Lyme disease did not have a rash).
What are ticks?
Ticks are small, spider like creatures which feed on the blood of animals and people. During this feeding process, infected ticks can transmit Lyme disease and other nasty tick-borne diseases.
Ticks love to lurk in woods, forests and long grassy areas but can also be found in back gardens and urban parks.
How big is the problem?
There has been a year on year increase in Lyme disease cases over the last decade and experts are predicting a ‘tick explosion’ over the next few years.
The UK has already seen unusually high tick numbers this summer which prompted Public Health England and local councils to issue renewed warnings urging people to be ‘tick aware’ while spending time outdoors. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust recently reported a 3 fold increase in tick numbers!
Be prepared this term…
So, as we head into autumn, it’s important to stay ‘tick aware’. Here are our top ‘tick tips’:
- Stick to clearly defined paths to avoid brushing against overhanging vegetation where ticks may be hiding
- Avoid dense vegetation
- Wear trousers, long sleeve tops and boots whenever possible to reduce direct exposure to ticks
- Wear light coloured clothing so that ticks can be spotted quickly and brushed off
- Use Botanic Protect tick repellent on all areas of exposed skin
- On children, be especially aware of exposed waists, ankles, neck, behind ears and hairlines as they are the perfect height for lurking ticks
- Carry out regular ‘tick checks’ after outdoor activities
- Keep Botanic Protect tick removers to hand
Remember, ticks can be as small as a poppy seed or pin head and like to lurk in places where they are hard to spot, like hairlines, behind the knees and armpits!
Botanic Protect is a naturally derived tick repellent which offers adults and children (including babies from 6 months+) effective protection against ticks.
The repellent formula is DEET-free, vegan-friendly, biodegradable and sustainably produced which means it’s a great fit for Forest Schools, outdoor educators and those who care about the environment!
*Use Insect repellents carefully. Always read the label and product information before use.*
© Botanic Protect Ltd 2021