Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time for the great outdoors: hiking, swimming, barbecuing. But we’re not the only ones calling the outdoors our playground.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported by state health departments each year — though further research reveals this number may be much higher.
The disease was first recognized in the US in 1975 after an unusual outbreak of arthritis near Lyme, CT. Caused by a bacteria transmitted through a bite from an infected blacklegged tick, symptoms include fever, rash, facial paralysis, arthritis, and fatigue, although symptoms vary between cases.
These pesky little creatures attach themselves to any part of the body, most often in hard-to-see areas like the armpits or scalp, causing them to go unnoticed unless thoroughly checked.
That’s where TickTime comes in handy. Available through the iTunes app store, TickTime reminds you when to check yourself and the kiddies after a day of outdoor fun, protecting you from various tick-borne diseases.
Here’s how it works: Through the app’s customizable reminder feature, you will be prompted after your outdoor excursion to do a tick check. Using the phone’s camera and light to aid in the inspection, the app plays a song of your choosing, timed to allow for a comprehensive check. The new app (which, as of press time, is only compatible with iPhones) also has access to tick facts and info, proper removal techniques, tick-check how-tos, and quick links to tick prevention supplies.
“[My businesses partner] Mikey Jackson and I both have young kids,” says Bill Braine, one of the creators of TickTime. We’ve done many a tick checks in our day and Mikey wanted to come up with an easier and more fun way to do it.”
The two Cornwall dads started out building a prototype for an actual inspection contraption, but after a few failed attempts realized an app might be more of a hit… and way easier to make.
“Yes, the app is geared towards kids, but we want to go beyond that and make sure adults understand its importance,” says Braine. “We’ve consulted with many doctors and had them test the app, and they’ve all found that this is a tool that can be useful in helping prevent tick-related diseases.”
The daddy duo hopes to develop a version that will be compatible across all smart phone devices, but for now, you Apple lovers get first dibs for just $1.99.
“These checks are important. Don’t let the ticks ruin your good time.”
Download the app here.