Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
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Mom Shares Urgent Warning About Tick Paralysis

Mom Shares Urgent Warning About Tick Paralysis

As soon as Kailyn Griffin's feet hit the floor Wednesday morning, she collapsed in a heap.

Jessica Griffin wrote on Facebook that doctors in MS performed a multitude of tests and a CT scan on her daughter, Kailyn, suspecting everything from a stroke to a neurological syndrome - until they found the cause of little girl's odd symptoms: A tick on the crown of her head.

A tick had embedded itself on her daughter's scalp. She removed the tick and rushed her daughter to hospital. Following a CT scan and blood tests, doctors diagnosed Kailyn with tick paralysis.

It didn't last long, though.

"Look who is walking out of the hospital!" Scary is a UNDERSTATEMENT! "She has been such a champ throughout this whole ordeal!", wrote Griffin.

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.


The paralysis begins in the legs, then spreads to the upper extremities.

According to the National Institutes of Health, tick paralysis is a rare condition thought to be caused by female ticks. The condition can become life-threatening if the tick is not removed quickly, with the potential for paralysis to affect respiratory muscles. Symptoms lessen in minutes or hours and the patient typically recovers completely after 1.5 to 2.5 days, according to a recent case report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. It's more common in children than it is adults!

Jessica brushed Kailyn's hair in order to make a ponytail and noticed that there was a tick in the crown of her head. Some cases in livestock have been caused by the American dog tick, found east of Saskatchewan.

Several other diseases are associated with ticks, the most well-known include Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

She wrote on Facebook: "I was just thinking that her legs were asleep until I noticed that she couldn't hardly talk!"

To protect yourself from tick bites, stay on the trail, wear light-coloured clothing and wear an insect repellant containing DEET or icaridin. Lindsay says that even people in urban areas should check their body for tick bites if they have been outside for a while. If you find an attached tick, grasp it with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out.

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