Students first through six grade in Pennsylvania can enter the 2023 Lyme Art Contest by creating a video or poster focusing on the theme: “How to Prevent a Tick Bite.”
The contest is designed to help students learn how to prevent Lyme disease by educating them about ticks, including where they live, how to prevent bites, and how to remove ticks that do bite. The new deadline for entries to be received is 5:00 PM, March 17, 2023. Contest information can be found on the Department of Health’s website.
The educational outreach of the contest is vital, because Pennsylvania has one of the highest annual counts of Lyme disease cases in the nation meaning our children are at exceptionally-high risk for contracting the disease. Officials from the Departments of Health (DOH), Education (PDE), Environmental Protection (DEP), and Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) are encouraging young students to participate in the contest and help raise awareness of this disease.
“The Department of Health strongly encourages outdoor activities as part of healthy behaviors. However, it is important after spending time outdoors to make it a habit to check yourself, your children, and pets for ticks to prevent Lyme disease,” said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen. “It is crucial for all Pennsylvanians, children and adults alike, to learn how ticks transmit disease, take appropriate actions to prevent tick bites, learn how to remove ticks if found on the body, and seek timely medical treatment when needed.”
The Lyme Art Contest helps educate children, scout troops, youth community programs, and their peers, about where ticks are found and how to prevent encountering ticks in their habitat. This year’s finalists will be notified by mail in May and will be invited to an award ceremony at the State Capitol. In 2022, nine winners were recognized at a ceremony at the State Capitol with representatives from DOH, PDE, and DCNR.
With the Spring season approaching, now is the perfect time to educate Pennsylvanians about the danger of tick bites and what to look for when they’re enjoying outdoor recreation,” said Acting Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “This art contest allows students to combine their knowledge of health and science with artistic creativity to help raise awareness about Lyme disease and preventing tick bites.”
Ticks are usually found in shrubs, weeds, leaf litter, and tall grasses, but can be found anywhere there is grass. When exploring outside, it is important to take the proper steps to decrease the chances of getting bitten like covering exposed skin, wearing light colors to help detect ticks, and using an EPA-approved insect repellent. As an added protection, use permethrin spray on shoes, clothes, and gear before spending time outdoors.
After being outside, check yourself, your children, and your pets thoroughly for ticks and remove any that you find. Then, take a shower to help remove any ticks that you may have missed. You can also throw your clothes in the dryer using high heat to help kill any ticks that might still be stuck to your clothes.