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The most common symptom of Lyme disease in children is a large circular rash caused by a tick bite. This may be followed by flu-like symptoms. That is, after the initial bite, a child might also display symptoms such as a fever, cough, joint pain, and a feeling of tiredness. If the condition goes untreated in its early stages, it may result in arthritis and tingling in the child’s extremities among other things.
Lyme disease in children can be difficult to diagnose because it causes a range of different symptoms. In most cases, the disease is caused by a tick bite, so this is the most common sign for a parent to look out for. Tick bites can be easy to miss, however, which is why the condition often goes undiagnosed. It’s also important to be aware that not all tick bites cause Lyme disease.
A rash is the most common symptom of Lyme disease in children and is often the first noticeable sign. The rash will appear to radiate outward from where the tick bite occurred, although it may not be visible until up to two weeks after the initial bite. Many children will complain that the rash is itchy and warm, although not all will find it painful to touch. The rash will typically last for a few weeks before disappearing.
After the initial bite, the child may suffer from flu like symptoms. A fever may also be present. Other symptoms of the acute stage of Lyme disease include headaches, chills, pain in the joints, and fatigue. The child may also suffer from an irregular heartbeat, which can cause chest pain. Not all children will suffer from the same symptoms, which is another reason why the condition can be difficult to diagnose correctly.
If Lyme disease in children is caught early, a course of antibiotics will usually prevent any further problems. Unless the condition is treated in its early stages, however, more severe symptoms can develop which are difficult to treat. These late symptoms may vary among children; not everyone is affected by the disease in the same way.
Some of the potential late symptoms of Lyme disease in children include arthritis, neurological problems, and difficulty concentrating. Arthritis usually affects larger joints such as the knee and may cause these joints to become large and swollen. Neurological problems are less common, but can include tingling in the extremities and muscle pain.