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'My Kid Got Lyme Disease'

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Debbie Siciliano's family moved to Greenwich, Conn., in 1997. Just four months later, her son got a tick bite which led to the contraction of Lyme disease. Searching for information on what to do next, Debbie went to local school officials and told them of her family's experience with Lyme. She asked if others in the community were being educated about it and whether they were aware of its seriousness. The answer, sadly, was no.


Now Debbie is co-president and founder of Time for Lyme, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy network. Her mission is to educate others about this disease.

momlogic: What symptoms did your child have, and how did they differ from typical ailments?

Debbie Siciliano: My child had symptoms including aches and dizziness and a rash. We know that all cases of Lyme do not present with a rash. We were lucky to see it.

ml: How long did your son carry the disease before getting proper treatment? How many doctors did you have to see before someone got it right?

DS: Our story is a little complex. We got immediate treatment three days after seeing the rash. However, it turned out that the initial treatment was not enough. Three months later, other symptoms appeared, including blurry vision and night sweats. It was then that we sought additional medical advice and treatment.

ml: What can parents do to protect themselves and their children from Lyme disease?

DS: Educate yourself! It's the most important step. We encourage parents to go to our website to learn about prevention, diagnosis, tick removal and more.

ml: Is there a season where one is more likely to contract the disease?

DS: Yes. [Lyme] season begins in spring, when the nymphal, or young, ticks appear. These nymphs are very small and difficult to see. The season continues through the summer and even during the fall and winter.

ml: If you spot a tick on your body -- or your child's -- what's the next step?

DS: If you spot it, know how to properly remove it so that you lessen the chances of contracting infection. [momlogic note: Debbie admits that, when she found the tick on her child's body, she removed it incorrectly -- a mistake parents often commit. One should use tweezers to remove the tick, not fingers. Using fingers may force the contents of the tick into the body, spreading the disease.]

ml: Where can families go for more information on Lyme disease?

DS: We welcome families to visit our website at They can also learn about Lyme from the Columbia University Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases Research Center at, and from the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society at

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8 comments so far | Post a comment now
lm May 11, 2010, 4:49 PM

why doesn’t this article mention that lyme disease is preventable via vaccination?

Stop the May 18, 2010, 4:09 AM

Protect yourself from getting a tick bite and contamination with Lyme disease.
We’re working on Bugsox for kids, but they are already available for adults. Besides a Tick Remover, buy a Tick Test. This way you can test a tick after you’ve found one and you can go to the doctor with the test to start treatment as fast as possible. Specially for children it is important to act fast after a tick bite, as it can have consequences for the rest of a lifetime!

Read all about it on

Denny May 26, 2010, 2:40 AM

As someone living with Lyme disease in the UK, and a member of the online Lyme community, it really bugs me (excuse the pun) when commercial companies get involved in supposed awareness campaigns. The comment from “Stop the” is a blatant sales pitch to sell their products. Talk about trawling the web for a sales opportunity. It’s not their selling products I am against, it’s the masquerading as a public service. For any UK readers, if you want proper information on ticks and the diseases they carry, go to This is an annual awareness campaigning organised by a not-for-profit organisation. If it hadn’t been for them I wouldn’t have got my diagnosis. It makes me so angry that commercial companies try to hijack the good work done by genuine organisations.

James45 June 4, 2010, 12:43 AM

Lyme disease has been present for a long time in Ohio. Unfortunately, Cleveland lags behind in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme. I know several people who had to go out of state for treatment.

About lyme: lyme disease

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