Tackle Tick Season with These Safety Precautions
Ticks are one of the most bothersome and dangerous downsides to the summer season. As a parent, you want to protect your children from ticks and the diseases they carry, so it is important to head into this tick season with a strong understanding of the best tick prevention methods.
Basic Facts About Ticks
Ticks are tiny bugs about the size of poppy seeds that easily attach to the human body during common summertime activities like playing outdoors, camping, hiking, and gardening. Since ticks are bloodsucking external parasites, they actually rank second only to mosquitoes as the main carriers of human disease. Lyme disease is the most common disease that ticks cause, though there are others as well. There are many strategic ways to prevent ticks from attaching to the body, but it is also important to understand the most efficient ways to remove ticks from the body when they are discovered.
Tick prevention begins before your children ever leave the house. If you know they will be spending time outside in woody and grassy areas where ticks thrive, help your kids dress in tick-repellant clothing. This means long pants and sleeves, a hat, and socks and sneakers. There are even brands of clothing like Insect Shield that help prevent ticks for up to 70 washes. Always apply a bug repellent that is approved by the EPA and known to be safe for children.
As soon as your children come home, throw all clothes in the dryer on high heat for ten minutes to kill any lingering ticks. Make sure your children shower, then complete full body checks for the small, dark pests. Pay special attention to your children’s underarms, ears, belly buttons, backs of knees, hair, and waists for sneaky, hidden ticks.
If you find a tick attached to your child, grasp it close to the skin with tweezers and pull it straight out. The sooner this happens, the less likely it is that the tick can cause an infection. Remain alert for any signs of illness over the next few days, like rash or fever. If your child becomes ill after a tick bite, just call (863) 804-6194 to make an appointment at Pediatric Care of Four Corners in Davenport, Florida. Dr. Eiman ElSayed and her compassionate team at Pediatric Care of Four Corners are here to give your children the medical care they need to stay healthy and enjoy summer to its fullest.