A 6-year-old North Carolina girl has died after being bitten by a tick on vacation in Texas. Emilee Russell came down with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever soon after being bitten by the tick and was not able to fight it off. She left behind her mother, father, and twin brother.
This is the kind of story that strikes fear into the hearts of every parent. There is nothing more horrifying than imagining our children feeling fine one day and then being stricken by something suddenly we can't save them from.
A tick bite is part of childhood. Children love to be outdoors. They love to play. We can slather them in insect repellant all day long, but we can't stop ticks. That is terrifying.
It's random, yes. But it is crucial that we talk about these things because if we don't, we run the risk of being uninformed about something that could save our lives or the lives of our children.
Caught early, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can often be treated. Caught too late, it can kill. The only thing we can learn from this is vigilance. My heart goes out to this family who said their little girl had just graduated from Kindergarten and was thrilled to have finally lost her first tooth.
And then she was gone. Just like that. It's just the worst thing ever.
Do you take tick precautions for your kids?
Image via John Tann /Flickr