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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Another Field Trip Puts Kids at Risk!!!!!!

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Author Topic: Another Field Trip Puts Kids at Risk!!!!!!
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
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My grandson went with his fifth grade class to the Audubon Sanctuary today here on Cape Cod.

It took six long years and Dr. Jones to rid him of lyme disease...only to have a school field trip endanger him and his classmates.

This is insane! After walking the nature trail, they assembled to hear a lecture and one child after another began removing ticks from their clothing. Not ONE word of caution was spoken before these kids went on this trip...and in my opinion these trips should be BANNED!

Has anyone had any success in trying to put a stop to these kinds of field trips?


Posts: 2135 | From Tick Country | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Just Julie
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Nan,there are 2 very recent threads, both dealing with this nature trip nonsense for kids in schools, on this board. I've posted to both threads, and both threads have people who argue for, and against, these "mandatory" nature trips.

I believe that the nature trips I've seen talked about recently are the ones that are a week long, where the kids go away to some forested/mountain area to "study nature".

My sons were just barely diagnosed when this issue came up for me, with my oldest son, at his private Christian school here in Northern CA.

It was such a hard, stressful thing to deal with, but I'm glad I had the presence (barely, I was newly diagnosed too, and had the fog bad) of mind to keep my sons from going.

If you can get to these 2 threads, you'll see where there are some people/parents who argue for this type trip, saying "you can't let *it* win, you can't hide in your house" etc.

Then, you'll see the parents who've had to deal with Lyme disease in their children, and who have done the treatment, the dr. office visits, the interminable "crap" that comes along with having a sick child, and these are the parents who I believe have the most credibility in their posts, because they've "been there, done that" and don't want to "do that" again.

I for one believe that if you live in an area where there are ticks out your back door, you have outside/inside animals (like cats and dogs) that bring ticks into your house on a daily basis, have backyards that you cannot prevent ticks from being in, then you probably have the mindset of "you can't let it win" and do not think keeping your child from going on these nature trips is worth the effort.

I live in Northern CA, where I actually do have ticks in my backyard, but we have a buffer zone of concrete and chain link fence (not as ugly as you imagine) keeping the ticks from being directly out my backdoor and in the areas where we use the backyard. For that, I am thankful and it is the ONLY reason we have not moved from this house and neighborhood.

Other houses in our neighborhood do NOT have this type of backyard set up, and my sons are not allowed to venture into these neighbors back pastures. That has been a challenge these past 5 yrs of diagnosis and treatment, but I have managed.

For their school situations, I kept both of my sons home from this week long nature "outdoor education" trip. It was very difficult, but doable, since I am the parent, and it is ultimately MY CHOICE for our family.

You will not be able to change the school, you will not be able to change the outlook on this type of trip. You can only deal with your own personal child/grandchild, and that is something you will have to do on your own, probably against other peoples wishes, due to their fears.

Steve in MN posted about fear and anger, in ArtistDi's thread about this issue, and again in response to mine in the other post about nature trips. I believe his opinion is held by other parents who think that avoiding tick infested areas is "stupid" and "hiding" from the fact that we can't "live in fear", but my opinion is the opposite of that, in that I believe that if you know better, and do it anyway, then you can't be too surprised with your consequence, which I believe is reinfection, and relapse.

And in a child, that is a horrible thing to contemplate. It is something I do not wish to knowingly face by exposing my sons to possible tick bites by allowing them to go on these stupid ignorant trips.

Ok, there we go. Have at it folks.

[This message has been edited by Just Julie (edited 11 June 2005).]

Posts: 1027 | From Northern CA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, I think you can't give up everything you like and should just take precautions. Don't let it win, in other words.

On Monday, Wed, Friday, and Sun., I think it is necessary to completely avoid these situations.

But on all days I stay away from tall grass, have my shoes sprayed, don't sit down on logs in the woods, and do a lot more nature observing from safe locations.

There was a good program put out on DVD or video by a CT lyme group. You could buy a copy and send it to the school district, try to get them to use in teacher training or something.

[This message has been edited by lou (edited 11 June 2005).]

Posts: 8430 | From Not available | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I will never understand how people, who know the harm Tick Borne Diseases might do, can send their children into harms way.


Posts: 210 | From lalaland | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Julie and Lou....I appreciate your thoughtful replies.

I guess I might fall somewhere in the middle....between never taking these kinds of field trips and dragging 125 kids through tall grass and down winding nature trails and keeping your own child home safe but missing out on the fun.

How about a letter home explaining that the children will be exposed to ticks in the area and suggesting spraying, tucking long pants inside socks, etc., and above all asking the kids to check each other before boarding the bus. Also suggesting to parents that since lyme can be a serious and debilitating disease along with the coinfections that ticks transmit...and suggesting they check their child for ticks when they get home.

Kids were picking ticks off themselves left and right....there was not one word of caution spoken as the adults watched them pick the ticks off and throw them on the ground!!!

Maybe you have to suffer the torture of having these TBD's to understand.

Will see if I can search for those posts, Julie. Thanks.


