On June 8, LDA President Pat Smith presented the Powerpoint “How A Tick Can Make you Sick” to all 3 third grades in the Allenwood Elementary School, Wall Township, NJ, and provided the same on June 14 to all five 3rd grades in Newbury School in Howell Township, NJ. In an hour long session, she explained what Lyme is, where it comes from, the 3 types of ticks that cause problems in NJ with many different tick-borne diseases, how to protect against ticks, and how to properly remove a tick.
LDA provided a bag with LDA brochures and a prevention poster. Also the kids received a magnifying glass along with the LDA tick ID card to look at the actual-size ticks with it at the conclusion of the talk. Children were excited to ask questions at the end of the talk. The LDA also developed a “TickBox, ” a box with test tubes of ticks fastened inside and a battery operated light which could be passed around for kids to see “real” ticks. LDA board member Richard Smith assisted with the TickBox.
Since ages 5-9 are at the highest risk of acquiring Lyme, Ms. Smith stressed to the children the need to take the material home and share it with their parents. She heard a number of stories of improper removal from the children, for example, petroleum jelly put on the tick to make it back out. She also heard from kids that doctors are still saying the tick must be attached for more than 24 hours to transmit the disease.
On June 15, LDA president Pat Smith presented an age appropriate version of the Powerpoint “How A Tick Can Make You Sick” to Boy Scout Troop 66, Matawan, NJ, 40 boy scouts plus their leaders, the boys ages 10-16. Scouting activities can carry a high risk for acquiring tick-borne diseases so Ms. Smith emphasized proper tick removal and prevention strategies. The troop does have a tick remover which is included in the camping kit that follows the boys on their camp experiences. The boys also viewed the “TickBox.”
Left: Newbury School, Howell, NJ