Monday, July 6, 2009


The majority of Lyme disease cases are caused by tick bites acquired around the home. Children may be at particular risk because of the amount of time they spend playing outdoors and the failure to recognize a tick bite. To help reduce this risk of tick exposure, remind your family of these “tick-safety tips”:
Before Going out: Wear light-colored, tightly woven clothing to make it easier to spot ticks; tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks; wear closed shoes / sneakers rather than open sandals; use a tick repellent as directed. Products should contain DEET (for clothing OR skin) or Permethrin (for clothing ONLY). Remind children to ask an adult to apply the tick repellent and DO NOT apply to hands or face. Use products with less than 10% DEET and always follow manufacturers’ directions carefully. Do not use repellents on children under 3 years of age.
Pay particular attention to tops of shoes and lower portion of pant legs, as ticks are most likely to attach here.
While Outside: Stay in the center of trails; avoid low bushes and leafy brush; periodically check clothing and skin for ticks and remove.
Upon Return: Check clothing, skin, and hair for ticks (take special note of your child’s navel, underarm, groin area and behind the ears). If a tick is found, remove it carefully with tweezers. If it was attached, note spot of attachment, mark calendar, and save tick in a jar for later identification. Should symptoms such as an expanding “bull’s eye” rash, flu-like symptoms or painful joints develop, contact your physician.

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