Mom shares warning on Facebook after tick bite hospitalizes daughter

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When she brushed Kailyn's hair, she saw it: a tick had latched on to the girl's scalp. It was unclear what type of tick bit her daughter.

Jessica Griffin said her daughter, Kailyn, woke up on June 6 and couldn't walk.

After finding a tick in her daughter's hair, the mother said she rushed her little girl to the hospital.

Griffin later shared another photo of her daughter leaving the hospital.

Kailyn had a CT scan and bloodwork at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where doctors diagnosed her with tick paralysis, The Washington Post reported.

It didn't last long, though.


According to the CDC, a nerve toxin found in a pregnant female tick's saliva is believed to cause tick paralysis. These symptoms can include an unsteady gait, muscle weakness and eventually, breathing difficulties, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Over several days, this can progress to paralysis that starts in the legs and moves upward, said Lindsay.

The foundation reports that tick paralysis in humans is rare and typically occurs in children 10 years old or younger. It's more common in children than it is adults! "These ticks have to go undetected on a person's body, usually on the head", said Lindsay.

The little girl made a full recovery in hospital.

The paralysis is more common in animals, which are unable to check themselves for the ticks. Some cases in livestock have been caused by the American dog tick, found east of Saskatchewan.

"I honestly have never even heard of that before", Griffin said.

To protect yourself from tick bites, stay on the trail, wear light-coloured clothing and wear an insect repellant containing DEET or icaridin. "Doing thorough and complete tick checks is the way to prevent this infection", Lindsay said.

The grateful mom is hoping this experience will encourage parents to check their children for ticks on every surface and in every crease of their bodies.

"PLEASE for the love of god check your kids for ticks!" she posted, in part.