Exploring the world outdoors is the best part of summer! Unfortunately, it can be filled with unwanted dangers – poison ivy, sunburn, bug bites, and more. One of the most disgusting dangers is ticks!
There are a wide variety of tick-borne diseases and symptoms may not appear until weeks after the bite. You may not even know that there is a tick on you or your kids. It is important to check for ticks after any time spent exploring outdoors.
Our family does a LOT of hunting and fishing so I have discovered ticks on my kids from time to time. The very first time I completely freaked out and didn’t know what to do. I called my husband and he gave me some pretty bad advice that he learned from his parents. I have since learned the best way to remove a tick and it does not include squeezing it, burning it out, or pouring anything on it. These methods can cause the tick to vomit back into the skin or release more saliva which can increase the possibility of disease transmission, can leave part of the tick embedded in the skin, or making the tick embed even deeper into the skin. YUCK!
So, the #1 item needed to have a safe summer is one (or three) of these:
We bought this three pack so that we can have one at home, one in the truck, and one in our motor home.
How to remove a tick safely:
- Use tweezers or a tick removal tool to grab the tick by the head or the mouth, close to the skin. We bought this three-pack of “Ticked Off” tick remover:
- Pull firmly and steadily until the tick lets go of the skin. Do not rock back and forth or twist.
- Put the tick into a jar or a plastic bag in case you need to identify the type of tick later.
- Wash your hands and the site of the bite thoroughly with soap and water.
It is important to seek medical care if:
- The tick has been on the skin for more than 24 hours.
- Part of the tick remain embedded in the skin.
- A rash of any kind develops, especially a red-ringed bull’s eye rash or red dots on wrist and ankles.
- The skin looks infected at the bite site.
- There is any fever, muscle or joint ache, and/or stiff neck or back.
How to prevent tick bites:
- Always check for ticks after any adventures outside on skin and hair, especially the scalp, behind ears, under the arms, and around neck.
- Avoid tick infested areas.
- Wear long sleeves and pants. Tuck pants into socks.
- You can use insect repellent with at least 10% DEET. Our family chooses not to do this.
- Place all clothes into the dryer immediately after being outside and before washing. This will kill the ticks if any are on your clothing. We always do this after a day of hunting.
Exploring outside, hunting, fishing, and hiking are all fun activities to enjoy in the summer but it is important to be safe. Tick prevention, removal, and monitoring for symptoms of tick bites are important tools to keep safe in the summer. Please use my affiliate link if you decide to check out the tick removal tool by clicking the image below. This helps our family and we really appreciate it.
Have a safe and fun summer!
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