Ticks and Lyme disease in Toronto

Toronto Public Health has recently reported that blacklegged ticks (that can be infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease) have been found on Algonquin Island and Morningside Park.  Last fall they were also found in Rouge Valley.

Although the risk of Lyme disease in Toronto is low, parents should take the following precautions when children are playing in wooded, bushy areas:

  • wear light coloured clothing so that ticks are easy to see
  • wear long sleeves and pants, and tuck socks into pants
  • use insect repellant containing DEET (according to manufacturer’s instructions)
  • inspect your child’s skin for ticks every evening and remove ticks immediately if found (ticks must be attached for more than 24 hours to transmit Lyme disease)

If you find a tick on your child, do not panic.  Keep the tick and submit it to Public Health for identification and testing.  Call your doctor if you have any questions about this.

Please see the Fact Sheet published by Toronto Public Health for important details.

Don’t avoid the outdoors!  Enjoy the summer and play outside!