I know… gross, right?
Although I have not seen any ticks yet on Audrey or Ethan this year, I have already had 3 cases of tick bites in the office. But really, here is the low down on ticks and tick bites that you need to know to keep your family safe.
1. Most tick bites are harmless and will not cause disease or illness!
2. Ticks are likely to be more of a problem this spring and summer because of our mild winter (crazy Ohio weather!)
3. Tick infested areas include woods, high grasses, and marshes; but can also include your backyard.
a. Use long clothing and socks and shoes to prevent exposure.
b. Apply insect repellent (DEET 30% every few hours) to skin and/or permethrin to clothing.
4. Check your children head to toe (including behind the ears and along the hairline) daily if they have been playing outside to look for ticks. Check your pets as well!
a. Soak a cotton ball in liquid soap and then cover the tick for 30 seconds. Usually the tick will attach to the cotton ball.
b. You can attempt to gently but firmly scrape away with a fingernail or credit card edge
c. Use tweezers to grasp the tick close to the skin, pull upward without twisting, using care not to crush or break off the head.
d. If a portion of the head remains you can clean the skin with rubbing alcohol and attempt to scrape out – if unable to remove, contact your doctor during business hours.
6. Wash the wound with soap and water, apply triple antibiotic ointment for a few days and monitor the site. Consider keeping the tick in a sealed bag or identifying it in case of illness
7. Go to the doctor if:
a. You cannot remove the tick
b. Fever or rash develops within 2 weeks following the bite
c. You become worried about your child or the site of the bite.
8. Stay calm, cool and collected! Your children will respond to your stress over the situation! Remember most tick bites do not cause harm or disease, especially when they have been attached to the skin. You have the tools to monitor your child for problems should they arise!
Have a fun spring, play outside, and wear your sunscreen!