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Just Julie
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I don't think I've ever stated in any of my posts regarding this topic that I have "let it win" meaning, let the fact that both my kids, myself and my in denial husband, keep us from going outdoors, or going anywhere for that matter.

Just to clarify-I do not take us camping, we do not hike in the open spaces of this area in Northern CA, where the tall grass borders every spot of "nature" in this place. We do not knowingly go into tick infested areas. We do not hike on any trails that have bordering tall grass, mountain bike on any wide dirt paths that have large overhanding trees along the trail (got ticks dropping on our heads, and down the backs of our shirts from these type trees in Big Basin State Park near Santa Cruz mountains 5 yrs ago).

My sons do not go (at least not to my knowledge) into any pasture area that has wild animals roaming thru it (includes horse pastures).

But, we do GO OUTSIDE. We do go to citified parks (where open space does not border the park)and we do participate in sports, ride our bikes, walk in neighborhoods that are rural.

In other words-*it* has not won. *It* has not beat us back into our house, hiding out indoors, never venturing outside. We have 2 outside only cats that are Frontline Plused every month, and we pet these cats with our hands only (and we look at our hands "tick check" so to speak after we finish petting them).

I have thought and thought and thought of all the circumstances where we might come into contact with a tick via the outdoors, or animals, and I feel we have minimized or completed irradicated the possibility of another tick bite.

That said, I did come home from a barn dance 1.5 yrs ago with a tick crawling on my stomach.

that was my "wake up call", I will never go to a place like that again, and why should I? It wasn't necessary, it was a somewhat known risk, in that this barn was in open space country/neighborhood, and there was surrounding tall grass and huge oak tree stands around the ranch area.

I took that chance, came home to find this evil insect on me, and loaded that into my brain and came up with the resulting opinion that certain types of activities are simply not going to be a part of my/our lives any longer.

It didn't win, in fact, I believe I and my kids have won, because we KNOW what is out there, and we are choosing not to let it wipe us out again.

We lost enough already-my lifestyle as an absolute nature lover, finding paradise here in Northern CA, where having grown up in the jungles of L.A. (southern CA) took it's mental toll on my young growing up life, and going out into this gorgeous outdoors of Northern CA brought me down. Brought my children down, and infected my husband (who is so not the outdoor type) so that our very lives will never be the same.

Unless your life has changed, and you've realized and accepted that it will never be the same, you cannot make this assumption about the outdoors and the activities that other people dictate you must be a part of.

For the schools to automatically do this, to me, is a crime. But I've banged my head up against their autocratic manuevering long enough to realize that MY informing them of the risks of these nature trips, will not be sufficient. And after that, it is ultimately up to ME to protect my kids.

Doesn't work for everyone, doesn't work for those who lives have not radically changed (for the negative).

You truly must have already lived thru the nightmare, to be able to take a solid stand against something as massive as the school's agenda.

If you haven't armoured yourself in a strong enough fashion, then you will be swayed, and you will capitulate. Opening the door and going back against your gut feeling and common sense that is telling you that allowing your child to venture into the tick infested areas will be "just fine", or "ok" as long as there is tick repellant sprayed, socks tucked into pants, white clothing worn, tick checks done, etc. And then you must realize that another adult (maybe, probably?) will be the one doing this for you, and maybe will or will not have the time, to do it, or remember to do it.

And you will find yourself staring at your child and finding that teeny tiny little black speck in some spot that is not that noticable when you are first looking (belly button, armpit, back of neck at hairline, behind the ear)and discover that yes, it can happen again.

And you'll hop back onto the Lyme merry-go-round for another spin around the pit.

Not me. I'm so done with that.
I know I'd best not post anymore, since I seem to get pretty fired up pretty quickly about this topic.

Posts: 1027 | From Northern CA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Just Julie
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thank you OptiMisTic. I appreciate your validation!
p.s. I so agreed with your viewpoint on this. (in the other posts on this topic)

Posts: 1027 | From Northern CA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I understand what all of you had said and worry about it endlessly as well. Can we really protecht them though?

I wonder though how any of us will feel after putting our children though years of treatment only to have them become adults and then have sex with a person who has Lyme and become infected all over again.

My parents weren't able to protect me and my mother was always telling us to stay out of the woods and to check for ticks before coming in the house. I still had a few growing up but when I needed that blood transfusion to save my life when I was 16 which is where I believe my chronic fatigue began.
What choice would you make now knowing your child could be saved but also knowing you could be condeming them to being reinfected again? Hard choice.

I try not to worry too much and do the best I can. I send my son to camp in West Virgina where the camp director has told me he has never seen a tick in over 30+ years. Can this be true? My son tells me he hasn't seen any either, but then again they do stress that they put bug repellants on and they swim a few times a day.

I say remain cautious, teach your children to become aware but keep the fun. I often wonder if perhaps everyone has Lyme and just doesn't know it. Is this something that humans have lived with for a very very long time? Is it a big deal now because we live so much longer? too much to worry about.

Posts: 547 | From Maryland | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Here it is, nan....

[This message has been edited by Lymetoo (edited 12 June 2005).]

Posts: 95806 | From Texas | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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