Be on the lookout for tick bites

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QIs it true that you can get Lyme disease from tick bites?

Yes, Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. Ticks are tiny arachnids found in woodland areas that feed on the blood of mammals, including humans.  

Tick bites often go unnoticed and the tick can remain feeding for several days before dropping off.

The longer the tick is in place, the higher the risk of it passing on the infection.

It’s best to be aware of the risks when you visit areas where ticks are likely to be found and take care, especially in other European countries and North Africa where infection is more common that in the UK.

You can reduce the risk of infection:

l be aware of ticks and the areas they usually live in

l keep to footpaths and avoiding long grass

l wearing appropriate clothing in tick-infested areas (a long-sleeve shirt and trousers tucked into socks)

l wear light-coloured fabrics that may help you spot a tick on your clothes

l use insect repellents

l inspect your skin for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, including your head, neck and skin folds (armpits, groin, and waistband)

l check your children’s head, neck and scalp

l make sure ticks are not brought home on clothes

l check pets do not bring ticks into your home in their fur

My son’s friend helps care for his disabled Mum. I think he needs some help but I don’t know where to get help from.

If your son’s friend is under 18 and looking after a family member, he is regarded as a young carer.

He will probably be doing jobs around the house that an adult would normally do. He might be giving his relative emotional support too.

It’s a lot of responsibility caring for someone. And for young people especially, they also need to have time for themselves outside school, to see friends, and to enjoy their interests and hobbies.

Care Information Scotland is a good starting point.

The service is available online, www.careinfoscotland.scot or on the telephone or via webchat, and includes a section dedicated to young carers.