NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For kids across the Northeast, summer camp season can mean ‘tick time.’
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 300,000 new cases of tick-borne Lyme disease are diagnosed annually in the U.S.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, that’s more than a 300 percent increase over the last 20 years.
Children are especially vulnerable because they play outside, so camp counselors are taking extra steps.
“If you get a bite you can go tell them and if it’s a tick bite they are going to know, and they’ll help you with that,” Annabel Reddy said.
Dr. Maurice Beer cautioned parents to look out for symptoms which can be deceptively subtle.
“If the kids is complaining they have a headache, they feel achy, or they’re tired, maybe they don’t want to go back to camp,” Dr. Beer said.
The doctor recommended that parents warn children to avoid tall grass, and at the end of the day check kids for ticks.
Riverdale resident Monica Nolasco and 12-year-old son Alexander have been paying attention.
“Buy the spray just to make sure, when he comes back take a shower, wash his clothes,” Nolasco said.
Lyme disease awareness is being made a priority in New York state with a new law that requires pamphlets and other materials be made available in schools so parents and kids know the warning signs.