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 Kidshealth.org for a printable single page sheet on tick bites that you can hang up in your house. Then do the following:
- 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.
- Save the tick in a ziplock bag in case you have to show it to the doctor.
- Do not use Vaseline or a hot match as part of the removal.
- 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?
- If the tick was on the skin more than 24 hours.
- The whole tick did not get removed.
- A new rash develops like a red-ring around the bite site or broken blood vessels on hands.
- The bite develops the classics signs of infection: warmth, redness, swelling, and pus.
- Your child develops illness especially high fever, headache, tiredness, or joint pain.
What are signs of specific diseases you can get from tick bites?
- An expanding red rash with a central red bump and/or joint pains may be Lyme disease.
- A red rash especially on palms and soles that does not blanch with pressure may be Rocky mountain spotted fever.
- Check your children’s skin after they play outside, especially the scalp and behind the ears.
- Wear long sleeves and long pants when playing in heavily wooded areas.
- If there is a posted tick warning do not ignore it!
- You can put 10 percent DEET insect repellant on children over 2 years.
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