Preventing tick bites is the best way to reduce the risk of tick-borne disease. Ticks are present in a variety of environments, but are commonly found in wooded or leafy areas. Depending on the species and the stage of the life cycle, many ticks can be difficult to see. Fortunately, simple steps can be taken to help prevent tick bites.
Check your body and your child's body for ticks after spending time in an area where ticks may be present. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to check the entire body. Pay special attention to feet and legs, as some ticks are small enough to crawl through socks and into shoes. 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. If you find any ticks, remove them immediately.
For additional information on how to prevent ticks on your pets, visit CDC Preventing Ticks on Your Pets
For additional information, visit CDC Ticks
Graphics courtesy of CDC
If you find a tick attached, it should be removed immediately. The longer an infected tick is attached, the greater the chance that it will transmit the pathogen. Ticks should be removed with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible. Pull upward with a steady, even motion. Do not jerk or twist the tick. Doing so may cause the mouthparts of the tick break off, or stay attached to the skin. If this happens, remove the mouthparts with the tweezers. Be careful not to squeeze or crush the tick. The tick's fluids may contain infectious organisms. Do not handle ticks with bare hands or remove ticks from pets without gloves or tweezers. After removing the tick, disinfect the bite site and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. You may wish to save the tick for identification in case you become ill 2-3 weeks after the bite. To do so, place the tick in a sealed plastic bag, write the date of the bite on a piece of paper in pencil and place it in the bag. Place the bag in the freezer