Friday, April 24, 2015

Tick season is here! What you need to know about prevention and removal

Ticks are the most active in warmer months, beginning now to September. Here's what you need to know about prevention, proper removal, and when you need to go see a doctor about a bite.

Tick season is here! What you need to know about prevention and removal

Tick bite season is back! It is spring and warm, and children and adults are playing outside again. Ticks are also getting more active and they're looking for a good, hearty blood meal from us. They can be found in wooded areas, brushy fields, and around your home.

When you find a tick on yourself or another member of your family, what do you do?  First, go to for a printable single page sheet on tick bites that you can hang up in your house.  Then do the following:

  1. If the tick is still on the skin, remove it with tweezers grasping firmly as close to the skin as possible and then pull it straight out without twisting. 
  2. Save the tick in a ziplock bag in case you have to show it to the doctor.
  3. Do not use Vaseline or a hot match as part of the removal.
  4. Wash your hands and site with soap and water and then swab the skin with rubbing alcohol.

When you seek medical attention about the tick bite?

  1. If the tick was on the skin more than 24 hours.
  2. The whole tick did not get removed.
  3. A new rash develops like a red-ring around the bite site or broken blood vessels on hands.
  4. The bite develops the classics signs of infection: warmth, redness, swelling, and pus.
  5. Your child develops illness especially high fever, headache, tiredness, or joint pain.

What are signs of specific diseases you can get from tick bites?

  1. An expanding red rash with a central red bump and/or joint pains may be Lyme disease.
  2. A red rash especially on palms and soles that does not blanch with pressure may be Rocky mountain spotted fever.


  1. Check your children’s skin after they play outside, especially the scalp and behind the ears.
  2. Wear long sleeves and long pants when playing in heavily wooded areas.
  3. If there is a posted tick warning do not ignore it!
  4. You can put 10 percent DEET insect repellant on children over 2 years.

Read more from the Healthy Kids blog »

About this blog
The Healthy Kids blog is your window into the latest news, research and advice around children's health. Learn more about our growing list of contributors here.

If you have questions about your child's health, ask them here.

Anna Nguyen Healthy Kids blog Editor
Sarah Levin Allen, Ph.D., CBIS Assistant Professor of Psychology at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Stephen Aronoff, M.D., M.B.A. Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Temple University Hospital
Peter Bidey, D.O. Medical Director of Family Medicine at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Christopher C. Chang, MD, PhD, MBA, FAAAAI, FACAAI Associate Professor of Medicine in division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology at UC Davis
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, Ph.D. Lead Psychologist of The Anxiety Behaviors Clinic at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Gary A. Emmett, M.D., F.A.A.P Director of Hospital Pediatrics at TJU Hospital & Pediatrics Professor at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Magee DeFelice, M.D. Division Chief of Allergy and Immunology at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Hazel Guinto-Ocampo, M.D. Chief of Pediatric Emergency Services at Nemours duPont Pediatrics/Bryn Mawr Hospital
Rima Himelstein, M.D. Adolescent Medicine Specialist at Crozer-Keystone Health System
Jessica Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D Associate Professor in School Psychology/Applied Behavior Analysis at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Anita Kulick President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Janet Rosenzweig, MS, PhD, MPA VP for Programs & Research for Prevent Child Abuse America
Beth Wallace Smith, R.D. Registered Dietitian at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Emiliano Tatar, M.D. Pediatrician at Einstein Healthcare Network Roxborough Plaza
Jeanette Trella, Pharm.D Managing Director at The Poison Control Center at CHOP
W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D., ABPP Director of Integrated Health Care for American Psychological Association
Flaura Koplin Winston, M.D., Ph.D. Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention
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