Love the great outdoors? Be aware of Lyme disease and know what to do

As the UK navigates its way out of Covid-19, there has been a huge surge in the popularity of outdoor summer schools, forest schools and activity programmes planned for the summer months.

In response to this growth of young children and families spending more time outdoors, UK award-winning kids clothing brand Kidunk and Caudwell LymeCo charity have worked together to produce a fun new resource to help children, parents, carers and teachers be better prepared and better aware of Lyme disease.

The ‘Tick Detectives’ fact sheet is available to download from both the Caudwell LymeCo and Kidunk websites.  It will also be sent digitally to over 10,000 nursery settings, carers and parents over the coming weeks.

Ultimately, it is intended the resource will be printed and provided free to schools and outdoor centres across the UK. The resource has been designed to appeal to a young audience but will help give parents and carers the key facts to be prepared for the outdoors too.

Caudwell LymeCo’s core mission is to fund research that finds more accurate testing and effective treatment for patients at all stages of the disease, to be available on the NHS.

With research suggesting that there may be up to 10,000 cases of Lyme disease per year in the UK – that’s around 27 people per day affected. The true number could be much higher, but due to a lack of reliable testing and knowledge of the disease, exact numbers are difficult to confirm.

Lyme disease is caused by the bite of an infected tick and can affect the brain, nerves, joints, heart, eyes, and cause a characteristic skin rash. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is key for a quick and full recovery.

When not spotted and treated quickly, the infection can cause life-limiting symptoms and be difficult to cure. A Caudwell LymeCo patient survey found that around a third of those who contract Lyme disease still experienced symptoms after treatment, and it’s thought that around 20% never fully recover from the disease.

The Kidunk brand was created to make getting kids outdoors easier with protective, breathable, and practical clothing for children and has won over 10 consumer awards as well as a prestigious Gold European design award in 2019. Kidunk will donate 10% of sales of its summer range to the charity for its research programs and provide further opportunities for awareness.

The partnership between CaudwellCo charity and Kidunk came about when the brand launched its lightweight summer range last year.  The success of the collection was based on it been ‘fully protective’, made with a UVA protective material but also because of its styling – zipped waist, elasticated cuffs and ankles and close-fitting necklines.  

The summer design makes it ideal as a preventative step against insects including ticks when children play or spend time outdoors in the countryside, forests, urban parks and gardens to name a few.

Rosie Milsom, Fundraising & Communications for Caudwell LymeCo, says: “We are really excited to be launching this new initiative with Kidunk. It’s a particular concern for many that during the coronavirus pandemic, cases of Lyme disease may increase as people spend more time outdoors, and may even be missed due to similar symptoms to the virus.

“We want to work with forest schools and nurseries to empower children and parents with knowledge and understanding of Lyme disease in a fun and creative way”

Kidunk Co-Founder and Designer Lisa Joyce said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be launching this fantastic resource with Caudwell Co charity. As young families get out and about now more than ever before, it’s key they understand the environment.

“We tried to deliver the key facts around Lyme disease in a no-nonsense language using engaging colours and imagery that would appeal to a younger audience, but with factual content of use to parents and practitioners.”

About lyndahamiltonparker 520 Articles
Lynda Hamilton Parker is an award-winning PR consultant, journalist, editor and publisher based in Scotland. She is the founding publishing editor of Good Health Magazine.

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