Take Initiative Check Kids: Guard Against Tick-Borne Disease in Your Own Backyard
ohDEER created T.I.C.K (Take Initiative Check Kids) to arm you with the best information available on what you can do to greatly reduce the risk of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases to you and your family.
Lyme disease in Massachusetts is on the rise. As the white-tailed deer herds in New England grow, so too does the population of their tiny travel companion, the deer tick. The deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), also know as the North America black-legged tick is the primary carrier of Lyme disease, an infectious disease that causes flu-like symptoms.
According to the Center for Disease Control, about 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease are reported in the United States each year. That is twice as many cases as were reported in 2003 and three times as in 1995! We can’t stop this growth. But you can reduce your risks of exposure by taking some simple personal precautions.
Safety tips for you & your kids
- Wear long pants.
- Tuck pants into long socks.
- Tuck shirts into pants.
- Keep children away from woodsy or brushy areas.
- Wear light colored clothing to easily spot any ticks.
- And don’t forget the insect repellent!
- After returning from a tick-infested area, check your body and clothing for any ticks – check your arms pits and groin area, ticks love warmth and areas of constriction (belt buckles, buttocks, etc).
- Put your clothes in a hot dryer for 15 minutes to kill any ticks you may have missed.
Tick Removal: The Sooner, the Better
If you find a tick on your body, the time to act is now! Follow these steps to remove the tick. Monitor the bite location closely and contact your healthcare provider if you develop a fever, headache, or rash.
- Do not apply alcohol or dish-washing liquid to the tick, this could kill the tick who upon death c
- Protect your bare hands with a tissue or gloves to avoid contact with the tick’s body fluids.
- Using fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick close to the skin.
- Do not to twist or jerk the tick.
- Gently pull the tick straight up until all parts of it have been removed.
- After removing the tick, wash your hands with soap and water or water-less alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Clean the tick bite with an antiseptic such as iodine scrub, rubbing alcohol, or soap and water.
Visit the CDC website or Tick Encounter for more information. If you are have any questions, or if you develop any symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.