Tick Bite Prevention
- Avoid grassy areas and shrubs where ticks may be lying in wait to tag a ride on a potential "meal."
- Please remind your child not to roll around in the grass while playing as a tick can easily attach to their head and hair.
- Wear light-colored clothing so ticks can be easily seen, and brush them off.
- Tuck pants into boots or socks.
- Apply insect repellant, specifically the brands designed to repel ticks. Follow label instructions. Avoid use of DEET-containing repellents on children. Carefully follow instructions and apply some repellents directly to skin and others to clothing.
- DEET-containing repellents with concentrations of 15% or less may be suitable for children. These should be carefully applied strictly following label directions.
- Repellents containing permethrins may be applied to clothing but not to skin.
- In high tick areas, DEET-containing repellents may need to be reapplied more frequently than for repelling mosquitoes. Follow the package label instructions carefully.
Finding Ticks On Your Body
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that are crawling on you.
- Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body upon return from tick-infested areas. Parents should check their children for ticks under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist, and especially in their hair.
- Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, and day packs.
- Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill remaining ticks.
If you do find a tick, it should be removed as soon as possible. Ticks must be attached for 12-24 hours for the pathogens to be transmitted. The entire tick must be properly removed with a tweezers. Any other method may traumatize the tick, causing it to regurgitate the potentially tainted blood into your bloodstream. If you are unsure or uncomfortable removing the tick yourself, consult a medical professional.
Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible.
Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and monitor the area for signs of infection.
After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.