May 29th, 2015

How to Do a Tick Check on Your Kids

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How to Do a Tick Check on Your Kids Groovy Green Livin

The area behind our home is wooded and a breeding ground for ticks. When our dog was alive we would find ticks constantly on her and throughout our home. Now we don’t find them as frequently, but when we do they’re on our socks, shorts and shoes.

According to the CDC:

Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas. You may come into contact with ticks during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through leaf litter or near shrubs.

There are many types of ticks out there, but the deer tick is of concern since Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted by the deer tick.

Here are a few important tick facts to remember:

  • Not all deer ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
  • Ticks can only crawl; they cannot fly or jump.
  • The deer tick passes through four life stages (egg, larva, nymph, adult), over a two year period
  • Ticks are around throughout the year, not just the summer! Ticks can be active on winter days when the ground temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

After your kids come in from playing outside it’s always a good idea to check for ticks.

Here are some helpful tips for that tick check:

Check your clothing for ticks. We actually take out clothes off after spending a lot of time outside. Ticks can easily end up on your clothing -especially socks. They then start making their way up your body to a warmer spot.

Take a Shower after time outside. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease. This is also a perfect time to do a tick check.

Check your body for ticks after being outside. We generally do a tick check at night before bed. For younger kids have them put their arms out in a T position.  Check all body parts and pay close attention to these areas (suggestions from the CDC):

  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around the hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist

If you find a tick, don’t panic! HERE’s info on tick removal.

Have you ever had a tick? What did you do to remove it? What do you do to protect yourself from Lyme disease?

 


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photo credit: Up to no good via photopin (license)

17 Responses to “How to Do a Tick Check on Your Kids”

  1. We have tons of ticks in our yard. We keep a lint roller around to dispose of them (wrap them in tape). My mom bought me a tick removal tool and it works really well to get them off, much easier than tweezers for me. It even works on the pets.

  2. […] continue reading this post → […]

  3. We are going to start following these steps religiously! I removed a tick from my 3-year-old’s back a couple of weeks ago and now we are watching her closely for any signs of Lyme.
    Betsy (Eco-novice) recently posted..Protect Your Family with Safe Sunscreen by Goddess Garden {Review}My Profile

  4. I have added your tips to my favorite blogs. My kid alway plays outside then goes through house, your guide is very important to keep her health. Thanks.

  5. I have chronic Lyme Disease, and have been fighting for 4 years. A couple of things to clarify.The CDC is not the best place to gather info on Lyme, as they do not admit how widespread it actually is, and how much it is being misdiagnosed. There are Lyme organizations that will give you much more accurate information. Lyme is most often found and higher risk in the northeast states over to Michigan, but it has been found in every state.

    Deer ticks are the most common carrier of Lyme, but not the only one. Other ticks and mosquitoes can carry it.

    You didn’t touch on this, but everyone should be aware that Lyme does not always present itself as a bulls eye rash, as we are told. I did not have a rash or flu like symptoms. As few as 50% will have those. Not only watch for a rash and flu symptoms, but any changes over the next several weeks and even months. Things like… un explained and continued fatigue, muscle and joint aches (with or without fever), digestive issues, high levels of stress for no particular reason, foggy thinking, etc. Lyme is often misdiagnosed as MS, Bells Palsy, ALS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and more.

    Also, deer ticks are very, very tiny. Readers who might not be aware, should know that they are not just looking for regular size ticks. Deer ticks are the size of a pin point, often mistaken for a small freckle.

    I hope that information is helpful to someone. Don’t panic if you find a tick,but remove it correctly (never, ever smother a tick with soap, Vaseline, or anything else), wash the area, apply 3% hydrogen peroxide and an antibiotic cream, and pay close attention to change in health or rashes. You can also make a paste from activated charcoal (Emergency rooms use this for food poisoning) and apply it to the bite site. It draws poisons and toxins out. (It’s great for bee stings, too.) Charcoal can be purchased at drug stores or health stores.

  6. This is such a good reminder. We live right next to our town forest, and there are loads of ticks. I need to teach my kids how to check themselves now that they’re getting older.

  7. Good tips! This is one of the things I worry about most when sending my daughter to sleep away camp in the summer.
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  8. Thank you for the tips! During the summer my boys are always outside and I am terrified about them getting sick.
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  9. Thank you very much Leticia for this info. I’m sorry you’re dealing with Lyme Disease. I also know quite a few people who’ve been diagnosed. I didn’t really touch upon the symptoms and diagnosis, but all very important information. I didn’t realize that other ticks and mosquitoes can carry the disease as well. Thanks for the clarification.

  10. Great tips! I get the added bonus task of also checking out dog!

  11. I HATE when you find a tick on one of the kids. It’s certainly that time of year. We can’t be careful enough! Great tips!

  12. Another thing that you did not touch on, but is very important to know is that while Lyme Disease is the best known tick-born illness, it is not the only one. My adult son (has mental delays so I am still his advocate) was bitten by a tick in early March of this year. He contracted Ehrlichiosis and almost died from it. Depending on where you live, there can be any number of possible illnesses to contract from ticks. Bravo to you for putting this article out there, wearing tick repellent and diligent checking for ticks as soon as you get indoors are the two best ways to prevent a tick-borne illness!

  13. Thank you for the very important reminder! We’re really diligent about tick checks but with our kids ages 8 and 11, it’s also really important that they know how to tick check themselves when they’re at camp.

  14. Great reminders. I say to remember to check the whole family since I ended up being the one with a tick on me a couple of weeks ago just walking around our neighborhood.
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  15. In our household, we have a healthy respect for the diseases deer ticks can transmit. (My father had babesiosis and my mother in law is just getting over anaplasmosis- both nasty illnesses to get)
    One additional thing we do is put clothes and footwear in the dryer for 10 minutes after coming in from the yard/ woods. The heat kills any ticks hiding in the folds of clothes. I had a tick in my sneaker one time.
    More interesting reading from WBUR Commonhealth on other diseases the deer tick can transmit.

    http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2015/07/not-just-lyme-disease-anymore-anaplasmosis-babesiosis?utm_source=cc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nwsltr-15-07-10

  16. Great tips. Thank you Joan!

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, writer, mom of three boys and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. Join me as we work together to make the world a safer place for all.

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