Harrisburg, Pa. — When it comes to Lyme Disease, prevention is key. That’s why hildren across the state are learning early on how to detect the pests.
Since 2019, the state has hosted a Lyme Art Contest each year for first through sixth grade children. Through this contest, kids can use their creativity and learn about where ticks live, what they look like, how to avoid getting bitten, how to check a friend, pet, or family member, and when to see a doctor.
The nine winners of this year’s contest will be displayed in the state capitol building outside of the Senate Fountain Area between May 25 and June 8.
First and second grade winners:
1st Place: Theodore Smith, Camp Hill
2nd Place: Kennedy Clay, Washington Crossing
3rd Place: Abigail Wilt, East Berlin
Third and fourth grade winners:
1st Place: Supriya Reddy, Orefield
2nd Place: Shilpa Reddy, Orefield
3rd Place: Emmalyn Matthews, Strongstown
Fifth and sixth grade winners:
1st Place: Nolan Etters, Clearfield
2nd Place: Hugh Shields, Lewisburg
3rd Place: Magdalena Hess, New Providence
In Pennsylvania, up to 10,000 Lyme cases are reported every year, and there may be additional unreported cases. Most cases can be treated successfully with a short course of antibiotics, but an untreated infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
Ticks can live anywhere where grass is found, but are more likely to live where there are shrubs, weeds, leaf litter, and taller grass to hide in. To avoid ticks, it is advised to cover exposed skin, wear light colors (dark colored ticks will be easier to see on a light article of clothing), and use insect repellant. After spending time outdoors, check yourself, kids, and pets for ticks and remove any that are found. Take a shower to help remove any missed ticks.
“Raising awareness about ticks, Lyme disease, and other tick-borne illnesses through this competition is a creative way to help let people know that if they take preventive steps, they can still be safe and have fun outdoors,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “When in state and community parks and forests a few simple measures can help make sure our visitors have the time in nature so critical to our well-being. We are grateful for the partnership within our state agencies to help reinforce this important message.”